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One of the easy ways to shift your mood is with music. We all have songs that create emotional reactions. If the news reports of this weekend have left you feeling drained, consider playing something upbeat to lift your mood. Sometimes it’s the memories of when you first heard a song that take you back to a better mood. NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programing) explains that shift as an association between the stimulus of hearing the music and the emotional state that it brought you in the past. The music provides an anchor to a certain emotional response.

Not only can music bring back a better mood, something with “a good beat and you can dance to it” as American Bandstand often said, will get your blood pumping and your body moving. Moving your body will help your body process the cortical steroids or stress hormones that can wreck havoc on your health. Whether you choose a Sousa march or SuperFreak, even tapping your toes or dancing in your seat will help you shift the energy.

Perhaps you need music to soothe your savage beast. The song “Driftaway” helps me let go of whatever thoughts are racing around that hamster wheel in my mind. Music can give us distance from the demands of the moment and reduce those feelings of being overwhelmed.

Protest songs are what I was raised hearing. When I need to gather my courage to fight back or steady my nerve to keep going, music from the sixties reminds me that I’m part of something bigger. The Times They Are A Changin’ gives me hope that we will continue to grow as a country and as a people. The message of protest music, be it Bob Dylan or Hamilton, will continue to inspire people to make a difference in the world.