If you've received this via email click here to get to the web version and all the links.
I'm not much of a "just-listen-to-music'' kind of person. I wish I was. I figure I'm about the only person in the world whose IPOD is filled only with podcasts and books instead of music.
When I cook I love to listen to NPR. Science Friday. All Things Considered. The Car Talk Guys. Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
But I'm changing my ways. I finally get it. Today I found my long lost Ellis Paul CD with one of my all-time-makes-me-feel happy songs. I wasn't even looking for it. It just turned up.
Way back in November when my friend Cheri returned from her Livestrong week at Canyon Ranch she explained to me why music is especially important for left-brained language-driven people like me.
If most of your time is spent with left-brained activities like reading and writing, you need to balance yourself out--and slow down all that left-brained stimulation with right-brained activities, like exercise (check), painting, or music.
The Canyon Ranch folks advise left-brainers to sometimes just take a break and turn off the words and language in the evening--yes, that means the computer, TV, and even reading books--and just sit in a chair and listen to music. But that sounds so hard to do!
Or, they say, turn off the news or NPR when you're driving, and just listen to music. It calms that over-loaded over-stimulated sympathetic nervous system--and balances us out.
Here's an additional medical benefit of listening to music.
Music, like laughter benefits the heart. According to Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland, if you're listening to a song that makes you feel "joyful or euphoric", your blood vessels will dilate 26%, improving blood flow--which is an effect similar to that of exercise.
Miller says: "The inner lining of the blood vessels--the endothelium--serves as the gatekeeper to vascular health." Keep them dilated & keep them healthy.
Just don't listen to the same songs all the time, or it won't work. Mix up your play list--2 week intervals are best.
What's on my play list? Right now "The World Ain't Slowing Down" has moved to the number one spot. But, it also includes, "Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me" & Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" & about a million others. I think I'm finally ready to start alternating joyful music with my NPR fix.
So here it is Sunday night. It's 9:00 pm and I'm prepping beets and squash and brussels sprouts to roast in the oven with maple syrup, a little salt, and pepper. The house it completely still. No background TV or radio.
Ellis Paul is singing "The World Ain't Slowing Down" and I'm feeling as happy as a kid on a merry-go-round. Downright euphoric. Give a listen. See what you think.
The World Ain't Slowin' Down. Ellis Paul
You gotta get gone
You gotta get going
Hey, the world ain't slowin' down
For no one
It's a carnival calling out to you
And it sounds like a song
It hits you like scripture
You paint the picture
With colors squeezed from your hand
Weren't you the kid
Who just climbed on a merry-go-round
Hey, look, the world ain't slowin' down
Click here if you aren't seeng the video