ABCs of Vital Aging: Music

ABCs of Vital Aging: Music

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As a Detroiter, I’ve always leaned toward the Motown sound, along with sixties music and of course, classic rock from the seventies.  But recently, I’ve been wanting to introduce some new music to my brain.  My musical tastes are in a time warp, and I need to shake them up a little!

The old songs I listen to have a way of evoking long-forgotten memories, good times, old friends and loved ones. The song “Isn’t Life Strange,” from Blues album, Seventh Sojourn, always makes me think about my brother, who died unexpectedly in April of 2000. Other songs bring back memories of great (and not so great) times during my angst-ridden teenage years.   

Would you want to live without music? I sure wouldn’t. Imagine a movie without music in the background, developing the mood of that particular scene. Imagine seeing a bride walking down the aisle without hearing that familiar tune that defines a wedding. Not having lullabies to sing your child to sleep, nor songs that make us want to get up and dance with abandon. . . . Life would definitely be strange!

For me, there’s no denying that music is a part of vital aging – just because it brings pleasure to our lives. It makes us want to dance.  Sharing a concert experience with our friends enhances our friendships.

But there’s more to it than that.  There’s also scientific evidence that shows how music enhances our mental health. For example, listening to it can boost our mood (Not that I needed any research to realize that).

According to health experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine, music can keep our brains youthful.  Music engages the brain, lessens anxiety, improve our sleep. Listening to new music may boost our creativity. 

And believe it or not, our brains love when we hear new music!  Read why in this article, The Science behind the Awesome Feeling of Discovering New Music.






I felt the dopamine in my brain kicking on when, shortly after getting hooked on Alt Nation, I discovered a new song, My Typeby a group called Saint Motel. It made me want to move in a way that vaguely resembles dancing.  I have my daughter to thank for that, since if it wasn’t for her, I’d be listening to the same old, same old tunes! 

For Further Reading:

Your Brain (and Health) on Music  

The Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health

Music Therapy for Health and Wellness

Your Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You’ve Taken Music Lessons 

©VitalAging4Women 2016-2017

ABCs of Vital Aging: Friendships

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ABCs of Vital Aging: Friendships







“You’ve got to have friends,” Bette Midler sang way back in the early seventies, and she sure had it right.  Truer words were never sung.

Whenever I go out for a girl’s night out with my two best friends (we’ve had a 46-year friendship, which tells you that I’m no spring chicken), we laugh, cheer each other on, and lift each other up.  When we were young, we’d go to parties, talk about our “crushes” on boys, and what dreams we had for our lives. Now that we’re of a certain age (not old, mind you, just “perfected”), we talk about how our husbands drive us crazy, brag about our kids and bemoan the aches and pains that come with age. Continue reading

ABCs of Vital Aging: Laughter


I lost my sense of humor one time.  It caused me to take myself way too seriously and sucked the fun out of my life. I was reading a Sunday newspaper, and silly me, instead of checking out the Comics section, a gloom-and-doom headline caught my eye and just like that, my sense of humor walked out the door. 

Continue reading

21 Ways to Make the World a Better Place



This is the beginning of a new day.  You have been given this day to use it as you will.  You can waste it or use it for good.  What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.  When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; it its place is something that you left behind.  Let it be something good. (Attributed to Mahatma Ghandi)


  • Reach out to a homebound neighbor with a visit or phone call
  • Do something kind for a caregiver
  • Volunteer at a homeless or animal shelter
  • Adopt a pet
  • Become a literacy volunteer
  • Donate a pint of blood or become a bone marrow donor
  • Adopt a family at holiday time
  • Pick up litter while walking through your neighborhood 
  • Donate money or food to a local food bank
  • Participate in a walk to end Alzheimer’s
  • Fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
  • Thank a member of the Armed Services 
  • Take a care package to your local police station to thank the guys/gals in blue
  • Take time to listen to someone else
  • Give someone a sincere compliment – show them that they have value
  • Send a care package anonymously to someone who’s going through hard times
  • Find ways to volunteer at the Create the Good site
  • Try the latest online challenge to honor those who serve our country
  • Honor our planet:  Don’t litter. Treat our historical sites and National Parks with the respect they deserve. Recycle and re-use. 
  • Be patient with one another
  • Advocate for something you believe in

ABCs of Vital Aging: Accept & Applaud







Do you remember the recent online video about the Playboy model at a gym who violated another woman’s privacy by taking a snapchat photo of her while she was showering, then body-shaming her? When I saw this story, I thought about how this cruel action must have felt to the woman who was shamed.  Why did the “beautiful” woman feel compelled to do that to another woman?  Did it make her feel good about herself?  Did it make her feel superior? Continue reading

ABCs of Vital Aging: Be Kind


Florist Helping Senior Female Customer to Choose Plant

My position in Human Resources involves working with the public.  I recently helped a young lady at the counter with a minor problem she was having, involving a job application.  She emailed me the next day with some nice words about me and our interaction. Continue reading

Breaking Good, Part 2 – Changing the World

I recently got hooked on the television series “Breaking Bad.” As I watched the story line unfold, I started thinking about how one simple decision can lead to an unexpected chain of events.  In the case of the infamous Walter White, mild-mannered Chemistry teacher turned bad guy, this decision led to murder, an airline catastrophe, and so much more.  In a television series, of course, the viewer gets to see what happens from that first moment a character makes a choice. Continue reading

ABCs of Vital Aging: Assertiveness










When I was in my early 20’s, many moons ago, community education programs would offer Assertiveness Training courses. My friend and I would go to these classes, hoping to break ourselves of our passive (and occasionally, passive-aggressive) behavior. We wanted to be able to ask the waitress for another burger when the one we ordered was underdone. We wanted to stand up for ourselves when other people walked all over us, or when a boyfriend stomped our hearts to bits.  Continue reading