The Music That Moves You

What Makes You Move?

What songs find you blasting the volume when you hear them and make you feel totally alive, happy, and powerful? I ask every new client that question at the beginning of our work together. Knowing what music moves you is having a powerful motivating tool at your disposal.

Match or Shift Your Mood

Music can be a natural expression of your current mood, whether you’re feeling up or down. For instance, when you are sad, low-key music that matches your mood and acknowledges how you feel can be soothing.

graphic of musical notesMusic is also a very effective tool for when you want to shift your mood. Certain songs are a short cut to a better frame of mind. This is what Tony Robbins and NLP¹ experts call “anchoring”: having a certain reference point such as a symbolic visual, physical gesture, or in this case, a song, that automatically puts you into a powerful emotional state.

During a particular phase of my career when the company I was working for was in upheaval, I was dragging myself to work every day. I didn’t like starting the day feeling disempowered and frustrated, so I decided to use every bit of my short 11-minute commute to “massage my brain”. Rather than listen to the sarcastic banter of morning DJs, I became the DJ. With an assortment of CDs stocked in my car, I played songs that made me feel alive, energetic, and capable. Sometimes one song had such an effect that I would play it over and over during my drive. I then walked in the door feeling significantly better equipped to manage whatever was on the docket that day.

graphic of audio speakersEventually I started sharing my musical motivational methods with others. One morning on the way to what I anticipated would be a tough meeting with a customer, I picked up a co-worker with the U2 version of Mission Impossible blaring in the car. Even though she was not exactly what you’d call a morning person, she indulged me! Somehow we harnessed the explosive energy of the music into a major attitude adjustment and brought that power with us into the meeting.


Tip of Your Fingers

The next time you want to psyche yourself up, feel confident, empowered, or __________, select a song that puts you there. One of the most effective ways to motivate yourself is at the tip of your fingers. Use it!

This Week: Give yourself a theme song to sing, a new perspective, and positive energy to bring with you. Stock your car with your favorite CDs. Create a motivational play list on your iPod.

graphic of cdExperiment with using music:

  • During your commute
  • To rev up for a big meeting
  • To lift your spirits
  • To release anger
  • To celebrate a success
  • To wind down before bed.

Let the music play!

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
— Berthold Auerbach

I am thinking about creating a music resource page for Feel free to write back and share your favorite mood booster songs. See the eclectic sampler I’ve included below and listen right now if you wish!

graphic image of headphonesMotivational Sampler
Don't Rain On My Parade (Barbra Streisand)
I've Got The World On A String (Michael Buble)
Mission Impossible (U2 Version)
Pennies From Heaven (Louis Armstrong)
Proud Mary (Tina Turner)
Rocky Theme
Shining Star (Earth, Wind, & Fire)
Sing A Song (Earth, Wind & Fire)
Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly)
That’s Life (Frank Sinatra)

Here's to you,
Ginny Kravitz's signature

¹NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which is the study of the fundamental dynamics between the mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how their interplay affects our body and behavior (programming).

© 2008, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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