I've got a question for ya — what's your favorite song? So now my question is …Why?
Chances are it has something to do with how it makes you feel, am I right? And that's because sounds have an amazing power to influence our mental, emotional and physical experience of living. So it's really no surprise that music is one of the most powerful mood enhancers out there.
Music as Medicine
Shabda chikitsa (or sound therapy) is one of the healing modalities of Ayurveda, the ancient science of living. It recognizes that sound has a profound impact on our thoughts and moods, just as much as any food, herb or exercise. And whether you're feeling anxious, angry, foggy, irritated or depressed, there's a song (or twenty five) out there that can bring you back to center and help you find your joy. Just ask anyone who's ever made or listened to a mix tape!
What Does Balance ‘Sound’ Like?
Ayurvedic therapies focus on addressing imbalances of the doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) whose influences rise and fall with the changing seasons. Summer season is associated with pitta dosha. It's hot, sharp, acidic, and intense, and can leave us feeling that way too! Creating summertime harmony (inside and out) is a matter of balancing these qualities with foods, activities and information that are calm and cooling (i.e. hot + cold = Balance).
The musical prescription to balance the intensity and heat of summer is a playlist of cool jams that slow you down without putting you to sleep…something that'll keep things at a calm and comfortable simmer while you relax poolside.
Here's my summertime pitta playlist. A musical “antacid” if you will. Enjoy!
- Commodores – Easy
- Otis Redding – [!sittin!] The Dock Of The Bay
- John Mayer – Waiting on the World to Change
- Ben Harper – She's Only Happy In The Sun
- Norah Jones – Don't Know Why
- Stan Getz – The Girl from Ipanema
- Emiliana Torrini – Sunny Road
- Ray LaMontagne – Be Here Now
- Stan Getz – Corcovado – Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars
- Al Green – Let's Stay Together
- Harry Nilsson – Everybody's Talkin'
- Zero 7 – In the Waiting Line
- Al Green – Love And Happiness
- Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
- Bebel Gilberto – Samba Da Bencao
- Eagles – Hotel California
- Van Morrison – Into The Mystic
- Jack Johnson – Imagine
- Sade – Flow
- Jill Scott – A Long Walk
- Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
- Israel Kamakawiwo'ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow
- Fugees – Killing Me Softly With His Song
- Cowboy Junkies – Blue Moon Revisited
- Morcheeba – The Sea
Oh, and I haven't forgotten the southern hemisphere dwellers (especially since I fall into that category). Down here we're mid-winter coming up against the heavy, dull and cold influence of Kapha dosha.
The musical prescription for winter is something that should get you up outta your seat and keep you moving and shaking around the room, and songs that will brighten your mood and warm your heart. So here's another 25 songs to keep you light, bright and connected this winter season. (Excuse me while I bust a move!)
- Michael Franti & Spearhead – Say Hey (I Love You)
- Labrinth – Express Yourself
- Pharrell Williams – Happy
- The Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
- Journey – Don't Stop Believin'
- The Isley Brothers – Shout
- Will Smith – Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Can't Hold Us – feat. Ray Dalton
- Michael Jackson – Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
- Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine
- Beyoncé – Crazy in Love
- Pink – Get The Party Started
- Maroon 5 – Moves Like Jagger
- MC Hammer – U Can't Touch This
- Destiny's Child – Bootylicious
- Kenny Loggins – Footloose
- Earth, Wind & Fire – September
- Kool & The Gang – Celebration
- Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart
- The Black Eyed Peas – Let's Get It Started
- Tag Team – Whoop! (There It Is)
- Owl City – When Can I See You Again?
- Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Pump It Up
- OutKast – Hey Ya!
- Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch – Good Vibrations
Did I say twenty-five? Oh well, here's a couple of bonus tracks just to keep the party going…and going….
- Michael Franti & Spearhead – The Sound Of Sunshine
- Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
Got a favorite cool jam or dance track? Share the love in the comments! I'll add it to my playlists! (or feel free to send me a mix tape 🙂 )