Book: Your Playlist Can Change Your Life by Galina Mindlin, Don Durousseau, and Joseph Cardillo
Genre: Science and self-help
Publication date: 2012
Summary: The subtitle of Your Playlist Can Change Your Life is also a nice brief summary: 10 proven ways your favorite music can revolutionize your health, memory, organization, alertness, and more. A fuller summary shows up early in the book on page 4:
Your Playlist Can Change Your Life will take you to the frontiers of medicine, neuroscience, psychology, and personalized health care straight into a world of sound, rhythm, music, and song. It will unleash a seemingly magical force within your own brain that is capable of wielding great synergy within your body as well as your mind.
Thoughts: This book changed my life before I even finished it. Acting on its advice and my own musical tastes and instincts, I created a playlist on Spotify called Good Morning. With that playlist, I get out of bed more quickly and I’m more cheerful the rest of the morning after I’ve listened to it once (or, some days, three times). The first song is the version of “Here Comes the Sun” on James Taylor at Christmas accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma. For me, the rich cello sounds and James Taylor’s assurance that “it’s all right” are a comforting start to the day.
I wanted to write this review because there are so many people I want to tell about Your Playlist Can Change Your Life. It’s easier to write a blog post and direct every one to it than it is to make individual recommendations. If you love music and you ever need a deliberate method to change your mood or attitude, this book is for you.
I really appreciated how universal the music selections were. There is no judgment here. The best song for you is the best song for you whether it’s rap or pop or ska. The sheer breadth made me willing to stretch a bit for the music in my playlists. I know that I want music without lyrics for writing. What I didn’t know, until I tried, was how energizing both Wolfang Mozart and Scott Joplin could be.
Appeal: This is the perfect book for the high school student faced with the assignment “review a science book” when science is his or her least favorite subject. In fact, I suspect it was written with that student in mind since the words in the glossary are highlighted in the chapters, like a text book. But it’s much more fun to read than a text book. I predict ‘A’ papers for students who take care to explain the scientific points highlighted by the vocabulary words and not get too caught up in the music sections.
What music goes on your favorite playlists?