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Like so many others out there, I live for music.

I am always looking for my new favorite song or band and am constantly exchanging song recommendations with my friends and co-workers. Music has a powerful impact on our psyche. It can help a runner reach the end of the race, give support after a breakup or difficult time and of course is the catalyst for some epic dance parties.  Did you know that music can also relieve tension and stress? It all comes down to what you listen to and when.

First thing in the morning, listening to classical or jazz helps to get you out of bed and get your day started in a smooth, relaxed way. Instead of beginning to stress out about all the things you need to accomplish you’ll be smiling as you sip your coffee, swaying along to those sweet tunes.

The commute to work or just taking the kids where they need to go can sometimes be stressful, especially if traffic is involved. This is the perfect time to turn on some of your favorite songs, the ones that have happy memories connected to them or just simply put a smile on your face. Pretty quickly traffic time, transforms into some quality “you” time.

We all experience slumps during the daily grind, when these moments do arrive, put in some headphones and take a walk. Taking a break to go on a walk even if it’s just around the building, while listening to maybe two of your favorite songs this week will help to relieve anxiety and calm your nerves.  Then you can get back to what you were doing, rejuvenated.

In the evening, after a long day it can be hard to motivate yourself to make dinner at home, it’s so much easier just to grab some convenient, albeit typically unhealthy take-out. Instead of giving in to that temptation give yourself a chance. Stock your fridge with healthy, quick options for meals and when you get home, slip into some comfy clothes, turn on some upbeat tunes and get cooking. You’ll be glad you did. Studies have shown that listening to classical or soothing music while eating can help you eat less, digest better and help you enjoy your food more.

Have trouble falling asleep? Try listening to nature sounds like rain falling on leaves or whale sounds. It may sound cheesy but it really allows your mind to relax and it helps to take your focus off any stresses you may be harboring and relax into blissful, healing sleep.

Enjoy all the different stages of your day with music as your co-pilot. Be healthy, be happy.