Have you ever had a song come on and just envelop your brain and take your emotions on a euphoric journey? Ya, me too, everyday pretty much. There are certain sounds that make me tingle inside and my hairs stand up. The cool thing about when that happens is certain songs could come from any genre, however, my brain has pinpointed the type of music in which it enjoys the most. Also, have you ever had a song trigger a certain smell, memory, time in your life, or even a dream? Yes, me too. Granted, not every conjuring of a memory through a song is the happiest. However, I am so intrigued and enamored by this ability of music to trigger emotions and sometimes to make you feel on top of the world. We all know when we hear a song that gives us an eargasm, we immediately share it on our best friends wall or go to the next party and say, “bro, I got the next song, trust me, it’s fire.” Okay, maybe not those exact words but you can relate.

I was curious about this ability of music so I decided to delve into some information. Researchers have found that songs can activate our visual cortex, which is why usually you try to paint a picture that matches the sound you are hearing. Songs can trigger neurons in the motor cortex, leading you to nod your head and boogie. Also, your cerebellum comes into play, which tries to figure out the sequence of a song before it happens, based on previous songs you have heard.

Hearing a certain song or sound is tied to memories. If you hear a song that played during your first kiss, then the medial prefrontal cortex, where memory is stored, is activated. I thought this was pretty interesting… Since the medial prefrontal cortex is one of the last areas to be destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have found that people with the condition can remember songs from long ago, even when they can’t remember what they did yesterday.

Brain imaging scans demonstrate that our emotional reaction to music takes place in the brain. In a study of a woman who had damage to her temporal lobe, researchers found that while the woman was unable to distinguish between melodies, she was still able to have the emotional reaction that you might expect from hearing happy or sad melodies. Imaging scans have also shown that music that sounds happy activates the reward centers of the brain, releasing dopamine, which in essence, gives us the same dose of happiness that we would get from a piece of chocolate, sex or drugs.

Is music the ultimate cure for depression and stress? Music has been found to boost the immune system of patients after surgeries, lower stress in pregnant women and decrease blood pressure and heart rate in cardiac patients. Music therapy has also proven to be more effective than other types of therapies in patients suffering from depression, and it’s been shown to lower levels of anxiety and loneliness in the elderly. You don’t have to be sick to benefit from the reduced stress and increased happiness that music can bring. Live music is the skeleton key for happiness because it provides a social bond. When you are around people who enjoy the same thing as you do, a friendly bond is created, a proven factor in the search for happiness.

I hope you guys found this information as interesting as I did and continue to boogie to your favorite tunes and for that matter discover new sounds! Share the music that brings you happiness by commenting so we can all enjoy it and connect with you. Here’s a song that is brightening up my life right now.



Peaks and Pits

The past few months I have ended my day, each day, by reading Humans of New York (or during SXSW, Humans of Austin.)

If you are familiar with the blog it is likely that you share the same fondness for it and have adopted a similar daily or weekly ritual of your own. If you are not familiar with the blog, or the book, it is an ongoing collection of photographs of people that the photographer encounters around the city paired with a quote from the subject depicted.

While the photographer does not always reveal the question that prompted the response captioned on the photo, I’ve come to learn that often times it is a variation of one of the following:

“What has been the saddest moment of your life?”

“When was the happiest you have ever been?”

“What is your biggest struggle?”

The responses are simple, quirky, heartfelt, shocking, thought provoking and everything in between. I think that is what draws the fascination – the feeling of gathering an intimate detail or a small piece of insight about a stranger.

Reeling this idea back to a much, much smaller scale… It reminds me of a tradition I had with my friends in college. At the end of every week of senior year a group of us would go to dinner and take turns sharing “the peaks and the pits” of our week. The peak was the best moment and the pit, the worst.

That sounds incredibly cheesy, I realize, mainly because it is incredibly cheesy. But we grew to love “peaks and pits” because it gave us the opportunity to hear each person pinpoint their two extremes. It also forces you to really reflect on your own week. It’s interesting how easily you can gain insight into the trend of someone’s week by just watching which they struggle with more – identifying a peak or identifying a pit (OR narrowing it down to just one peak versus just one pit.)

I learned that asking a person to explain the best moment and worst moment of their week (or in HONY’s case, of their life) is a simple way to transform small talk into a genuine conversation.

And isn’t understanding people what success in this business is all about?





The Final Countdown

Hi Friends!

It’s been forever I feel!

Well, I have been finishing up my college career in the meantime. I have been feeling all sorts of emotions; excitement, fear, anxiety, and not mention, I have been having panic attacks about where I am going to live, and what I am going to do. #thankscollege  But, as my four years of college slowly dwindle  down into my final 3 weeks I want YOUR HELP!!! I want to make a final bucket list of all the hidden gems/ last horrahs I can do before I go into the REAL WORLD to keep me preoccupied before my graduation tears start running. 

I love adventures and trying new things, so please think back to when you were in college and tell me what made your years special!

 But let’s make this fun… Because leaving college is kind of a bummer… If you comment with good/kind ideas I will take a picture and post the TOP 3 on the blog after my graduation! Feel free to be wild, I only have 3 weeks left! What do I have to lose?


But, please be nice!