Using Music to Boost Your Mental Health with Jennifer Buchanan has moved into first place as my favorite Live Happy Now Podcast. So far I have listened to it twice, made two pages of notes, and I am actually doing some of the exercises. Given I have used music and music exercises in my workshops for years, that is saying a lot. Let me share some of the new information I learned:
- Middle school through high school is when we mentally embed most of our favorite songs. By your mid-30’s you only add about 5-10% of new music. That helps explain why Motown, disco, and Michael Jackson get me moving, yet rap and hip-hop never got on to my playlist.
- Jennifer Buchanan suggests creating separate playlists for productivity and mood. For years I have had a “Fast and Happy” playlist. One suggestion I would have never thought of was creating is a Legacy Playlist – 12 songs that span your lifetime and meant something to you at different points in your life. Having such a list will help those who love you remember you fondly when they hear that song (or not!).
- Music reminds us of who we are.
- There is no other activity (listening to music) that simulates as many parts of the brain as when we listen to music that inspires us.
- Why do we listen to music that makes us sad? We are looking to be validated. This was a great learning for me since over the years I have discouraged and debated with more than one person about how listening to sad music makes you feel sad. Grandson Miles Goeglein reminded me he was the recipient of many of those lectures. Then I thought about the song I love, Calling All Angels from the movie Pay It Forward. I realized that when I listened to it and I am reminded of the scene from the movie, yes, I feel said. I also remember the hope that the scene projects for me. Jennifer Buchanan’s recommendation is to go ahead and listen. After listening if you feel worse instead of being validated, seek additional emotional support. This is the same information I give people about journaling. Sometimes we can write ourselves into a very deep, dark mental hole. That is when you stop journaling and start seeking a trained professional to help you with your mental health and well-being.
- There are a ton more learnings and recommendations. It would be best for you to listen for yourself. I want to close with one pleasant reminder Jennifer mentioned from the early days of the COVID global pandemic. Just rewatching the video lifted my spirits. I was reminded of the good that can happen when we come to each other’s support. It reminded me of spontaneous good.
BTW, the featured image is of my go-to 4 pm snack Michelle’s Maccs I found them during the same aforementioned pandemic and I feel it is one of the great things that came from the experience.