Happiness Challenge Day 12

Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast. That sounds like a real fancy way to say music helps you calm your tits. Music is one of the few things on this happiness challenge that actually makes me happy. I love music. There’s not a whole lot of music I don’t listen to. You’d think I had some mental disorder if you looked at my playlists. Oh, wait.
I’m a fan of vibrations, energy, and the law of Attraction. You know all the hippy-dippy trippy kind of stuff. I have seen what music can do for people. I have playlist on YouTube for every mood. My most popular and played one is labeled “Happy Songs.” It’s my most played because I know the value of keeping your vibration up. I had a teacher who called it keeping your bobber up. The reasoning behind that was your the world is filled with negativity but you have got to keep floating. As the wise philosopher Dori said: Just keep swimming. I play the songs that remind me of good memories. I play songs that remind me of places, people and things. I have an app that plays nothing but music from the Disney parks. That alone is a great example of how music can affect you. Listening to music from the queue area of a ride and you’re there. You can smell the churros. You can feel the joy in the air. You can hear the toddler throwing a tantrum fueled by sugar and exhaustion.
Music transports us through time and space and places. When I hear Frank Sinatra, you might think I’m dreaming about Las Vegas or the forties. No. I am in a video store and it’s 1997. I’m the manager, my friends are all hanging out, and we’re listening to Friday with Frankie. I heard Barenaked Ladies “One Week” on Thursday. I was transported to my friend Yoda’s backyard. We had baby oil all over ourselves, lemon juice in our hair. That was the first time I heard that song
I love memories like that. I do have songs that I listen to when I’m raging. Most of those are Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie for when I’m in that kind of mood. I try not to listen to those types of songs when I’m coming into work or headed home. In fact, I try not to listen to anything negative any more. By negative I mean anything that puts me into a bad, angry, break things mood. It’s not a good idea to listen to music that causes you to want to break things as you’re driving.
See, much like that little bobber floating on the water, I’ve got to keep floating. The world’s pretty negative already. Throw that on top of the daily pressures we all have to deal with and we need all the help we can get. I know a lot of people would be shocked by this but I stopped watching the news. I will occasionally look at headlines, weather, traffic, how bad the Eagles lost again. I deal with a lot of negativity at work between the people calling me and the people around me. It can be really hard to keep my vibration up.

I’ve learned that I’m the kind of person people who need a other people to be happy. So when things are getting rough at work, I’m the one urging people to think about things that make them happy. A couple times, I’ve started gratitude chains on our work chat because vibrations are contagious. It kind of goes back to what I said earlier about if mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy. Stress isn’t the only thing that infiltrates people. Negativity can infect you and your colleagues if you’re not careful.

I saw that with my last job. The morale in that place was so terrible. I was the one who was in charge of boosting morale. I did what I could. I brought little Hershey bars because chocolate makes everything better. M&Ms for magnificent and marvelous Monday. I had people write things they liked about everyone else. But it wasn’t enough. That sort of thing, negativity, you can’t fight by yourself for long. If the people you’re working with are not willing to make that change for themselves, then no amount of sunshine, rainbows, kittens, and glitter is going to help make that situation any better.

And that’s why I listen to happy music when I drive into work. Admittedly, for this month I havent been listening to music when driving into work. I’ve actually been working on this book while driving in to work. It’s a twenty to thiety minute drive. I like making the most of my time. I have time coming home as well. That’s when I do listen to music. It helps to erase a bad day and start a new slate. It’s hard to be grumpy when you’re listening to Zippity Doo Dah or The Bare Necessities. Bruno Mars is really good for raising your vibes, too. Whenever you’re feeling down or that you’re incapable of doing something, Bruno is there to say, “Don’t believe me just watch.” It’s not a bad philosophy.
I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately about decorating for the holidays already. A few of my friends are listening to holiday music. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet. A few of my friends actually have their Christmas trees up. I’m going to assume they’re artificial. The trees, not my friends. I found myself listening to Christmas music, which is highly unusual for me. I’m usually the crazy chick yelling in Walmart when the Christmas merchandise goes up with the Halloween stuff.

