The Benefits of a Positive Playlist

This story was written 60 days before Retirement.

There is power in music.  

The power to move us.  To make us smile. To make us cry. Music can bring back memories of the good and the bad. It can spur us to action, or it can sap our strength.

When we were young, allowances didn’t go too far.  My friends and I used to listen to the radio with our cassette recorders ready – fingers poised to mash the ‘record’ button when one of our favorite songs started paying. That’s how we created mix tapes.

Old school.

Nearly a half century later our lives are in some ways simpler.  Now we can control what that next song is and with it, how we feel.  

The choice is ours.

“Bright, cheerful music can make people of all ages feel happy, energetic, and alert, and music even has a role in lifting the mood of people with depressive illnesses.”

Harvard Men’s Health Watch

Turn the Beat Around

Today turned sour on me quickly.  Nothing in particular, everything in general.  My wife is a thousand miles away, getting our home ready for retirement. On my end, I’m winding down work – and our life in a city we’ve lived in for eleven years. Perhaps cleaning out my office yesterday took more out of me than I realized. I was not in a good mood from the time I woke up, and this weekend alone in a one-bedroom apartment was just getting worse.

Time for music.

Only Good Vibrations

When I started downloading music, I made a deliberate choice.  I would only choose positive songs.  Period.  I do like a lot of songs that aren’t positive, but for the songs in my playlists – only uplifting vibes would be allowed. Life can be difficult enough without reinforcing the negative. Why do that?

The Benefits of my Positive Playlist - "Forward."
My Playlist – “Forward”

My playlists are broken down further into the types of songs I might need at certain times.  Today when I needed to break my funk, I went to my list called “Forward.”  As in power ahead, don’t look back.  That got me started cleaning and organizing, and my mood improved.  When it played through, I flipped to my “Happy & Upbeat” list.  That drove me through meal preparation for the evening and the week ahead.  I also have playlists for “Power” – such as working out with weights; or “Fast Exercise” for cardio time.  And there are others as well.

But every song on every playlist strikes a positive note.

Soon I’ll close out the day, with music lifting me up and putting my mind and body at rest. The final playlist of the evening is soft and relaxing. It’s one that I simply titled – “Sleep.”

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