Health

What's on your Happy Music list?

I’ve been thinking about music a lot this week. While I always have tunes playing somewhere, whether it’s on my computer while I putter, or in the kitchen while I cook or in the car while I zip around from site to site for work, music’s always there.

woman listening to ipod, music, headphones, earbuds, redhead

Masterfile

I’ve been thinking about music a lot this week. While I always have tunes playing somewhere, whether it’s on my computer while I putter, or in the kitchen while I cook or in the car while I zip around from site to site for work, music’s always there.

But looking back this week, it seems that some fresh music has played a role in boosting my own happiness through a serious of tenuously linked yet somehow related series of events. Things kicked off with the Grammy Awards that I PVRd. I’ve been rewatching the Bruno Mars, Adele and Foo Fighters performances throughout the week just to hear—and see—that energy that comes with a live performance. Love it.

Add to that a tune that I just couldn’t kick out of my head this week. Nothing from the Grammy’s – just a song, Karmin’s “Brokenhearted” that was performed on Saturday Night Live. A boppy, fun cute tune I snobbily sneered at when I first heard it…but the longer the song was on, the more I started to pay attention. I couldn’t shake it for most of the week and I’ve fired it up a few times on my computer while I slogged through mundane household tasks. (Music really is the only way to get through scrubbing a sink or scouring a toilet.) So along with another new tune from Jay-Z and Kanye West and the new-to-me band Fun., in which hearing a preview of their song “One Foot” on the radio just about stopped me cold because it was so engaging, my iPod’s playlists feel fresh again.

Meanwhile I’ve been talking for a few weeks now about wanting to see a live music show again—it’s been awhile truthfully and I find live music so energizing. There’s a feed of enthusiasm and invigoration that surfs back and forth between the crowd and the band when you’re taking in a show and I find myself craving it. It’s fun and it often gives you a little music high that drifts on for days. But who to see? Friends were telling me my old 90s band Jane’s Addiction was in town—hmm, that’d be okay, sure. But before I could start surfing for tickets, a friend called with a golden ticket opportunity: would I like to go to see Madonna with her? Done!

Really, all these isolated anecdotes come together in showing the power of music and the influence it can have on our mood. After all, this small study from McGill University in 2011 found that music pushes the chemical dopamine which ultimately helps increase your happiness. And it gave me a little idea—simple really. What about a Happy Music list? Why don’t I have one of these already? Something to draw me out of a funk, pump me up before a run or writing session, something to dance to while I’m emptying my dishwasher. That’s really it—some music to boost my mood when I need it.

How about you? Do you have music you turn to when you need a little lift?

Want more happiness news? Follow me on Twitter @AstridVanDenB 

FILED UNDER: