Tag Archives: Music

Best Workout Music

You may remember that during my Positivity Project I emphasized music to lift my mood.  Well, music also has a significant affect your work-out. Music allows athletes to work harder and perform better, but not without perceiving the resulting increased level of exertion. Here’s what I’m listening to:

  • Make It Take It by Amanda Blank
  • Check It Out by Nicki Minaj & will.i.am
  • Pretty Girl Rock by Keri Hilson
  • Just Dance by Lady Gaga
  • Stand Up Tall by Basement Jaxx
  • Anti Matter by N.E.R.D.
  • Shake It to the Ground by DJ Blaqstarr featuring Rye Rye
  • Hottie Boombalottie by Kef
  • What About Your Friends by TLC
  • Get Up by Mary Mary
  • Boyz by M.I.A.
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Positive Playlist

My final paper my senior year at college was about how your mood can be affected by the music you listen to, and also the affect it has on the way you process information. In the same way that being around positive people makes you feel more positive, music can lighten your mood. I’ve always felt that instinctively from being involved in music. In High school I would listen to Matchbox 20 to bury myself deeper in a bad mood. Before tests I always listened to complex music Mozart or Chemical Brothers to prepare my brain for analyzing lots of information together. When I’ve pushed myself too far through bad relationships, there’s nothing that calms me as much as Jack Johnson.  I got an A on the paper by the way.

Here are some of my top favorite songs from my “Positive” Playlist:

  • Just Fine—Mary J Blige
  • All Right Now—Free
  • Keep Your Head Up—Andy Grammer
  • Touches You—Mika
  • I’d Like To—Corinne Bailey Rae
  • The Whip—Locksley
  • Motown Philly—Boys 2 Men
  • ABC—Jackson 5
  • Let Her Dance—The Bobby Fuller Four
  • Turn My Swag On—Alexa Goddard
  • Feelin’ Groovy—Simon & Garfunkle
  • Hey, Hey We’re the Monkies—The Monkies
  • I Am Not My Hair—India Arie ft Akon
  • Crocodile Rock—Elton John

I’d love to hear what music you listen to in order to improve your mood.


No to Negative

“There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.” — Maya Angelou

It’s a little ironic that the day I get back from visiting my most sarcastic friend in the most stereotypically depressing city in the world, I start a project on staying optimistic. Yesterday I woke up at 4am (their time) and got into Orlando (having only had sprite and a few handfuls of peanuts) at 4pm. Logan was running late, so by the time I got home it was 6:30. It was probably the worst possible day for trying to be positive, because I was so tired I was in hysterics, even getting frustrated with Logan for not dropping his chili immediately to say goodnight to me. He laughed, I got more neurotic. Then today I caught myself telling Graham that I suck at being positive. Good start.

Here’s the plan:

  • Stay upbeat and see the bright side of things. Studies show that even when you act like you’re in a good mood, not only does it lift the people around you up, but you actually start feeling happier yourself.
  • Have a well-rounded diet with an emphasis on good mood foods like complex carbs (e.g. brown rice, quinoa), B vitamins (e.g. milk, citrus fruits), “happy fats” (e.g. Fish oil, olive oil) and of course anadamine (chocolate!). This also means limiting my intake of depressant like alcohol and not over-eating.
  • Exercise. Preferably outside and at least 20 minutes a day. I’m going to do an exercise project later, but the release of endorphins when you exercise has too much of an impact on positivity to not include.
  • Keep myself surrounded by positive activities like listening to comedy and positive music, reading Bossy Pants by Tina Fey and only watching comedy movies/shows.
  • Keep myself surrounded by positive people. Also, just making sure I don’t isolate myself. Studies show that both extroverts AND introverts get a mood boost from connecting with other people.
  • Smile and laugh more.
  • What is it that they say at AA? “Accept the things I can not change”? This goes for events, people and all the lists I keep.
  • Write in a gratitude journal everyday.

Carried over from other projects:

  • Gluten-free diet.
  • More fresh veggies and fruits.
  • More hobbies and activities, less TV.
  • Avoid things that conflict with who I am.

Featured: Tom Buckley

 Tommy is the most driven and talented drummer I know, but what I always found most amazing is that he’s able to strive for his goals with a level of modesty and support for others. In high-school I remember him being the main proponent for my ambitions. He was always there to have lengthy discussions about whatever book I was reading, or making me CD’s that expanded my current list of favorites, or even supporting me when I decided to get back into horseback riding. I decided it was about time to catch up with him before Nylon does.
EF (Me): What do you like to do in your spare time Tomas?
TB (T-Bucks): Anything related to music (i.e. playing, listening to, watching live, teaching, reading about, etc.), playing poker, reading about philosophy/religion, being outdoors, challenging myself, and just hanging with people over good beer.
EF: I recently gave up eating gluten, and I know you have a pretty strict diet going on because of allergies right?
TB: I can’t eat whey (the protein in milk), so no dairy products, no eggs, no shell fish, and no nuts except for almonds for some strange reason.  So, I eat a lot of meat, grains, and vegetables.
EF: If you were on death row, what would be your final meal?
TB: Filet minon, which was wrapped in bacon, and mashed potatoes made without milk.
EF: Switching gear back to your passion for music–how many bands are you in at this point?
TB: Four consistant ones.  The rest is freelance work.
EF:  How do you find the motivation to constantly be moving forward as a musician?
TB: A lot of my inspiration comes from external sources, such as musicians that I admire or enjoy listening to.  I also have an idea in my head of what I want to sound like, and until I attain that level of musicianship, I can’t be satisfied.  It’s like I know and can hear what I want to sound like, but it’s just a matter of getting my body to give in to it and be free.  Sometimes this is easier than others to achieve.  It’s never been about wanting to be famous or anything, more just a personal endeavor to live up to my potential and be one with the music (as cheesy as that may sound).  Also, I know that this a very difficult career to succeed at, and so I need to be consistently getting better in order to continue making money.
EF: What are things you have to sacrifice for your passion?
TB: The two main things would be sleep and long-standing relationships with girls.
EF:  What’s your Achilles heel?
TB: Being too hard on myself.
EF:  Can I still be your friend when you make it big?
TB: YES!!
EF:  What are you listening to most right now?
TB: Kneebody’s newest record called You Can Have Your Moment.
EF:  Who inspires you most in the world of music?
TB: Flying Lotus, Radiohead, Samiyam, Kneebody, John Scofield, Wayne Krantz, Mark Guiliana, Eric Harland, Erykah Badu, MF Doom, Aesop Rock…the list goes on and on.  Really anyone who expresses themselves honestly through music and at the same time makes some sort of product which is intricate/thoughtful but also approachable by just your average listener.
EF: In the art  world?
TB: David Lynch.
EF: In the world of sports:
TB: Roger Federer and Dirk Nowitski.
EF: Any last words of advice?
TB: There is a logical reason for all occurrences in the universe, including people’s actions.  I think that everyone should take this into consideration before passing judgement on somebody/something.  If everyone did this, I feel there would be greater harmony among us.