Words Words Words Songs Songs Songs

Words Words Words      Songs Songs Songs ||   raeritchie.com

A last minute trip to the Cheltenham Literature Festival at the weekend immersed me a gorgeous cocoon of words, words, words and more words.  Words to hear.  Words to read.   Words to ponder.  Words to shock.  Words that amused.  Words that challenged.  Words that touched.

I’ve been ingesting words in the days since too.  Reading lots, taking lots in.  I’ve been pouring out words of my own, for private consumption (morning pages) and public viewing (my next contributions to The Huffington Post and Welldoing.org will be appearing soon).  I’ve also finished working my way back through Susannah Conway’s awesome heart-centred business course, The Inside Story.  If you run a biz that you regard as heart-centred then I cannot recommend this enough!  So much juicy material; plenty to listen to, read and reflect upon.  All good stuff but also meaning more words, words, words.

I want a break from words for a while.  I want to use other senses than just my eyes, so I tune into the music coming from the speakers above me in the coffee shop.  Soothing piano sounds wash over me.  Is it Chopin, I wonder, or perhaps Schumann?  I don’t care really, I just like it.

I’ve been thinking about music a lot lately since reading about how it can help people like myself who struggle with Borderline Personality DisorderApparently listening to music that is the opposite of how you feel helps to alleviate distressful moods.  Makes total sense, and it’s probably something we already know from our own experience.  I’m sure we’ve all had days where we’re feeling grumpy and crap until we hear our favourite song on the radio and suddenly everything seems better in an instant.

I was a latecomer to the world of playlists but the very first one I made unknowingly drew upon this wisdom about music.  Called ‘Smile’, it was eight tracks that, funnily enough, made me smile.  I used to listen to it during my early commutes up to Manchester from the Midlands.  If these songs could make me jig on the damp train platform at 06:15 whilst waiting for the stopping service to change at Stoke then they surely had some magical power!

And because I reckon that many of us could do with an injection of feel good-energy, I’ve shared this Smile list on 8Tracks.  It’s free to listen to, no downloading of software required.  Just follow the link! [It seems that some people have had trouble with the playback on 8Tracks, so I’ve added the list to Spotify too].

I’d love for you to check it out.  I particularly recommend that you listen to it anytime that you have to get dressed in the dark, find yourself waiting for a delayed train on a wet platform or, like me, need a break from processing words.  Listen, sing and dance instead.  Or just listen J

Tell me, what are the songs that always make you smile?  Share your suggestions and I’ll put together a Smile II playlist….Maybe we could even get like the Now series and get up to number 94! [And here it is: Smile II on 8Tracks and Spotify.  Thanks for the suggestions!  Enjoy].

I’d also like to know if this topic of music and moods is something that you are interested in?  I’ve been wondering about putting together a little e-course on the subject but want to gauge the potential audience first.  Would you like to explore this further?

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2 thoughts on “Words Words Words Songs Songs Songs

  1. I’m so so pleased you enjoyed the weekend in Cheltenham, but I can totally appreciate the need to take a break from words for a while. Music and mood is definitely a subject that interests me – I joined a choir at a time when I was really struggling with depression, but I haven’t missed a rehearsal in 6 years, even the weeks when I’ve had to drag myself along because I really didn’t feel like going, but you really can’t stand in a bad mood when you’re singing some of the fantastic fun and upbeat songs in our repertoire! I always come away feeling so much better. But equally, there are songs that I now associate with particular sad memories and will quickly drag me down if I let the cycle of reminiscing start. I’d definitely be interested in exploring the theme further 🙂


    1. Thanks for taking the time to respond Jennifer, and for sharing your experience! Definitely will pick your brains more when I start to develop the idea. Choosing which song(s) is tricky – I think when we’re in certain low moods we pick tunes that reinforce that and really it’s the opposite that we need. Lots to think about!


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