Tune Your Brain: Pick Me Up Playlist

I’ve been thinking about the ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ after seeing it on ai love music who was nominated by creator Laura Spoonie. In honor of Mental Health day on October 10, she started this tag to talk about 10 songs that you would consider part of your Pick Me Up Playlist.

It made me remember that I once had made such a list after reading a book about the topic called Tune Your Brain: Using Music to Manage Your Mind, Body, and Mood  by Elizabeth Miles. I remember thinking the book was genius at the time and was sad I couldn’t find my copy when I looked in my stacks.

Basically, the book talks about the effect different types of music has on your brain, your tune_your_brain_cds.jpegautonomic nervous system, and biorhythms to create the different moods and bodily reactions. It shows you how to use music and recommends music to:

  • Energize – wake up, recharge, before a performance
  • Relax – when you’re feeling stressed, want to go to sleep
  • Focus – when you need to concentrate
  • Heal – stay calm during a medical procedure, stimulate your immune system
  • Uplift – break bad mood, lift depression
  • Cleanse – manage anger, vent frustration, handle problem relationships, face grief
  • Create – solve problems, access right brain imagery

The book talks about using Beats Per Minute (BPM) to choose music that will put you into each zone. You can count BPM by tapping your feet along with the music. Each tap is a beat and the total for a minute is the BPM.

Uplifting music tended to be between 90 and 140 Beats Per Minute. There are also Apps that will help you count BPMs and I’ve seen lists online of BPM counts of songs.

The chapters have sample songs and playlists listed for many genres. Jazz/Funk, Classical, Swing/Big Band, Rock, Country, Hip Hop, Soul, Gospel, Choral, Musicals, and Funny Songs were just some of the songs listed in the uplift section. I liked how many songs she listed. It discovered many new songs in her lists.

There are also curated CDs around specific mood states. I still have a Tune Your Brain with Beethoven – Uplift and Focus CDs (pictured above). I still listen to them from time to time. I like the Focus CD when I need to work or write and am having trouble concentrating. I find it to be good background music.

Revisiting My Own Playlist

Though I lost the original playlist I made when I read the book the first time, I had a few playlists on my phone I forgot about including Happy Songs. There were many more than 10 songs, so I tried to pick my top uplifting 10. In looking at the BPM, they don’t all fit between the 90 – 140 limit, but like Miles says in the book, the most important thing about music is how it makes you feel.

  1. Din Din Wo (Little Child), Habib Koite and Bamadahappy _songs_playlist
  2. Life is Beautiful, Keb’ Mo’
  3. Take Me Home Country Roads, Toots & the Maytals
  4. Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles
  5. Henehene Kou ‘Aka, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  6. On the Sunny Side of the Street, Louis Armstrong
  7. Sunshine Go Away Today, Jonathon Edwards
  8. Orgullecida, Buena Vista Social Club
  9. Float On, Modest Mouse
  10. It’s Alright, Dar Williams

If you want to play along with the Pick Me Up Playlist, here are the rules:

  1. Link back to ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ creator – Laura Spoonie
  2. Tag the blogger who nominated you
  3. Mention how music helps your Mental Health
  4. List 10 songs that you would consider to be a part of your ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ (optional: mention a little bit why each song is on your list)
  5. Tag 10 other bloggers to join in with the ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ Challenge

Have fun and happy listening!

One last thing …

Vote for me for audience favorite! I’ve been named a non-fiction finalist in the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities Pen2Paper contest for Without a NetVoting closes November 3.

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Add Yours
  1. Sherry

    I love this! You have a great playlist as well. I saw Take Me Home Country Roads on your playlist and immediately was singing and smiling. 🙂 I love the suggestion to actually create playlists for the various functions within us that we are focusing on. You have me reflecting once again… which is great!

    • Catherine Lanser

      I’m going to look at her suggestions for Heal again. I’ve needed something to listen to during a migraine, but I’d definitely need to make before I had one.

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