Recently, my colleagues and I were sitting in the lunchroom. Then someone said the band “ABBA” is coming to town. I said, “I love ABBA,” and then we started talking about how we love the music of “ABBA.” And then I started singing one of ABBA’s song, “ You are the Dancing Queen.” Immediately others join in and we were singing this beautiful song. We didn’t care how we sound, we are not professional singers, and because we sound so bad, it was funny. We went on to sing, “I’m coming out,” by Diana Ross. When other colleagues walked into the lunchroom, they smile, and some people join in, and others started to dance. When new staff came into the lunchroom, they were dancing and singing too. I thought wow, music was bonding us together, it gave us something to talk and laugh about. It lightened the mood, and we were happy. We started sharing information about the singers. One colleague shared information about Al Green. He told us that Al Green is now a pastor. So we bonded over the music of ABBA, Diana Ross and Al Green. We had a great time. Laughter is an excellent way to decrease stress because when we are laughing, we are not thinking about our sorrows or stresses in life. We are in the moment, laughing and having fun.
When I clean my home, I put on upbeat music, sing and dance around the house. And before I know it, all my cleaning is done. Music distracted me and made doing chores fun. Sometimes when I am in my car and driving to my destination, I put on music, sing and laugh.
I went to L’Amoreaux High School, and I remember when they had days where the students got dressed up and danced to the music of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. My friends and I would dance to the song, “Grease Lightning,” and Chubby Checker’s song, “The Twist.” We would laugh and have a great time.
Music can instantly bring me back to moments in time, for example, me and my friend Janet would walk to school, and we would sing songs we heard on the radio. So whenever I hear Crystal Gayle’s song, “Don’t it make my brown eyes blue,” I immediately remember Janet and the fun times we had singing and walking to school.
When my children were very young, I would put on the Motown Music, and my children would take turns standing on my feet as we dance to the music of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, and several others. William Makepeace Thackeray said, “A good laugh is sunshine in the house.”
So if you are feeling, low, sad or depressed, play your favorite song, dance, laugh, have fun, and let the music carry you to your happy place. Lord Byron said, “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” So laugh, and let joy back into your life.
Esmie Lawrence is an international best-selling author, speaker, blogger and podcaster.