Tuning In for Peace of Mind

Using music mindfully to improve your mental well-being

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Occasionally on here I may do a book review if I come across something that I think may benefit readers of this blog. I recently read a book that may do just that. I received Tune In: Use Music Intentionally to Curb Stress, Boost Morale, and Restore Health. A Music Therapy Approach to Life in exchange for an honest review.

This book reminded me just how much music means to me and how I’ve used it to cope throughout life. This book is a guide to help you be more mindful of your music consumption and to begin to listen with intention.

From the time I finished reading the first “true story” in the book, I thought about how I wanted to review it. This book touched me so — ever step of the way — that I wanted to do it justice.

Like the author, I grew up a latch-key kid, and there were things about my family life that we’ll just say were less than perfect. Music, though, was the one healer. The one connector. The everything that was good. One of the few things my family could agree on was listening to music in some form or fashion.

Music has always been a significant part of my life, especially when I was home alone as a kid and teenager. Music was my friend, my confidant, my counselor. I know how music impacts me, and I have seen how it touches other.

And music affects the brain in very positive ways. John Hopkins Medicine said that “music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.” They’re not alone in their thinking. If you Google it, you’ll see article after article that supports this idea.

Think of going to a concert. Doesn’t matter the genre of music, there’s always a moment when the whole place joins together to sing a song. I don’t know about you, but I get goosebumps every time that happens. Music connects people like nothing else. It heals them. It makes the world a better place. I wholeheartedly believe that.

So I highly recommend this book if you are a music lover and want to use music as part of your self-care regimen. It offers checklists to help you incorporate music into your life with intention and purpose. The stories show real-life examples of how music can reconnect you to people from which you have drifted away. It helps you develop listening lists to cope with different feelings — sadness, anxiety, etc.

In addition to the step-by-step guide for using music as a self-care tool, the real-life stories are extremely uplifting. The stories show how music can help connect families, help rehabilitate, and perhaps the most heart-wrenching, help to say goodbye to loved ones. This book celebrates music as life and as a way to connect us and help us in times of stress.

I would especially recommend this for anyone dealing with aging or dying family members or family with diseases that affect mental abilities. The book highlights the positive impact that music can have on the ill and dying. But more importantly, it shows you how music can re-connect to that person and celebrate their life through the music that made them who they are.

If you love music, trust me, I’m not doing this book justice. Read it. You’ll know what I mean. The stories and the impact of music on these people are amazing. It’s a non-fiction, how-to book with some great real life stories to support the recommendations. So if you’re looking for a great escape, this may not be it. If you want to improve your mood and mental health through music, then this is a good place to start.

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