Music does amazing things to our brains. It can pump us up with its high energy (Beetles), make us cry with it’s long melodic chords (just about any movie with the death scene of a beloved character), or build anticipation and scare us with its repetition of a single note (think Jaws). Damn you, Cinema! I shake my fist at you! How do you know me so well?!
Alas, it’s not just me. We all just love music and what it does to us. Remember when you were younger and had your first break up? You locked yourself in your room and listened to sad songs, didn’t you? Or that time you were old enough to watch your first horror movie, and you covered your eyes in anticipation of the scary event because suspenseful music was building to a climax? Music did all of that. It moves us in ways that nothing else can. It speaks to us on many levels. The music might be the creation of another person, but you know there is at least one song that speaks directly to you.
Knowing that music has such a strong connection with everything that we do, it only makes sense that you create multiple playlists for life. I have three essential playlists to get me through the days. They are essential. There are days I am certain I would not make it without them.
If you’ve ever visited Washington near the Seattle area, you know that traffic sucks. Being from Omaha, Nebraska, I knew traffic was completely different in my new home. I could let it get the best of me and be that person with road rage who cuts others off and shakes my fist (or finger), or I could take it for what it is… time to listen to my favorite music.
I have a couple of playlists that I use for driving. One is my workout playlist, but I’ll discuss that one in a little bit. The other playlist I use for driving consists of an eclectic mix that spans genres and decades. The one criteria for this playlist? I know the words to all of the songs. I can belt them out at will while driving down the highway (or parked on the highway) with the windows down and breeze tearing at my hair. These are the songs that I never get tired of listening to. Some of my songs include:
Olly Murs and Demi Lovato – “Up”
Relient K – “Must Have Done Something Right”
The Outfield – “Your Love”
A-ha – “Take On Me”
Trust Company – “Downfall”
The Fray – “Love Don’t Die”
Jimmy Eat World – “Pain”
Seven Mary Three – “My My”
Scorpions – “No One Like You”
Seether – “Remedy”
Big n Rich – “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”
The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black
The Beach Boys – “God Only Knows”
I could go on and on. I have over 100 songs on this playlist, and it makes me happy. I’ve been listening to it for almost two years now. I just keep adding when I think of another song that I want or a new one comes out that I just love. You see, it takes anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes to go twenty miles on my way to work each morning. Truthfully, the traffic has no effect on me. I know I need to give myself an hour and fifteen minutes, so I do. Then I just listen to my music. What better way to spend my time than listening to music that makes me happy? (Okay. Okay. Sometimes I listen to self-improvement podcasts and audio books, but the music is ALWAYS playing on the way home.)
Playlist 2: The Workout
I teach a couple of senior fitness classes five days out of the week. I have a playlist created specifically for them after asking them for their favorite bands. It was kind of humorous that I already had iTunes music of all their requests with the exception of one despite the fact that my class members are all a good thirty to fifty years older than I am. Their playlist consists of music they simply like. They don’t have the need to be pumped up by loud and fast music. I’m not going to sugarcoat it; I do. I absolutely love their playlist, but I could never work out to it. I have to have music that gets my heart pounding, my fingers thumping, and my brain thinking about how I’m going to kill my workout. This playlist includes music that makes me feel strong, sexy, and invincible:
David Guetta/Nicki Minaj feat. Skylar Grey – “Rise” (freaking love this song!)
House of Pain – “Jump Around”
Flo Rida – “Right Round”
P.O.D – “Alive”
Hoobastank – “Out of Control”
Sum 41 – “We’re All to Blame”
Plain White T’s – “Revenge”
Three Days Grace – “Riot”
Foo Fighters – “Monkey Wrench”
Olly Murs – (pretty much anything by him)
Billy Idol – “Rebel Yell”
Sometimes the music itself might not seem like it’s sexy or powerful, but it might come from a movie soundtrack that has strong female leads that are sexy and/or powerful. I love the music from Charlie’s Angels. Yes, it was a cheesy film (that I loved), but we’re talking about its music for now. And I love music from any dance movie.
Playlist 3: Cleaning
If I’m not playing a Scooby Doo! DVD (you read that correctly), I’m listening to anything fast and upbeat to get my clean on. These are songs that just make me happy. Let’s face it. Cleaning does NOT make me happy until it’s done, so I need to fake it until I make it with my music. I’ve noticed that most of this music contains female artists. It’s kind of like my girl power playlist:
Icona Pop – “All Night”
Demi Lovato – “Give Your Heart a Break”
Megan and Liz – “Release You”
One Direction – “What Makes You Beautiful” (total guilty pleasure)
Simple Plan feat. MKTO – “Summer Paradise”
Al Green – “Let’s Stay Together” (this is from the On the Line soundtrack so it’s a remake with an awesome beat)
Bodyrox feat. Chipmunk – “Bow Wow Wow”
These songs all have great beats, so I can bebop while I scrub the tub. It’s a good one to listen to in the busy grocery store, too. I have no qualms about listening to music that makes me happy when I’m in situations that could cause stress.
What are your favorite songs in your playlists and what do you use your playlists for?