My current emphasis: how to make good habits and break bad ones (really)

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Want to Feel Happier? Listen to a Favorite Song.

Laurie Berkner

I’m working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in — no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project.

Research demonstrates – and everyday experience confirms – that one of the simplest, easiest ways to boost your mood and your energy is to listen to your favorite upbeat music. Music can have an enormous influence on your state of mind (of course, it can make you feel melancholy as well as happy). In fact, studies show that listening to a choice of music during medical procedures can lower a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety level.

So, if you’re feeling blue, put on some of your favorite cheerful music. It can have a quick and dramatic effect. It’s a particularly useful strategy when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed; tackling a nagging task boosts happiness, too, but it’s not the same kind of quick fix.

I experienced this phenomenon this morning. One thing that I’ve accepted about myself, as I follow my Personal Commandment to Be Gretchen, is that I don’t have much appreciation for music. I wish I enjoyed music more, but I don’t.

I rarely listen to music; sometimes I wear my iPod when I’m exercising, but not often. Every once in a while, though, I fixate on a song I really love.

This morning, for some reason, I thought of an old favorite as I was helping my younger daughter get dressed for school. She’s on an audiobook kick, so she hasn’t been listening to music much, but I pulled out Laurie Berkner’s terrific CD Buzz Buzz
and skipped ahead to my favorite song, “There’s a Little Wheel A-Turnin’ in My Heart.”

Ah, I felt my mood soar. I love that song. And I love the title! Very Buddhist.

I wish I could include a clip, but I can’t figure out how to link to the sample on iTunes, and I couldn’t find one anywhere else. (Please post if you find it.)

Is there a particular song you know will boost your mood, if you listen to it? Do you play it when you need a lift?

* I loved this story about a pothole gardener. A British bicyclist who is also a “mad keen gardener” planted flowers in potholes to put other bicyclists on the alert.

* The book The Happiness Project has been bouncing around the New York Times bestseller list for SEVENTEEN WEEKS now! – including hitting #1! Yay! You can…
Order your copy!
Read sample chapters!
Watch the one-minute book trailer!
Join the discussion on the Facebook Page!
Watch the 30-second commercial that aired on TV!