Music Makes Me Feel Alive

This blog series, #30DaysofGratitude, hopes to share bits of gratitude and create an awareness of how gratitude can change our mindset.

Every day this month, I, along with other writers, teachers and friends, will post about all things gratitude. Come along for the ride and let me know what you are most grateful for every day - I know we can inspire one another.

Written By: Dianne Banta

There is a radio show I absolutely love.  It’s on the Bravo Satellite Channel, called 'My Favorite Song.'  The host Jonathan Benjamin Hickey has my dream job.

I love music.  I am so grateful for music. 

Hickey interviews celebrities/politicians about their favorite songs.  He introduces the song category (see at the end of this post),  they discuss their song choices and then he plays said song.  This show..this silly show…exemplifies two things so perfectly:  

1.  You can describe your life through music.  

2.  You can tell A LOT about a person by their song choices

Think about it. These people come on this show, talk about their songs, and almost always end up talking about the most pivotal moments in their lives.  I know their age by the decades of the songs they choose. I know where they’ve lived because of the concerts they've attended.  I learn about their loves, if they have children, and so much more. 

Music is a constant in our lives. Through time, we may not have had access to home movies or photographs, but I can always play Faithfully by Journey and it takes me back to my senior prom.  Close your eyes and I bet you can pick out a song for most of the milestones in your life. 

We can learn so much about each other from our playlists.  For example, if you look at my favorite songs, you can clearly see I like cheesy seventies songs, upbeat happy running songs, and folk/acoustic yoga songs. I could ask you your favorite songs and get a fairly true picture of you. Music does that. Whether you want it to or not, music can be a window into your personality. I love that.

Blaring a song on my phone is the purest, easiest, mood enhancer ever. Remember Christina and Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy?  When they got too stressed out, they would put on music and “dance it out”.  Cheap, simple, and effective. 

I am around music a lot. I teach yoga and make at least nine playlists a week. I used to worry I would run out of music.  Ha!  Old songs are like the best of friends, they just get better the longer they are around.   And new songs, like new friends, appear if you put a little work into finding them.

I have connected with my teenage kids through music, they help me find music and I do the same for them. Even their friends have texted me with new songs, knowing that I am always looking for them. Music is the universal age equalizer…old and young.

Some people say music can take them to a place of pain or a particularly hard time. And while I certainly can appreciate that, music can also help you heal. I heard an interview once by a man who said he learned to cry through music. His father never let him cry or show any emotion, and as an adult, he battled addiction. One way that he finally learned to show emotion, was by playing songs that made him feel and slowly allowed himself to cry.

Music, if you let it, can move you through your emotions and into the present moment. What a gift.

To be fully embraced by laughter, joy, sadness or despair in a song is something I am grateful for:  it tells me I am alive. It lightens my mood, decreases stress, and helps to release emotion, even through tears. What about you?  Now its your turn, go ahead,  think of your favorite songs, turn on the radio, crank them up, and sing!

Show us your favorites in the comments below!

Dianne’s Favorite Song (At this moment :)):

Best Dance Song:  Build me up Buttercup or September

Best Love Song:  The First Time ever I saw you Face 

Best Country Song:  Take me Home Country Road

Best Song from a Movie:  Memories (Barbra Streisand) from the Way We Were, or Tiny Dancer from Almost Famous 

Best TV Theme Song:  Love Boat or Gilligans Island

Best single performance in a concert:  Bruce Springstein Rosalita or Coldplay Up & Up

My Favorite Song:  Solsbury Hill Peter Gabriel

Dianne Banta is a yoga instructor at Forever Om Yoga in Lake Forest. She lives with her husband, three children and her dog. She loves music and loves to cry.

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Related Post: Music - The Ultimate Time Machine

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