5 MORE Rockin’ Songs to Boost Your Mood and Make you Smile, PLUS Tips for Managing Stress

Clearly not my image – all credit to the amazing Bill Watterson!

So I have to tell you, I believe this post comes at a critical time. I was going to post a recipe for superfood chocolate chip cookies (look for those coming soon), but in a sudden moment of deep reflection, I realized that right now a list of cheerful, energy-boosting, drab-crushing music was what I wanted to put together for you, my dear readers. For you, of course, but also more importantly, for me.

So why not a moment too soon?

I asked my sister, a music guru, for her suggestions and she said, “I haven’t been listening to much upbeat music right now.”

I asked my boyfriend, and he said, “Hmm, I’ll have to think about it.”

People, we should all have a few songs at the very tip of our tongues that are surefire bets for making us feel better. Country, celtic, classical, pop, it doesn’t matter. If it makes you feel great, you should be listening to it on a regular basis. And that’s a fact.

I have been stressed lately. There it is. I’m trying to incorporate more self-care – reading my novel before bed, taking an epsom salt bath, watching a Sex and the City episode after supper – but when I get stressed, most things start to feel like tasks on my list, even the nice things. It all becomes one big checklist and I end up living in my head, thinking about the next ‘task’ as I’m ‘accomplishing’ the current task. And considering your relaxing lavender bath a task isn’t really the way you want it to be.

I know I need to manage my stress better. I know it. But it’s really hard, and doubly so because I tend to get stressed about being stressed. No solution seems perfect at the moment for me, but music helps. Music seems to remind me I also have a body, and that body enjoys singing, dancing, laughing, and smiling, AND TAKING A BREAK FROM THINKING.

Sorry for shouting. I got worked up there.

My cats help me with my stress. Isn’t this boy a beauty?

When we’re in the thralls of a stress time, we often forget the power of laughter and smiling. We forget to make a plan to find the upbeat music that brings us joy, to dance a little bit, and to take a moment to think about what really brings us the most pleasure and then to make sure we do it.

A few other things I’m trying right now to help with stress:

  • Kris Carr’s Self-Care for Busy People meditation album
  • romance novels (don’t knock these – if you find a gem, you’ve found excellent writing, compelling storytelling, and some good lusty sexual tension – it’s stress-busting gold, people, gold!). I particularly like Meredith Duran and Sherry Thomas.
  • walks outside (my sister and I made a rule that you could only talk about the present on our shared walk – anyone caught worrying, stressing, or future-planning got a big upper arm pinch)
  • morning affirmations – I like these ones for anxiety from The Anxiety Guy
  • an episode here or there of a favourite TV show. For me, it’s Sex and the City, The Mindy Project, Grace and Frankie, or (can I admit it?) the 90s Star Trek (c’mon! it’s kind of gentle and fun and imaginative. I find it calming.).

But anyways, below is my current list of mood-boosting songs. For other options, try my previous lists: Ten Songs to Boost Your Mood NOW and Ten MORE songs to Boost your Mood and Make you Feel Alive. Or, try 5 Songs and 8 Ways to Start Your Morning with Joy and Movement.

Music all over the place! The hills are ALIVE with the sound of music.

Enjoy!

5 MORE Rockin’ Songs to Boost Your Mood and Make You Smile

  1. Can’t Stop the Feeling byJustin Timberlake (the video is full of fun dancing)
  2. Can’t Stop the Feeling – The Piano Guys version (watch the video – it made me smile big time – it’s full of MORE fun dancing)
  3. Wasted Time – Keith Urban (reminds you that not everything has to be productive! sometimes the joy is in the wasted time. And as with all country music, you are reminded of the importance of wearing shorts and letting your hair be free).
  4. Hymn for the Weekend – Coldplay (Seeb Remix). (this jam is chill, and inspires you to sway around your home and maybe also throw an arm or two in the air to the sound of the beat. This song also reminds us to be grateful for the weekend. I certainly am. Please disregard all messages of being drunk and high, though I assume Chris Martin means, on life itself.)
  5. Bom Bom by Sam and the Womp. (while the lyrics are basically nonsensical, I defy you to stand still during this song. Those silver trumpets in the back? So fun! Especially if you pretend to play them in the air during the song.)

Enjoy!

© Backyard Owl

 

Advertisements

Ten MORE songs to boost your mood, make you feel alive, and help you beat the November blues!

November Days - Backyard OwlWell, it’s that time of year again. The time where you start to wonder why your life, which two months ago seemed awesome, suddenly seems a bit more drab, even though nothing about it has changed or worsened.

You start to question yourself and what’s wrong with you. You wonder why everything just seems a bit harder, why your get-up-and-go seems to be missing in action, and why, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot seem to find the time to go to your community garden and collect the remaining bean pods on the plants and as the days slip by you start to berate yourself for being inefficient and ineffective (or maybe this one is just me) .

I’lll tell you what it is. It’s called November.

Or more actually, it’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it can strike at any time, once the number of sunlight hours starts to reduce. Here in Ontario, we’ve already turned the clocks back, which means that by 5:30 pm, it’s dark outside.

Now, I happen to love these months. I love the lead-up to Christmas, the bleak November skies, the stark beauty of the leaf-less trees and the grey landscapes, the Christmas lights people are starting to put up. But it isn’t just about external circumstances – biology is to play here: Vitamin D levels go down without exposure to sunlight; the body begins its evolutionary instinct to stock up and hibernate; and energy levels shift (read: shift down). A few pings in the brain and suddenly, even though the world itself hasn’t changed, you feel differently about it.

Take heart, though, friends. There are a few things you can do:

And what else can you do? Listen to amazing music. I know, I know, this doesn’t appear on many conventional lists for beating SAD – but we all know music affects mood, energy, and state of mind, so I say, let the beat live on! Turn the beat around!

Why these songs?

My qualifications for this track listing were that the songs had to be cathartic, emotive, and inspiring – and after listening to them, you had to feel better than you did before. These are the kinds of songs that make you want to play air piano, wildly conduct an imaginary orchestra, or imagine standing at the top of a mountain sounding your barbaric yawp (if you haven’t read this Whitman poem, go, do it now – celebrate yourself! loafe and invite your soul!).

These songs remind you that the world is indeed a beautiful and hopeful place.

So let’s get to that list, shall we?

10 songs collage.2

  1. Let It Go – The Piano Guys
  2. Friday Night Lights Theme Music – W.G. Snuffy Walden
  3. About Today – The National (from the end of the movie Warrior)
  4. Hall of Fame – The Script
  5. When I Look At You – Miley Cyrus
  6. Ten Feet Tall – AfroJack ft. Wrabel
  7. Skye Boat Song – Bear McCreary (from Outlander)
  8. The Parting Glass – Shaun Davey (Waking Ned Devine version)
  9. Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
  10. In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel

Do you have any favourite soul-inspiring, mood-boosting songs? Share them below. Also, check out my original post on ten songs to boost your mood.

© Backyard Owl