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Self-Care. Mental health. Well-being.

Music to Chase Away January Blahs

Updated: Feb 10

It's post-holiday time. All the tinsel and treats are gone and in many parts of the world, the long, dark nights are only slowly giving way to longer daylight hours. January can be a time of lower energy and motivation as the effects of winter and fewer daylight hours settle in and take a toll.

A snow covered friend with a lone tree in the centre of the image.

The power of music can be a tool for helping ourselves stand up to the seasonal sapping of our energy and drive. In this post, we'll explore ways to harness the power of music to embolden and energize oneself while waiting on the arrival of more daylight hours with spring.

Morning Music

Try starting your morning with music. Your personal right mix of tunes can help get you out of bed and get plugged into your day. Try music that builds over time—getting louder and faster as it continues. Through the "magic" of a phenomenon called entrainment, our bodies respond to rhythm in various ways. For example, research shows heartbeat rates synchronize with the tempo of rhythms that we hear.

To give yourself a morning jump-start, pick music with a lively, energetic tempo. Here are some examples of music that builds in speed and/or volume over time:

  • "In the Hall of The Mountain King" - Edvard Grieg's PeerGynt, Suite No. 1, Op. 46.

  • "Bolero" - Maurice Ravel

  • "Overture" to The Barber of Seville - Gioachino Rossini

Check YouTube for versions to your liking.


Afternoon Music

The afternoon can seem to stretch on forever at the best of times. Give your January afternoons a jolt by listening to music with a strong beat and varied rhythms. Turning to our EDM (Electronic Dance Music) friends gives us a source of hours of music to energize our afternoons. Search online for music streaming sources of the "Melodic Progressive" genre EDM. I bet you'll be tapping your toes in no time flat and your afternoon will fly by!


Evening Music

Darkness extends through much of the day in January. A sense of being drained and sluggish often accompany the darkness . Turn to your favourite music that has rich harmonies and a wide mix of sounds as a way to enliven your evenings—listen to something that challenges your ears and takes a bit of focus. I've given you a few examples below to get you started:

  • "Songs From Liquid Days" - Philip Glass

  • "The Planets" - Gustav Holst

  • "Symphony No. 5 in D minor, 4th movement: Allegro non troppo" - D. Shostakovich

AttuneAbles invites you to share your favourite music for keeping yourself energized. What have you noticed about how music affects you? Let us know in the comments.


Eric L. Ross, M.Ed., is a Registered Counselling Therapist, Canadian Certified Counsellor, and Certified Music Therapist. His passion is helping people create meaningful and lasting change in their lives. He is in private practice at Attune Counselling Therapy and Music Psychotherapy in Dartmouth, NS.

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