Today on this Monday I am celebrating... scratch that... CELEBRATING... for two reasons. First of all, it is officially summer!! As a girl who grew up in Northern Utah, it has felt like summer in Las Vegas for a while now, but we've officially hit 100-degree days and so summer is here. While I'm not in love with that high of temps, I am in love with the excuse to lay in the swimming pool every possible second I can. 

The second reason I am celebrating today is the fact that I received news this morning that the trial I have been going through over the last 6 months has come to a close. I will write more on this in weeks to come, but for now, I will just say that a huge amount of stress was lifted from my shoulders this morning and for that, I am so so grateful (and so so happy)!

So... in the spirit of keeping things light, today's self-care strategy is:

Music

I love music. Absolutely love it. Since I was a little girl I have had music playing every second of the day. Since the time I was 10 years old I had the most updated stereo and seemed to need a new one every Christmas/birthday. From my tape recorder boombox to my single disc stereo, to my 5-disc changing multi-speaker stereo, to the iPod shuffle, iPod, and now where I have every song I own on my phone, as well as my record player where I enjoy listening to the classics. I am proud to say that in my lifetime music has come full circle!

It is still amazing to me that when I was in grade-school (not that long ago) I would sit in my room listening to the radio ALL DAY waiting for a certain song to come on the radio when I would then run frantically to my stereo and hit record so as to tape it on a cassette tape and now I have quite literally any song ever recorded at my fingertips to download in a matter of seconds. Incredible.

As a child, I loved Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Brian White, Michael Jackson, and Backstreet Boys...

...As a teenager, I swooned over soft-rock classics like Chicago, Journey, and John Waite as well as anything country, especially Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Lady Antebellum. My music taste has evolved over the years and now have a hard time explaining my favorites to anyone because you've likely never heard of them, except for the few I've always held dear: Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, Jonie Mitchell, and the Beatles. However, I still nostalgically love the music of my past.

"Music is built from elements of time and dimension. It creates an internal world of shape and meaning that drives emotion and alters body chemistry. It is a vibration that travels through the atmosphere and resonates in the body and mind of the listener."

Music has always been a huge part of me. I turn to song lyrics when I can't find the words to express how I feel. In times of trouble and times of joy, I turn to music to lift my spirit. As a teenager, I enjoyed writing piano music and lyrics. In college, nothing made me happier than jamming out on my drum set or sitting around listening to my friends strum their guitars. In my travels I always try to find a jazz bar to relax in or a concert to check out. And nothing is quite as fulfilling as turning on my music full blast and singing at the top of my lungs. Music has a healing power, it is loved by all, and there's no doubt that it is one of the most unifying tactics the world has to offer. 

 5 scientific reasons why music is good for your health:

1. Music releases dopamine. Dopamine is the hormone that is linked with feelings of reward. Our bodies release this hormone during sex, when we eat, and other pleasurable activities.

2. Sad music helps during hard times. Listening to that sad playlist during times of trial actually brings out emotions such as wonder, transcendence, peace, power, and nostalgia.

3. Music helps reduce anxiety. A study done involving surgery patients showed that music helps reduce anxiety. One group was given anxiety meds prior to going into surgery, while another group listened to music with no meds. Those patients who listened to the music had lower levels of anxiety.

4. Music increases immune functioning. Music has been found to increase levels of IgA, which is an antibody in the immune system, so turn up those tunes to guard yourself against sickness.

5. Music builds connection. As mentioned before, music is a wonderful unifying tool that brings people to together. Not only that but listening to music releases oxytocin, which is the hormone that is released during childbirth and sex. 

So who needs more reasons than that to indulge in some self-care tonight?! However you like to listen to music, and whatever your taste may be, crank up the jams and show yourself some love!

Below you will find a summer playlist of sorts I've put together with the feel good songs I'm jammin on lately. Loves! And happy summertime!!!

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