"Music has charms to soothe a savage breast," William Congreve
“It’s only Rock and Roll but I like it” Rolling Stones
Have you ever had a crappy day, then you get into your car to go home, and that song you love comes on the radio.
You turn up the volume (and if you are like me, you sing along) and the next thing you know, you feel lighter and happier than you were just a few minutes ago?
That is the amazing, wonderful and magical power of music.
As a kid, I discovered that music impacted what I was feeling about myself and even how I felt about my life. The tempos, the lyrics and the tunes were like emotional lessons and teaching me about the spectrum of emotions I was feeling as a child, and ones that I would eventually feel as I grew up. And later as an adult, living with all the complex emotions we experience, I realized music is a tool to curate the emotions you want to feel.
I think this ease of connection to music and its power to move us is a very base and intuitive thing impacting all humans and animals.
Did you ever make mixed tapes (or mixed CDs or MP3 mixes) for yourself? What songs did you put on there? What did they mean to you? Go back and dig one of them up and really listen to what you put together. It’s like this amazing time traveling experience. Did memories come rushing back as the songs remind you of things that were happening in your life?
When I have done this, played back an old mix, there are times I feel the sadness rush back to me, of the down state I must have been in when I created it. Or laughed out loud thinking about some stupid thing I did with a friend during that part in my life. The music mix reminding me of my earlier life.
In recent years, I switched from creating music mixes based on the state I was in at that moment, to creating music mixes to help me feel what I want to feel. Now, I intentionally curate music to help me heal, to help me be happier, to help me feel hope when I need it and when I want it.
Now, I create Audio Caffeine Mixes, songs filled with energy, throbbing beats that get my heart pumping and make me want to move just listening to them. Songs like Daft Punks’ “Harder, Better Faster, Stronger” and “Put your hands up in the Air” by Danzel.
Now, I create Hope Mixes when I am feeling down, feeling blocked or feeling hopeless. I play a mix of songs that tell me everything is going to be okay and to keep going, that I can do it, I just need to keep going. This soundtrack includes songs like “Stronger” from Kelly Clarkson, “Little Wonders” from Rob Thomas and “This is the Sea” by the Waterboys
And of course, I create Happiness Music Mixes to help me when I want to move into a happier state or simply boost the happy state I am already in.
So...Here is my current personal Happiness Soundtrack.
I hope it will inspire you to create one of your own:
1. Happy – Pharrell Williams
2. Chasing the Sun – The Wanted
3. Home – Philip Philips
4. How the Day Sounds – Greg Laswell
5. I Lived – OneRepublic
6. Levitate – Hadouken!
7. On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons
8. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
9. Sexy and I know it – LMFAO
10. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
11. Tounge Tied – GroupLove
12. You Fckn Did it (Live) Jason Mraz
13. The Best Day of My Life – American Authors
14. Ocean – John Butler
So there it is.
Now it’s your turn. As you listen to music on the radio, Pandora or on your audio library, pay attention to what makes you feel the way you want to feel. Try building a Happiness Soundtrack so you can play it back whenever you want or need it.
Please share what you create. I’d love to hear what you included in your mix!