Don’t forget to listen closely and shake your butt

Mar 06, 2017

How our brain processes sound and the effect it has on our mood (good, bad, or otherwise) is a mysterious thing. Without fail, a genuine giggle coming from the belly of my six-year-old daughter instantly puts me at ease and brings a smile to my face.

What is truly amazing is the power of music over our moods, and the ability it can have to transport you to a different time and place. For instance, the second I hear an old-school Mighty Mighty Bosstones song, I’m slam dancing at a Saturday afternoon show at The Middle East. Whenever I hear Pearl Jam’s Daughter, I’m 21 years old, it’s a chilly Tuesday afternoon, and I’m joking with my college rugby teammates. The instant the chorus to Springsteen’s Thunder Road comes on the radio, I think of a close college friend of mine that passed away suddenly last year.

As long as I can remember music has been an essential coping mechanism for me. Turning Metallica up to 11 and head banging to Battery can shake me out of a bad mood. Music has also helped me process emotions. Pouring over the lyrics of Elliot Smith’s XO album showed me that someone else in the world was frustrated, and felt powerless in the face of their depression.

Seeing live music is something that I really love to do. It’s also one of the most consistent ways that I connect with my friends. Just a few weeks ago I was screaming the chorus to The Japandroids’ anthem Celebration Rock at The Royale in Boston. In the community of a live concert it was an awesome emotional release for me.

Something else that has worked for me is podcasts. Whether it’s Marc Maron’s deep interview with Louis CK on his WTF Podcast about why they were no longer were best friends or WEEI’s Kirk Minihane shedding his Eddie Haskell persona on his Enough About Me podcast to talk deeply and openly with his WEEI colleague Michael Holley about the impact that their dad’s had on their lives, listening to men talk with other men honestly and insightfully about their lives has always been something that I  really enjoyed and learned from.

In these wicked fast times we are all running around doing a million and one things. I fully believe that taking a few moments to listen closely to a good conversation or shake my butt at life has consistently helped me deal with the day to day challenges of life.