Christmas isn’t always one of my favorite holidays. I understand why it is for a lot of people. It’s memories and family, warm sweaters and beautiful colors, food and presents. So I understand the allure of it. There have been studies done that suggest listening to Christmas music can boost your mood. If it’s what gets you through the holidays, it’s okay. Listen to a little bit of Jingle Bells to get you through the day. Go ahead. But please, for the love of God, do not play that Christmas Shoes song. That is the most depressing song ever. Seriously. Who thought a spng about a kid buying shoes for his dying mom was Christmassy? On the flip side, the most annoying Christmas song is that damed hippopotamus song. Oh. My. God. I loathe that little Ethel Merman sounding child. I hate so much everything about that song. There’s nothing about that song that makes me feel good or happy. It fills me with a murderous rage. That song makes me want to find the elf on the shelf and put him through a shredder. I want to bite the heads off of every gingerbread man. It makes me want to set fire to a gingerbread house.

I mentioned about playlists and how I have them for every mood. I’ve learned, popular among writerly folk, are playlists to spark our creativity. We will have a playlist for our chapters, characters, and scenes. It helps to get into the mood of what we’re writing. Music helps ignite the creative flame. It’s something that’s already creative made by other creative people. I know a lot of people who also use visual prompts, pictures of something, to help stroke their imagination and get the words flowing. There are playlists on YouTube just for helping you to write specific types of scenes. Fight scenes, love scenes, death scene, funny scenes. There is a website that has ambient noise. If you know your scene is taking place in a school, you can have the background sounds complete with kids and the sound of chalk and chairs. When I was writing “Mr. Christmas” I was able to find sounds of a funeral home. It sounded like a church but with an organ playing and soft crying. It really helped me get into the mind of someone who was raised in that kind of environment. What it would be like to be surrounded by that kind of sadness? It helped me understand what it could do to somebody that place. No spoilers here but nothing good happens to him.
Music is the one thing you can count on. An artist or band might let you down with one track or a bad concert. But that’s not the music. The music is doing what it was designed to do. That’s why I listen to a lot uplifting, high-energy, high vibe kind of music.

There’s not a whole lot of music that I won’t listen to. I will give anything a chance. So yes I’ve listen to Eminem and Metallica and Steam Powered Giraffe and Post Modern Jukebox. I listen to a genre called electro swing. It’s a mix of techno and old swing and jazz music. If you haven’t heard of electro swing I suggest go listen to it there are a couple of really great versions of Disney songs done in an electro swing style that are just perfect. I sing Disney songs at work. That shouldn’t be being as how I dress like a Disney character every day at work anyway.
Music is a such a huge part of my life. it comforts you on your loneliest, worst days. It lifts you up. It energizes you through your cycling class. It’s the one thing that’s constant. I will always be amazed by people who express themselves with instruments and with their voices. As long as they do, I will be there to listen.

I think part of the reason music resonates with so many people is because it isn’t just an energy thing. It’s an emotion based thing. One minute, you’re sitting there listening to this music. The next minute you’re saying, “Yeah. That’s me. That’s for me. This was written about me, for me, to me.” In that moment, we come to the realization that someone else feels the way we do. Someone else has those same feelings about this thing or this situation.

We live in a very me centered world right now. And to have something that doesn’t just speak for one person and means something to so many people is unifying. The music brings us together. Think about concerts where there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people coming together just to hear one person’s message through music.

Music is the message. It’s a message of life and love, struggle and pain. But it speaks to us. Not just in the words but the sound. What is sound? Sound is vibration. Sound is vibes. So when you sit there and you let the vibrations take you over, let them permeate you, not just your body and your ears but your entire being, You become one with the music. You become one with the message. For the brief moment, you stop being you. You join all these other people and energetic beings in a moment of sound energy.

I will mesh my energy with that of good vibrations and good music. I will dance with my family. I will sing with the radio (or Disney songs on the TV.) I will raise my vibration and infect people with my good mood. I will listen to the message. I will infuse my very being with feel good sounds.

Today, I will listen to music.


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