What’s your favorite song of all time? Quickly, you only have five seconds…1…2…3…4…5…Do you have it? Write it down. Now think about what you were doing in your life around the time that song first became popular or when you first loved it, played it over and over on your CD player, and sang it incessantly in your head and out loud.
The song you chose is your favorite because it makes you happy. Our brains are hardwired to connect to memories associated with the music surrounding that time. For example, when I hear the song Hysteria by Def Leppard, I think about a summer when the words on that tape wore away, I had played it so much in my Walkman. I am transported back to that summer of 1988, when I had more freedom as a rising high school freshman. I can feel the roughness of dried salt water on my skin, the Banana Boat aloe vera coolness on my crispy sunburn, the stickiness of the plastic seat on the public bus where my friends and I blasted the hair band over and over on my way to and from the beach. That summer I had made profound, positive connections with people, something that hadn’t happened the summer before. The connections cultivated during that time are actually what make me happy, not necessarily the sensations or the music.
At Mind the Mat we believe exercise should be joyous and positive…whether it’s a blissful yoga practice or an excruciating Pilates Boot Camp. Working out already produces the endorphins that make you happy, but, you can also be happy while you are in the midst of it. Hopefully your favorite songs make you feel this way because they bring you back to a happy time, an incredible accomplishment, or a rite of passage but mainly, a connection you made with some human being. And that connection brought you joy.
Gettin’ sweaty connects us all. We are all commiserating collectively while holding down dog for five breaths or pumping our arms to the beat during the Pilates Hundred. Music reinforces and deepens this connection as we bond over 80s tunes or boyband favorites. The result is an endorphin-friend-happiness explosion that is hard to suppress. Music (plus sweat) truly makes the people come together.
Please comment below what your favorite song is and why! You can be very specific or vague in your response, and we will create a Stylebook playlist!
Here are a few of my favorite creations for themed classes at Mind the Mat: