How To: Condition Your Emotions with Music

You may know about the experiment often referred to as Pavlov’s Dog. This is also a type of Classical Conditioning.

Classical Conditioning definition

While most people recognize this experiment, have you ever considered how you have been classically conditioned?

Popular in behavioral health, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, and their peers will use conditioning to help with PTSD, substance abuse, working through phobias and specific anxieties.

This is essentially building a habit. You know that once you’ve adapted to a new habit, you miss the thing if you don’t follow through with that habit. Here’s a podcast episode tying in addiction and how we engage in behaviors.

Why not try to hack the process and positively conditioning yourself?

There are many routes to improving your mood, changing your attitude, or dealing with your mental health – journaling, physical movement, talking, etc. – but I would like to focus on music today.

Now, you’re probably saying, “Duh, Sandy, we already know music can make you happy.”

TRUE.

We also know an amazing playlist can make or break a party.

I have a couple of tips on how to make a playlist that can adjust your mood in the direction you want it to go.

How To:
Condition Your
Emotions with Music

Think about it like this: You’ve built this super fun playlist with your favorite songs for your workouts. You are in the middle of a run or the middle of a set, full on beast mode, and a song comes on and all of your energy just drops.

What just happened? This song is awesome – why did it just ruin your workout.

Maybe because it wasn’t the right bpm.

Stay with me here.

BPM = beats per minute

Here’s how to hack this knowledge
for your personal use:

1. Decide on the mood you want to feel.
For example: You want to work on your endurance during a workout.

2. Think of a song that always gives you the energy you need.
In this case – whenever Money Maker by Ludacris came on, I’d have the mindset that I could get over that hill, do one more set, etc.

3. Go to jog.fm

4. Search for your song.

5. Note the BPMs on the right.
Money Maker is 83 bpm (x2) – aka 166 bpm.

6. On the left side of the page, scroll down a bit and you can search by a chosen BPM.

7. Enter the BPM of your original song and click search. 

8. You will get back a huge list. Narrow it down by your preferred genre/type of music.
I prefer R&B and Hip Hop for working out, but you do you.

9. Use this new list as a starting point to add songs that will fit into your goals.

SK - How to condition your emotions with music, steps 1 - 9

Last Bit of Advice

This works really well for other emotions, too.

Sometimes you just need songs that will let you wallow in your misery or that will let you rage (without being stabby).

Set these up while you are in a productive mood, so they are ready to go when you need them.

Extras

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