As we say goodbye to August, kick back with attitude!

I’m curious to know how you’ve liked Kick Back Fridays this month.  Do comment below, and let me know.  As you’ll have guessed by now, I love listening to music, and I choose what I listen to according to my mood and what I’m doing.  It’s a known fact that music can change your mood, as my jazz-loving husband has learned to recognise: wife reaching for the knife drawer=change the music!

This week’s tune is designed to lift your mood.  It’s one of those tunes that has you smiling as soon as you hear it (at least that’s my intention, so if you feel a “knife drawer” moment coming on, when listening, please turn it off immediately!)

There’s a whole lot of brain science around what makes a good tune, and how connecting with music releases dopamine, a feelgood hormone, into your system.  Just Google “music and brain” and have a look at all the interesting studies that have been carried out proving the benefits to very young (a mother singing a lullaby to her baby) and elderly (patients with Alzheimers and other forms of dementia demonstrating significant mood improvements when listening to their favourite pieces).  And we’ve  all experienced how a particular piece of music seems to attach itself to memories, which come back vividly when we hear it, or make us well up, smile or maybe even dance, as this week’s piece, Happy by Pharell Williams is designed to do.

So, while you listen to it, try these:

  • concentrate completely on the music, and nothing else.  As best you can, focus on the words, tune, changing rhythms: effectively lose yourself within it.  This is mindfulness, as much as sitting quietly, focusing on your breathing, and will have the same beneficial effects.
  • If you’re in the mood to do something more physical, you could always have a little dance, as in “dance like no-one’s watching”!  Maybe best in the comfort of your own home, this one, although I’m sure some of you would also be happy to go for it anywhere you happen to be at the time.
  • Afterwards, have a think about other songs that make you joyful. Make them into a playlist to use on days when you need a little boost.

I hope you’v enjoyed your Kick Back Fridays as much as I’ve enjoyed choosing the music!  As always, I’d recommend just a few minutes taken just for you every day, doing something which brings you happiness, and that may well be listening to some great music.  No, it won’t get rid of all the bad stuff, but it’s yet another valuable tool in your resilience toolbox.  Happy listening everyone and bring on September now: we’re ready!

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About Marianna Beckwith