How Curating the Perfect Playlist Can Improve Your Life

“Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.” —Tom Petty

The late, great Tom Petty was definitely on to something. Research has shown that music can boost happiness, lift your mood, reduce anxiety. If that’s not “magic,” I don’t know what is!

You know I’m all about happiness. And I live in a fairly anxiety-ridden body. So yeah … music plays a pretty big part in my life!

I get asked about my playlists all the time, by friends, acquaintances, even by attendees of my Strobel Ed and Happiness trainings. It seems I’m not the only one who recognizes the power music can have on our minds, bodies, and souls.

Of course (because I’m me), I have what I call my Happiness Playlist. This is my go-to when I need an energy boost, when I need to get my groove on, or when I simply need to change the direction of my downward thoughts. (You’ll find everything from The Beatles to Bruno Mars.) The right song really can shift my Negative Nellie thought patterns!

Because gratitude is such a big part of my life, I have go-to songs for when I’m in an appreciative kind of mood. They’re soulful, contemplative tunes that put me in the frame of mind to truly recognize all of the good I have in my life. Two artists I love: Jai-Jagdeesh and India.Arie.

And because I can be on the high-energy side, I also have an awesome sleepy-time playlist. It’s a one-hour guided meditation for sleep. I use it to decompress at the end of a long day and keep my mind from racing with thoughts of the next day’s to-do list. It’s also a great way to soothe myself back to sleep after those inconvenient, middle-of-the-night potty runs. I just pop in my earbuds, and it’s lights out!

These are some of the ways I use the music that I love. But there’s no wrong or right way to embrace the power of music. No song touches two people in the same way; a song that inspires tears of sadness in one person can bring tears of joy to another.

So, take this as permission to turn up your favorite song. Sing out loud or hum along. Dance like no one’s watching or simply sit and enjoy the soothing sounds. Listen in the car, at home, at work, wherever you are.

There are no rules when it comes to the ways you enjoy music. And that’s the real magic.

Question: What’s on your playlist? Your favorite song to dance to? The one that always makes you cry? Your most-played tunes? Share in the comments below.