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April Jeppson: It’s amazing how music affects your mood

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


I’m flipping through channels on my radio and a song comes on. My grandma really liked this one. As I sit and sing along to the comical lyrics, I’m reminded of my grandmother. In fact, even after the song is over, I’m still thinking about times we shared and moments we had together. I felt close to her, like I got to spend a little time with her that day. It’s amazing how powerful a song can be — transport you to a different place in time or simply alter your mood.

I have a specific set of songs on my workout playlist that are designed to pump me up and help me power through. When I taught cosmetology, I had certain rules for what kind of music could be played during hands-on learning. It had to be upbeat and positive. No exceptions. I’m not sure if you’ve ever wrapped a perm — it’s not the easiest thing to do. It requires finger dexterity, precision, patience and speed. Teaching two dozen 19-year-olds how to perform a service that they think is lame and then requiring them to practice it for hours on end — positive, upbeat music was required. And it worked. As annoyed as they were with the assignment, at least they were smiling, singing along and I could no longer hear their whining (partly because I had that music cranked up).

Ever have a good cry? I had one the other day. I watched a movie that sparked some sadness, and I decided that I wanted to keep going. I played a song that pulled at my heartstrings, and I began singing until the tears came. For an hour I listened to that song on repeat and it helped purge my body of all the tears that I’d be holding in for who knows how long. I cried about the movie, I cried about loved ones I’d lost, I cried about mistakes I’d made, I cried about how my little babies are growing up — anything I could think of. I let the music bathe me in sadness until I was at peace with my feelings.

I’m at my desk and I have a case of the Mondays, except it’s not even Monday — I’m just dragging. I hydrate and have a little snack. My mood is still blah. I caffeinate and still nothing. Then I adjust the music. I find something out of the norm — something fun — a little Flo Rida, or perhaps James Taylor and once again, I crank it. I look across the room at my co-workers who are smiling because they can hear the obvious change in music. We look at each other and almost in unison start chair dancing. (That’s when you work in an office and can only bob your head and move your arms to dance because you’re sitting in your chair.)

I’m about to hop in the car for a little solo road trip. I look forward to my alone time, especially in the car. It’s an opportunity to play Weezer and Sarah McLaughlin and pretend that I’m performing a concert for thousands. The people who see me driving are entertained, and I show up to my destination in the best mood ever. So if this world is getting you down, maybe schedule in a good cry or rock out to something positive. Either way, you’re in control of the dial.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.