Lots of things can cause you to feel stressed out, like reading unsettling news headlines or scrolling through envy-inducing social feeds. As a result, many millennials have become interested in practicing mindfulness and self-care. There are tons of tiny tweaks you can make each day to help achieve a healthier headspace, from sneaking in more steps to meditation to listening to music. We were curious about exactly why listening to upbeat tunes always make us feel better (singing is a proven mood booster), so we reached out to composer and author Serge Mazerand. He uses the seven basic keys of music to explain why, and it’s totally fascinating. Read on for his take.

woman listening to music

A New Way to Think About Music

Mazerand wasn’t surprised to hear that listening to music works wonders when it comes to helping us de-stress and relax. “The German poet Novalis wrote that every disease is a musical problem and its cure a musical solution,” he clues us in. “This was hardly an exaggeration! By nature, we’re all musical beings.” He went on to tell us that “musical” means each human is in tune with vibrations, frequencies, amplitudes, and rhythms, and that we all have different ways to resonate with people and things. “We set the tone; we feel upbeat or downbeat. We can sing, hum, whistle, and dance. On a scientific level, inside us, our cells ‘orchestrate’ a subtle symphony called homeostasis.” When we think about it like that, it completely makes sense that music can have such a powerful effect on us.

Mazerand tells us that his desire to dig deeper into why music helps came from his own personal experience. “Coming from a stressful corporate background, music helped me reconnect with myself to relax and heal, or re-harmonize,” he shares. “When I began playing the piano again after taking a long break, I found that a stream of consciousness poured out. Music allowed me to get in touch with my emotions, and it acted as a catalyst for change and transformation.” Not a musician at heart? No worries! Mazerand says that you can apply how he thinks about each musical key to any creative hobby, life goal, or daily routine to channel the same relaxing and happy vibes.

Mazerand’s 7 Keys for Serenity

Mazerand explains each of his seven main musical keys for us, noting how focusing on each can make you feel more balanced, happy, and healthy:

1. A for Awareness: “To me, awareness is the master key to a successful, abundant, and healthy life,” Mazerand says. It’s consciousness, mindfulness, and intuition, almost like an antenna you can use to effortlessly scan your environment.” Even more, he says that awareness helps us listen to our bodies, minds, and hearts. “Get out of the ‘autopilot’ mode that so many people live in every day,” he says. According to Mazerand, awareness plays out in each of the following keys too.

2. B for Belief: “Through awareness, we come to identify our beliefs and realize which ones empower us and which limit our potential.” He suggests that balanced beliefs help us build balanced lives and that we are what we believe. We totally buy it.

3. C for Creativity: Mazerand dishes that everyone has heaps of creativity within them, and that each of us can summon some to design our lives and our reality. “We can create our thoughts rather than letting thoughts create us,” he wisely notes. “We create choice and change rather than letting them dictate our reality.” Living intentionally might call for extra effort, but it’s worth it to live a life you love.

4. D for Discipline: “Conscious change and transformation don’t happen without implementation,” Mazerand reminds us. “Discipline is actually what makes things happen.” Basically, it’s great to have dreams and ideas, but you need to dedicate yourself to doing the work and making them happen. Remember the D key when you’re working on your side hustle or a seemingly impossible work project. Stay the course and you can do it!

5. E for Energy: Mazerand explains that everything is music, such as vibration, sound, frequencies, and unseen and unheard fields of energy that surround and connect us. This can totally include the negative vibes you feel at work, grudges you’ve been holding against a friend, or unexplainable instincts you have about certain places or people. Do your best to feel everything out and spend time in situations where you feel happiest. Projecting and picking up more positive energy will help you soar.

6. F for Flow: “Mentally and emotionally we create flow through forgiveness and freedom from things like addiction and distraction,” Mazerand tells us. To master your own flow, Mazerand suggests getting rid of anything that “blocks” you from creating energy that feels good, like a toxic work culture or friendship. The more you can clear away, the better your shot at a constant source of uplifting, healthy energy.

7. G for Guidance: Circling back to awareness, Mazerand highlights spirituality as the final key. “We realize the presence of a force infinitely greater than us; whether that’s God or something else for you. Whatever name you give this invisible yet powerful energy, know it’s there, available for you to connect to anytime.” He promises that the result will be a sense of serenity that helps bring even more happiness. Perfect!

Does music make you feel better? Share your favorite power song with us on Twitter @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)