Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Practice--Using Uplifters to Change a Mood

While I went out walking today I wondered what topic I would write about next to build music consciousness. Then I saw the lyrics to Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" written out with colorful chalk on a log. Thus began my brief exploration of happy songs.

There appears to be two camps when it comes to using happy songs to change a mood. In one camp, you change an angry or sad mood gradually by introducing songs that have slightly more uplifting moods than the previous one and work your way towards happy. The second camp believes that we can choose to be happy now since happiness is just a state of mind controlled by our thoughts. In that case, we can change our mood swiftly by singing or listening to a happy song.

I guess it depends on the individual and the deepness of their particular funk. Meaning, if someone suffers from chronic depression or anger management problems, then it would be the equivalent to plastering a band aid on a gaping wound to expect this person to get happy from a song. They might curse the song and dig deeper into their dark mood.

But for individuals who are suffering from mild disappointment such as losing an opportunity or failing to get a job after a round of interviews, I think this is when they can choose to be happy by thinking different thoughts and listening to songs with bright lyrics. But I will say that even when I suffered from chronic depression, happy songs bounced me out of my despair more often than not.

We need to look at genres too since happy songs come in all shapes and sizes from George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue to McFerrin's "Be Happy," to Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful World," to show tunes, "Put a Happy Smile on Your Face" and "Singing in the Rain." Rock songs that cheer people up include, The Beatles, "Here Comes the Sun," and "Octopus' Garden," and songs by the Go-Go's or Katrina and the Waves, "Walking on Sunshine."

This article is not meant to diagnose medical conditions and only suggests changing moods through happy songs for the average person.

Get started with this tune.


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