Seriously, it might be that easy
We all know that belting out your favourite songs in the shower is the kind of mood therapy you can’t pay for. It’s cathartic, it’s therapeutic and most of all, it’s completely personal to you. Your favourite songs might be someone else’s idea of hell, or a song that has sad connotations might remind you of a happy memory. Similarly, if we need to have a good cry we all have one or two songs that can help us with that release of emotion. A movie soundtrack or a childhood favourite – everyone can relate to having a tune or two that makes them feel something.
The effect that music can have on our mood has been widely studied and according to Professor Levitin of McGill University, listening to it doesn’t affect a specific region of the brain but every part, speaking to its potential to move us, whether we’re in a funk or looking to boost an already upbeat mindset. So, if listening to music can boost our mood, what better thing to do when feeling low, than make a new playlist? The beauty of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music is that they are constantly offering us new and exciting music which either matches our tastes or is the complete opposite to what we normally listen to.
But as a result of this there are endless opportunities for us to find songs that make us feel a certain way. On top of these streaming services, apps like Shazam allow us to find songs when we’re out and about with the tap of a button on our smart phones – creating yet more opportunities to discover new music. So, the music never runs out. Just when you think you’ve added all of your favourite uplifting songs to a playlist already, ten new songs are at the end of your fingertips ready to get you thinking calmly and clearly.
On top of the musical aspect of creating a playlist, from experience, I can say that the physical act of creating one on your phone or laptop is a somewhat calming process. Scrolling through your saved songs or sifting through your recommended artists is a task that is quite consuming and can help you to forget whatever it is you’re worrying about or that thing that’s getting you down. There is also something to be said for the satisfaction you might feel in completing the task. If you manage to create a playlist five hours long for example, there’s a definite sense of achievement. You’ve created something that is effective and you’re also looking after yourself at the same time. It’s a double whammy.
I myself often create new playlists when I feel overwhelmed because it’s something over which you can have complete control. Then, the act of listening to your playlist is a reward in itself, boosting your mood and helping to distract, – even if just long enough to get some perspective – from any anxieties or worries that might be weighing on your mind.
Of course, there are some fogs that we just can’t lift ourselves out of. However, Marilyn Manson once said: “Music is the strongest form of magic” and I must admit that when it comes to cheering yourself up, I can’t help but agree.
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