Listen to this playlist and call me in the morning

Apr 28, 2012

Do you use your playlist to enhance a mood?

Sony’s Walkman and Apple’s iPod are the two most famous gadgets that put a person’s record collection in their pocket, allowing us to walk around with our own personal life soundtrack.

Author Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel “High Fidelity” and its movie adaptation elevated the practice of creating personalized playlists to high art as the story’s protagonist – a record store owner and music expert – created playlists of specific songs for particular life experiences. Now, a new book by a trio of neuroscientists and psychologists, “Your Playlist Can Change Your Life,” has taken the concept a step farther.

The book is subtitled “10 Proven Ways Your Favorite Music Can Revolutionize Your Health, Memory, Organization, Alertness and More,” and the authors’ research led them to believe that music can be used as a prescription to address and affect physical and mental states of being. In the book, the researchers contend that you can change brain physiology and blood chemistry with music and they provide exercises and sample playlists for things like to revving you up for an important meeting (Van Halen?) or calming you down after a stressful day (Vivaldi?), as well as techniques for creating your own playlists to increase your quality of life.

How do you use music to alter your mood? What songs get you going… or bring you back down?


Joseph Cardillo Ph. D., professor and author in holistic psychology and mind-body medicine. His books include “Be Like Water.”

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