By Sanjana Ramachandran
I am writing this article for those girls out there who are suffering from post-music festival blues including myself. Loreto Normanhurst became heaven on Tuesday and Thursday lunches when the voices of all the eight houses collided across the corners of the school. Didn’t it?
Don’t worry! I have got a cure!
Music has many benefits in addition to releasing dopamine i.e. the pleasure chemical. It reduces stress and anxiety, can allow us to focus on the present moment, can increase motivation, can relieve chronic pain, and can be combined with healthy eating and exercise to achieve optimal wellbeing.
Here are seven ways to add more music into your lives:
1. Wake up to music: One of the ways to become an early riser is to reduce the pain of waking up in the morning thinking about a hectic day at school or work. Instead, music can increase your motivation to get an education and get that job promotion instead. Apps such as the Alarm Clock Extreme App will allow you to choose any music as an alarm tone. Some song options for a morning alarm include: ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii, ‘Downtown’ by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and ‘Viva La Vida’ by Coldplay.
2. Play music during your commute: For many people, commute is one of the most stressful things especially if you are going to reach school late - something I go through a lot. Listening to music on public transport can allow you to live in the moment and embrace the lateness a bit more. Having a more positive commute will help you to be more productive for the day and retain a good mood. Good commute songs include: ‘Fast Car’ by Tracy Chapman, ‘Mornings’ by Portugal the Man, and ‘Where Have You Been’ by Rihanna.
3. Play music while doing household chores: Most people hate household chores like cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry and putting away groceries. One of the ways to make routine chores more fun is by putting on music. You could probably have a kitchen floor that is so clean even when you don’t expect. Songs that can be played when doing household chores include: ‘Mirrors’ by Justin Timberlake, ‘We Found Love’ by Rihanna, and ‘Black or White’ by Michael Jackson.
4. Play music while studying: I agree that music can be a distraction to learning. However, it is okay to listen to calm music that doesn’t keep you moving your feet. Music can actually increase your motivation to study and can also improve our memory of what we have learnt. Songs that can be played with books and pens include: ‘Supermarket Flowers’ by Ed Sheeran, ‘One Call Away’ by Charlie Puth, and ‘YOUTH’ by Troye Sivan.
5. Listen to music before bed: Studies show that songs with a slow Tempo can help you to fall sleep. Lyz Cooper of the British Academy of Sound therapy explains that you should look for songs that are relaxing and put you in a happy mood in order to put you to good sleep. Some songs to listen to in order to prepare for bed include: ‘Halo’ by Beyoncé, ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran, and ‘All of Me’ by John Legend.
6. Use music to strategically control your emotions: Music is good for you if you feel stressed, unhappy, tired, lazy and distracted by any events in your life. Music can also enhance positive emotions like happiness, excitement and motivation and thus allow you to achieve optimal wellbeing. Mood-boosting songs include: ‘Down’ by Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne, ‘Party Rock Anthem’ by LMFAO, and ‘These Days’ by Rudimental ft. Macklemore.
7. Go and watch concerts of your favourite artists: Music can also create opportunities for social bonding through concerts which have a vibrant social atmosphere. I went for an Ed Sheeran concert with my family very recently and we were able to just bond with each other through dancing and singing to make wonderful memories (Still have post-concert blues from that). Some upcoming concerts in Sydney include: Niall Horan on the 5th of June, and Katy Perry on the 13th, 14th and 15th of August.