Holiday Music for Joy, Hope, Floods of Memories, and Endorphins!

Holiday Music

Alice with Grandmother Adams in Seneca, SC

Who doesn’t love holiday music?!  I guess there might be a few actual Grinches out there, but holiday music has a kind of magic to it, that most of us crave and actually find irresistible!  As with most of the music we love, our favorites tend to be tied to the music that we heard growing up; music that has ties to our own special memories of the holiday season.

I grew up listening to two primary kinds of Christmas music:  the music that I heard at our local Methodist Church (where my father was the pastor) and which we sang a couple of times a week, during the 4-week Advent Season.  The other kind of music was the popular, commercial Christmas Music that I heard on our Firestone records and on all of the TV Christmas specials!  Everything from “Silent Night” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” to “Silver Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town!”  Just thinking of this music (as I sit here in silence) makes me feel happy and energized, and immediately brings back floods of memories from my childhood.

Clients of mine who suffer from depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder, have told me that one of their tools for chasing away gloomy thoughts and bad moods is to put on some Christmas or other holiday music, and just let their favorites wash over them while they remember happier times with family and friends.  THIS, of course, is part of the power of our favorite music.  The brain responds immediately to favorite music and thoughts, by giving us a flood of serotonin and endorphins!  It is the very same thing that happens when you eat some chocolate or think of your beloved!  Scientists have compared brain activity in people who are having sexual activity/eating chocolate/listening to favorite music, and the response in the brain is very much the same!

A few years ago, I recorded my own Christmas CD.  It was definitely one of my most enjoyable musical activities ever, and I wanted to let you know about it!  You can purchase the entire CD or simply download it onto your own IPod or other MP3 device.  Here’s the link!  Alice’s Christmas CD!  I hope you have a beautiful, peaceful and magical holiday this month and be sure to enjoy lots of music!

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