With Blue Monday having just passed, it is easy to see why people feel the blues in the month of January. It was a created formula, and then named so by a psychology lecturer for the third Monday in January. It is because it is the time of year when we are cold, the mornings are dark, all the celebrations of the festive season are over, and the summer we look forward to still seems so far away in the distant future.
What can be done to lift this solemn mood of little hope? A good start to try to start moving to the blues and any other music that stimulates your rhythm and soul, to change that slumber mode of down and out lethargy. Start playing all the music that motivates you to get up and go, sing along to, dance to, whatever it is that you are doing, be it cooking, cleaning, working, driving, travelling, listening to music on the beach. Playing music of different genres can take you back, remind you of beautiful times you have had and places you have been to, it can help recreate that good mood and aid you to look forward to the next vacation or events ahead.
Music has the benefits of reducing stress, it can relieve the symptoms of depression, it elevates mood, it can stimulate memories, it can manage and ease pain, it can help reduce a heart rate, lower blood pressure, it can decrease the stress level hormone cortisol and it can increase the serotonin and endorphin levels in the blood that can make us feel happy and almost euphoric.
Music can boost the brain’s production of the hormone dopamine, and with the increased dopamine production, it can help relieve the feelings of anxiety. Music is processed directly by the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is involved and deals with mood and emotions. It is the part of the brain that also plays the role in decision making, emotional responses which includes fear, aggression, along with anxiety.
Amygdala comes from the Greek word Amygdale, meaning ‘almond’, due to this almond-like shape structure part of the brain.
Music is known to stimulate memories, and where there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or Dementia, music therapy has shown to relieve some of the symptoms. Music therapy can relax an agitated patient, lift the mood and open communication in the patients.
The recognition and understanding of the tone and pitch are handled by the auditory cortex part of the brain. This part of the brain works hard to also analyse a song’s melody and the harmony. How clever is our brain and body to do that, work out some dance moves to go with it, and then remember them all.
Music can also help people eat less; simply by dimming the lights with some slow music playing in the background and eating a meal, can help people slow down while eating and ultimately consume less food in the one sitting.
Working out to music can be the make or break of that workout session. Listening to those top workout tracks can intensify your workout as it can boost the physical performance and increase the endurance level during a tough workout.
All tired out and need to unwind, that switch to some calming music can take you into a relaxed state and can also assist with sleeping.
We all like and appreciate different genres of music in the varied life schedules we deal with – from rhythm and blues, country music, classical, folk, opera and rock, to pop, house, techno, trance, hip hop, soul, reggae and world music.
So whether we are getting our wake up for the day going on, driving, working, training and exercise, dancing and partying, relaxing dining, calm and unwind, the choice of music is vital for getting the maximum benefit out of our chosen task.
Choose music for the soul and ‘Let Music Be The Food Of Love’.

Love and Sparkles
Samsara x

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