Finding balance in the second half of life

Cheer Me with Mozart

In Fulfillment, Survival on December 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

My good friends (okay, they don’t know me, but I rely on them) at Utne Reader have pointed me to another interesting study. This one, conducted in Mexico, showed that listening to classical music had more anti-depressive effect than talk therapy.

I’ll put reading the whole study on my to-do list. I’m curious about whether it’s music in general or classical music specifically (Mozart is noted, in particular) that makes the difference. And I’m also curious about other listening habits.

I don’t often choose to listen to classical music, I’ll confess, in spite of (or perhaps because of) having grown up in a household where Bach was loud on the stereo. But I do notice that on days that I work to what Pandora serves up, I’m more cheerful (though less well-informed) than the days I’m tuned in to NPR all day. I’d like to understand that better: In some ways, it seems like hearing people’s conversations is more social. I realize, though, that unless I become a regular NPR caller, I’m eavesdropping on those conversations, not joining them. And, if you’ve been paying attention at all, you might know that discussions of current events are not entirely cheerful in tone.

I can always sing along with Pandora. Yet another advantage of the home office.

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  1. I just listened to George Winston’s “December” this morning and, despite feeling somewhat physically ill, I found my mood was lifted. Part of the musical connection for me has to do with what it evokes. For me, “December” evokes warm holiday memories…it’s like playing holiday music this time of year. With the first big snowfall in West Michigan, it was the perfect soundtrack to a beautiful snowy December day!

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