I love the way the right song can nurture my soul while soothing my mind. My playlist becomes medicinal and my earbuds serve as the IV drip--administering the perfect dosage of beats, rhymes and voices to rejuvenate my life. I'm sure many of us have a personal prescription of tunes designed to maintain our sanity, lift our spirits or summon our inner sexy.
Now there is clinical evidence touting the physical benefits of music. In a recent CNN article
, a cardiologist has been researching the effects of music on the heart and concludes, "music may be one of the best de-stressors--either by playing or listening." The following three concepts demonstrate how music impacts your body as well as your soul and mind:
- However you choose to define it, good music has the power to heal
- In contrast, bad music can often contribute to the existing stressors in your life
- Listening to your favorite song over and over can lose its healing properties with each press of the 'repeat' button.
Foreign Exchange's "Daykeeper" is filled with the musical heat I need to melt away my blues. When listening to "good music," it relaxes our bodies and relieves tension. In addition to stress relief, studies have shown that good tunes can cause our bodies to release chemicals that protect our heart, open blood vessels and may reduce aging.
On the flip side, "bad music" can have the same effect as that co-worker who gets on your last nerve or the idiot that cut you off on the highway. When that song by <insert obnoxious, flavor-of-the-month artist here> comes on and you say, "Oh hell no!" as you frown up and change the station--there's a chance your blood vessels have tightened up in response to that horrific sound. Too much stress can seriously disturb the sexy.
So you've got your playlist going and there's that one song you absolutely must hear more than five times in a row. I'm sure you have more than one "go-to" song so keep your iPod on shuffle in order to bring the joy of a fresh, new song in your ear. As the good doctor stated:
"Be careful what you listen to. Whether you like Beyoncé or the B-52s, Chopin or Johnny Cash, listening repeatedly to the same tune diminished the music's effects on the body."
So what does all this have to do with soul music? Think of the happiness you feel, despite your circumstances, when the right song comes on by your favorite singer. Our affinity for artists like Maxwell, Angie Stone, Raphael Saadiq and Jill Scott isn't solely rooted in their aesthetics or album promotion. Their expressions are directly tied to our memories, our moods and our lifestyle. This music makes us feel good because it is truly good for us.
Whether your diagnosis is work stress, family woes, finances or just getting through the day without slapping a bamma into next week--I encourage you to put together a fly playlist filled with the tracks that speak to the trifecta of healing your mind, body and soul. Be sure to stay away from songs that make your blood boil and fight the temptation to play your all-time classic into the ground. At the end of the day, you will be happier and healthier for it.
What song you would you prescribe first? Let us know in the comments.