Check it out: Your personal playlist can improve your life

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Review

“Your Playlist Can Change Your Life: 10 Proven Ways Your Favorite Music Can Revolutionize Your Health, Memory, Organization, Alertness, and More”

By Galina Mindlin, M.D.; Sourcebooks, 235 pages

One of the first lines you’ll read in this book is a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Although it surprises me to agree with something said by Nietzsche, I think he’s absolutely right.

There are many books written about music’s positive influence on humans. We have long known that music can aid the healing process, act as a balm during stressful times, provide motivation for activities as varied as basketball games and house cleaning, and cross cultural boundaries. But how often do we really think about and examine what we’re listening to on our iPods, CD players, and radios?

Psychiatrist Galina Mindlin has spent a lot of time researching the impact of music on people’s daily activities. Now that her new book, “Your Playlist Can Change Your Life,” is out, anyone can learn how to make music a more dynamic and interactive part of life.

From alleviating anxiety to boosting your memory, Mindlin offers a variety of tips and exercises for getting the most out of your personal playlist. For example, listening to the theme from “Rocky” as a way to spur yourself on to mopping the kitchen floor is a good start, but putting on a slower tune first could actually lead up to a more powerful punch of energy. By cueing in to how the brain and body respond to musical sounds, a person can create customized playlists for physical, psychological, and spiritual contentment.

I’ve always liked the idea of a personal soundtrack to accompany the ins and outs of my life, and having looked through this book, I am ready to tune in to my brain’s tempos. No matter what your soundtrack includes -- Chopin, Little Richard, Twisted Sister -- marching to the beat of your own drummer is solid gold.

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at readingforfun@fvrl.org. She blogs at youbetterreadnow.blogspot.com.