Sep 23

Do-It-Yourself Music Therapy Boosts Your Mood

It’s not just a professional discipline. Most of us can practice a kind of do-it-yourself music therapy.

According to Jeremy Dean‘s PsyBlog, mood management is the main reason we love music. Good thing, as research indicates that music can affect our mood in a positive way:

  • 2003. Youth at Penn State listened to all types of music. “After listening, the psychology students were more optimistic, joyful, friendly, relaxed, and calm. They also were less pessimistic and sad. Music, however, did not entirely soothe the frightened beast in student breasts. After listening, they did not report being less fearful.” (WebMD)
  • 2013. By the end of a two-week period, upbeat music was seen to raise moods, according to scientists at the University of Missouri. Sadder music didn’t help, though. (Healthline)
  • 2013. In this study, even sadder music helped mood. Kawakami et al. found that “sad music is enjoyable because it creates an interesting mix of emotions; some negative, some positive.” (PsyBlog)

Such results, along with an additional body of research, supports the work of certified music therapists. According to The American Music Therapy Association, their interventions work toward promoting wellness, managing stress, alleviating pain, expressing feelings, enhancing memory, improving communication, and promoting physical rehabilitation.

In psychiatric settings specifically, “(m)usic therapy allows persons with mental health needs to: explore personal feelings, make positive changes in mood and emotional states, have a sense of control over life through successful experiences, practice problem solving, and resolve conflicts leading to stronger family and peer relationships.”


I. Jason Mraz, “Living in the Moment”

II. Pink Martini, “Get Happy/Happy Days,” featuring China Forbes and Storm Large (pretending to be Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand)

III. DJ/Producer Avicii,”Wake Me Up,” featuring Aloe Blacc on vocals

IV. The Chickeneers (Jimmy Fallon, Blake Shelton, Chris Tartaro, Nick Offerman), “Ho Hey,” on Jimmy Fallon

Nov 21

Jason Mraz, Friend Charlie Mingroni, and Gratitude

Let’s play some good old-fashioned word association involving singer/songwriter Jason Mraz and his friend Charlie Mingroni.



       Gratitude Cafe.

              Jason Mraz.

                     “The Remedy.”

                             Charlie Mingroni.

Charlie Who?!

Charlie Mingroni, a best friend of singer/songwriter Jason Mraz got cancer at a young age. His struggles inspired the song, “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry)” that launched Mraz into star status. The key lyrics: I won’t worry my life away.

Other important excerpts from the beginning of the song:

I saw fireworks from the freeway and behind closed eyes I cannot make them go away
‘Cause you were born on the fourth of July, freedom ring
Now something on the surface it stings
That something on the surface it kind of makes me nervous who says that you deserve this
And what kind of god would serve this? We will cure this dirty old disease
If you’ve got the poison I’ve got the remedy
The remedy is the experience. It is a dangerous liaison
I say the comedy is that its serious. Which is a strange enough new play on words
I say the tragedy is how you’re gonna spend the rest of your nights with the light on
So shine the light on all of your friends because it all amounts to nothing…

Although the song was originally released on the 2002 album Waiting for My Rocket to Come, the newer reggae version recorded live during the singer’s “Gratitude Cafe Tour” (named for his favorite vegetarian restaurant) and featured on 2009’s Jason Mraz’s Beautiful Mess: Live On Earth is my favorite.

Below is a video of Mraz and his band performing the reggae version: