Change Your Soundtrack to Change Your Mood
By Valerie Rice September 25, 2020
Once upon a time, in a snuggly warm bed not so far away, I glared at my alarm and thought “$%#* it.” So nothing ever happened and I slept the day away. Just kidding! But I bet we all wish that would happen on the daily. So how do we go from the “F” this to the productive, normal people you see around you? For me, I use music. Not just any music, but there are certain types of music that create certain moods. Science (again) can show us that our brains and heartbeats respond to the electrical impulses we hear. Why? Because we are basically a bunch of electrical impulses in a meat suit. Cool, huh?
This is a super annoying mood change for me. Lots of people can pop out of bed, brush their teeth, and go on their merry way. Not I (poor grammar intended). Oh baby, do I hate mornings. When my alarm goes off I have two choices; turn it off and sleep, or get up and deal with it. Choice one leads to my entire schedule, and that of my family, going down the toilet which means EVERYONE is miserable (I’m a single mom I Run this joint) and choice two leads to a functioning family. So. As the master of my universe, what’s it going to be? Well, universe masters? What would YOU do? Thought so. To avoid the feelings of hatred and resentment that not even coffee can fully erase, I turn on my favorite, upbeat song. Incidentally, this is also called wake up, and if you wanna hear it, click here. Why upbeat? Remember that whole thing about bodies responding to electrical impulses? To shake off sleepy cobwebs, something faster than caffeine is needed. And yes, sometimes brushing teeth ends in jumping and headbanging. I DID warn you that I’m a secret metal head a while back (cue air guitar).
But I’m Sad
Not all emotions are bad, but too much of one can be overwhelming, and that’s unhealthy. Sometimes you can go about your day and realize you feel stuck. It just is too much effort to move forward. Some people are fine with picking the opposite emotion. Happy, right? What song makes you feel happy? For me it is something super indie, maybe a little folksy, something Ani DiFranco. Like this. If happy isn’t your thing, try mad. For real, it isn’t sad, and a shift is enough to pull you out of that rut. I like a mad bump. Try this. Warning though, I have very little of a social niceties filter, so when I change my mood, I pop in headphones and let the curse words flow. &$%^ IT!
Well Now I’m MAD!
Cool. Cool, cool, cool, it. Seriously, cool it. Remember that emotions are not your enemy. In fact, emotions are really useful. We need a wide range of emotions to experience a full life and to spur us into action. But when they get out of hand we need to rein them in. If you are way too mad to do anything but sputter uselessly or want to hit something, you have a problem. I told you that you are the master of your universe. Why didn’t you believe me? Well, emotions may come and go, but your reactions to them are all under your control. Now put that anger in check! Want something soothing? I like this one. Want to feel empowered? Listen to this one.
We all love sleep. Well, some of us. Some people prefer not to. But we all NEED sleep. Science says so. When I can’t chill out and sleep I put on something to relax my mind. Is it music? Well, not exactly. It is more of a chant. OM. 8 hours of it. So that I can hear a whole lot of some guy saying one word over and over again. Actually, I do it because I like the sound and so does my brain. I find it soothing and I believe in the power of meditation and mindfulness. And so do scientists. For more information on that, click here. Whatever you find soothing, calming, and just plain relaxing is something you should play when it is time for bed.
Hey, you really don’t have to listen to any of my suggestions because I am not you. Whatever floats your little boat is what is going to work best, right? And I’m sure you remember why: Because you are the master of your own universe. My universe runs of metal, indie, folk, and caffeine. With a pinch of Broadway. Yours can run on rap, pop, and soul. No judgement. My teenagers love someone called Lil Peep. I have no idea who that is. Was? Not my bag. That’s fine, it doesn’t have to be. Do you. Try it, you can change any mood with the power of music. Just remember that the type of music will determine the type of mood. Because science. Have fun!