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  • Judith Pinkerton

Music on our Minds

Updated: Mar 17



The Global Council on Brain Health researched and recommends incorporating music into our lives to improve well-being and quality of life in the AARP report.(1)





1. Share music that describes your current life theme with families and loved ones.

2. Solo – or with family - dance, sing or move to music for exercise, clearing lactic acid buildup, to relieve stress and stimulate your brain.

3. Listen to familiar music for comfort and good memories.

4. Try new music to activate your brain differently.

5. Correct hearing loss to maintain brain health, preserve cognitive function, and enjoy music.

6. Make music playing a musical instrument for self-esteem and enhancing brain activity.

7. When unhappy, listen to music to improve your mood or relieve feelings of depression.

8. When many other abilities are compromised through frailty or ill-health, try enjoying music as one of the best ways to engage in a pleasurable activity.

10. Use music to encourage mindfulness and minimize negative thinking. Music therapy is often used as part of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help improve mood, anxiety and depression.

11. When caregiving, use music the person likes to reduce anxiety, depression. agitation and improve family connections (i.e. dementia challenges).


In addition to these eleven recommendations, Judith Pinkerton offers three more options to improve well-being and quality of life. These options are in response to mood problems she has encountered. Judith reports, "During my work as a music therapist, I recognized certain mood inflexibilities that manifested as emotion dysregulation in more than 11,000 clients over a period of seven years. This results in their poor ability to cope with unsettled moods including anger, anxiety, depression and sadness, thereby disrupting positive mental health."


1. Explore technology and find new music with expanded access across multiple devices using iTunes, Spotify, Youtube or Pandora.

2.. Discover what you don't know about music listening habits by enrolling in eCourses developed to teach self-care utilizing the Music Medicine Protocol, at MusicMedicineAcademy.com.

3. Read research studying emotion dysregulation investigated by Powers et al in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.(2)



(1) Access the Global Council on Brain Health report

(2) Powers, A., Cross, D., Fani, N. and Bradley, B. (2015). PTSD, emotion dysregulation, and dissociative symptoms in a highly traumatized sample. Journal of Psychiatric Research,

Volume 61, 2015, 174-179, ISSN 0022-3956. doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.12.011



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