Want to Feel Happier? Listen to a Favorite Song.

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Research demonstrates – and everyday experience confirms – that one of the simplest, easiest ways to boost your mood and your energy is to listen to your favorite upbeat music. Music can have an enormous influence on your state of mind (of course, it can make you feel melancholy as well as happy). In fact, studies show that listening to a choice of music during medical procedures can lower a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety level.

So, if you’re feeling blue, put on some of your favorite cheerful music. It can have a quick and dramatic effect. It’s a particularly useful strategy when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed; tackling a nagging task boosts happiness, too, but it’s not the same kind of quick fix.

I experienced this phenomenon this morning. One thing that I’ve accepted about myself, as I follow my Personal Commandment to Be Gretchen, is that I don’t have much appreciation for music. I wish I enjoyed music more, but I don’t.

I rarely listen to music; sometimes I wear my iPod when I’m exercising, but not often. Every once in a while, though, I fixate on a song I really love.

This morning, for some reason, I thought of an old favorite as I was helping my younger daughter get dressed for school. She’s on an audiobook kick, so she hasn’t been listening to music much, but I pulled out Laurie Berkner’s terrific CD Buzz Buzz
and skipped ahead to my favorite song, “There’s a Little Wheel A-Turnin’ in My Heart.”

Ah, I felt my mood soar. I love that song. And I love the title! Very Buddhist.

I wish I could include a clip, but I can’t figure out how to link to the sample on iTunes, and I couldn’t find one anywhere else. (Please post if you find it.)

Is there a particular song you know will boost your mood, if you listen to it? Do you play it when you need a lift?

From 2006 through 2014, as she wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen chronicled her thoughts, observations, and discoveries on The Happiness Project Blog.




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