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Health | Lifestyle
Your Playlist Can Change Your Life Learn how music can supply
motivation, relieve anxiety and increase well-being. By Emelina Minero
up by listening to a ballad, or sung
joyfully about new love to an uptempo
anthem is familiar with the power of music
to energise you, make you smile, soothe
your broken heart. But what if listening
to music could actually revolutionise your
mental health? Improving your quality
of life can begin with selecting the right
playlist, say Galina Mindlin, MD, PhD,
Don DuRousseau, MBA, and Joseph
Cardillo, PhD, the authors of Your Playlist
Can Change Your Life.
But how is that possible? It’s achieved
by manipulating your brainwaves. Don’t
panic, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
Beta, alpha, theta and delta are the names of
brainwave frequencies. Beta is your waking
state; alpha and theta are lower frequencies.
Alpha represents a relaxed mental state;
theta, the barely conscious state between
sleep and wakefulness. Delta is the deep-
sleep state. You can choose music that
matches these frequencies to alter your state
of mind and achieve the one you want.
Through music, you can send yourself
subliminal messages to cultivate more focus,
gain energy and achieve a mood. It can also
relieve anxiety, sharpen your memory, acti-
vate your creativity, increase your alertness
and productivity, and enhance your ability
to stave off stress, insomnia, depression and
Here are six tips to get you started.
Pick songs that you like a lot. Regardless
of the state of mind you want to achieve, if
you love a song on your playlist, it will am-
plify the effect you’re going for. Also, pay at-
tention to the emotions you associate with
certain songs. If a specific song makes you
happy, play it often. If you notice that a
song puts you in a downer mood, even if
it’s a beautiful song, refrain from including
it in your playlist.
Pay attention to when a certain song
works and when it doesn’t. The same
song could put you in a great mood while
you’re on your way to work, but irritate you
when you’re waking up. Pay attention to
when and how a song affects you.
Ingrain songs into your memory. When
you find a song that is perfect for a given
situation, like a song that motivates you
when you work out or puts you in a good
mood when you wake up, repeat that song
during those times. Before you know it,
simply listening to that song will instantly
put you in the right mood.
To become more efficient, create playl-
ists that are task-specific. Make different
playlists for different tasks: a playlist for
driving home from work, a morning wake-
up playlist, a workout playlist, a bedtime
playlist. When you switch playlists, it will
help you easily transition from one state
of mind to another, helping you transition
from one activity to another.
Look for new and old songs. Keep your
playlist updated with songs that you love.
Take time to look for new and old songs
that really resonate with you to add to your
playlist. If a song loses its appeal, remove it
from your playlist.
Use guided imagery. If you want to
achieve relaxation, or any mental state,
recall an image or a memory when you listen
to a specific song. Focus on that memory
and how it made you feel—emotionally,
energetically and physically. After you’ve
practiced guided imagery with a specific
song, the song will bring up those feelings
and that associated memory whenever you
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