How Music Can Make You Happy When You Need It

I genuinely love listening to music, from Classic Rock to Salsa. Music gives me an automatic happy-go-lucky boost, even when I don’t need a mood lift. It takes my mind to a higher level of satisfaction, excitement, and joy for life.

This goes for when I’m in the car too, you can bet I’m bumping those tunes. I’m that crazy lady who’s sitting in the driver seat singing and dancing with no shame. I’ve passed this talent down to my kids as they rock right along with me!

My mom’s side of the family has always, had a heart and soul for singing and dancing and I mean we get our boogie on! She’s 1 of 11 children and I have 40 first cousins.  We are a force to be reckoned with when we all get together. I guess we have my late grandmother who peacefully passed last October at the young age of 97 to thank for the passion we all share. She had a hip replaced when she was in her late 70’s so she can continue to dance at the senior center. If that’s not loving life, determination and a bit of craziness, I don’t know what is?

I’m in my mid 40’s but I can clearly recall specific childhood memories like it was yesterday. The ones that hold a stronger attachment to, involve music. My grandma always cooked and cleaned with Mexican music on and I too do the same. I like my house clean but that doesn’t mean I like the work that’s involved. But when I turn on my music, it’s less painful. 

I remember walking into my grandma’s house after a day at Preschool or Kinder, where my youngest uncle lived at (he passed at a young age due to a health issue) and was blaring Donna Summer, Michael Jackson- Off the Wall album to be specific and Diana Ross.  It was an instant uplift even at that age. I can always count on having a great time when visiting.

Without going into deep neuroscience, music has the capability of boosting our mood. Neuroscientist has found that music releases the “feel good hormone” dopamine. Research has also found music to be effective and therapeutic for people who suffer from head traumas and even Alzheimer’s, due to the music causing stimulation through our brain, specifically the Hippocampus which is related to our memories.

Music is a powerful and effective mindset tool when one uses it. I’m not talking about putting on slow songs when you have feelings of sadness, as that may not be effective. If you sense anxiousness or stress, soothing music may be the way to go. Upbeat and fun music can bring a smile to your face when you need it the most.

Many athletes will listen to their favorite song or singer before their event. Allowing them to get “pumped up” focus deeply and or reduce stress levels. Students who are nervous about an exam or a person who has butterflies due to an upcoming job interview can also benefit from music, helping them get into a relaxed mindset.

Personally, I can use specific songs to trigger meaningful and happy moments I’ve experienced even as a youngster. That feeling I get down to the pit of my stomach is priceless and extra special as it’s my very own mind that can produce this reaction.

If you currently don’t have any memories or feelings associated with music it’s not too late.  You have the choice and opportunity to make your own positive, feel-good thoughts at this very moment. Give it a try!

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