The Power of Music

by | Jul 26, 2014 | Archives

There is power in music.  See a tip on how to use that power with positive emotional triggers.

robert Browing

Image from music quotes at

Poets say it.   Robert Browning wrote:  “Who hears music, feels his solitude. Peopled at once.”

Scientists say it.   An NPR article ‘The Power Of Music’ To Affect The Brain (1) says:  “Science all but confirms that humans are hard-wired to respond to music.  Studies also suggest that someday music may even help patients heal from Parkinson’s disease or a stroke.   In The Power of Music, Elena Mannes explores how music affects different groups of people and how it could play a role in health care.

Musicians say it.   An example is the lyrics in Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away”, a song about the love of  music.

“Day after day I am more confused – I am feelin’ the strain – ain’t it a shame?”

“Rhythm, rhyme and harmony – You help me along – Makin’ me strong,

“Give me the beat boys and free my soul – I  wanna get lost in rock and roll and drift away”.

I say it  and use it.  Here is the tip on how you and I use music as a positive emotional trigger.

When a person writes a lot and on a schedule as I do, he or she has to be in an upbeat positive mood.

The technique that is now so well supported by YOUTUBE is to use music from your past that triggers a good mood.

The beginning of a report entitled “Positive Emotions Trigger Upward Spirals Toward Emotional Well-Being”  by Barbara L. Fredrickson and Thomas Joiner at University of Michigan and Florida State University sums this up:  The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions predicts that positive emotions broaden the scopes of attention and cognition, and, by consequence, initiate upward spirals toward increasing emotional well-being.

For example I work toward having a state of relaxed concentration when I write… call it smooth and easy, focused but not up tight.  Normally I use Baroque music, but at times, especially when I want to write from the deepest portions of my heart,  I seek something that is uniquely mellow to me.  I have an armory of Golden Oldies that evoke positive emotions.  When I was young something good happened as I was hearing these songs.  I don’t recall the events, but can feel the positive emotion.

All I have to do is listen for my emotions to drift away.

To create positive emotions that create upward spirals, figure out what music triggers your positive emotions.  Then when you need the emotional hit, listen to the music.

One warning, do not rely too much on any one song too often.  The law of diminishing returns kicks in.   That particular song becomes too much in the here and now and loses its energy to shift.

This is Dobie Gray’s  “Drift Away”.  Use it and enjoy.   Perhaps you’ll remember something good when you list to it.

Dobie Gray

Drift Away

We use music in our work and share how to use it in our super thinking sessions at the courses and seminars.


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(1)  The Power Of Music’ To Affect The Brain

(2)  Positive Emotions Trigger  upward spirals