Have you ever gotten into your car and turned on the radio, desperately scanning the stations to find that one song that will make your day? No? Okay, that example is perhaps a little outdated. However, if you are like me, having the right music for the right activities is essential. I need my music to get my workout on, to meditate to, and to listen to as I lay my head down at night, just to name a few. And if the song isn’t right… well, let’s just say I’m likely to keep searching until I find just the right one.
Turns out, there’s a reason for that. Actually, there are several.
If I come across a new song that does it for me, I tend to listen to it over and over. Learning new things, especially musical things like learning a new song or even a new musical instrument greatly impacts our brains by creating new neural pathways, enhancing the brain’s neuroplasticity. In other words, new songs help us increase our ability to adapt to new experiences and environments.
I don’t know about you, but having an increased ability to adapt and roll with the punches sounds pretty good to me, especially with everything new and uncertain that’s been thrown at us lately. Getting better at coping with new circumstances is a skill that’s just going to keep on giving. And if I get to find more awesome music in the process, even better.
Even if you’re not exploring new songs or playing a new instrument, by putting on that special playlist for the occasion, you’re triggering an existing neural pathway and prompting your brain to recall a previous experience. It’s just like how the smell of coffee triggers most of our brains to start the day, to wake up, and get those neurons firing.
There are also songs that trigger a release of feel-good chemicals; the most obvious example is talking about how music “gets you in the mood” (Barry White, anyone?). But in addition to serving as an aphrodisiac, those feel-good chemicals released by certain tunes can be powerfully healing for the body. Plus, the emotional release many people find through music can be equally cathartic.
Often I wonder how much more healing we could bring to the world through music. Psychology Today published an article illustrating how music can impact our levels of motivation, our mindset and our moods. Sure, there are psychotropic drugs designed to deliver the same result, but if we can achieve that boost simply by pressing play and allowing the music to take us there, why not reach for music instead? With countless music apps and even phenomenal preselected playlists available, we should all be taking our musical medicine.
So, my homework for you today is to create five specific playlists for yourself, using whatever music tools or apps you prefer. If you’re not sure where to start, a quick online search will get you started. Here are the five:
- Focus Playlist
- Energy/Workout Playlist
- Creative Playlist
- Relaxation Playlist
- Sleep Playlist
Once you’ve created them, spend the next week using these playlists for at least 30 minutes for each theme. See what impact it has on your productivity, your quality of sleep, and your overall mood. Lastly, share your experience in our Difference Makers community, including some of your playlists.
And, look for an upcoming episode on our YouTube Channel that is going to be all about this exact subject!
I hope your results will be Unforgettable…