Uplifting music for motivation and inspiration

Even though I recovered from Anorexia ten years ago, I’m very open and candid about the fact that my journey continues when it comes to being completely well mentally (and physically) because I still have anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder. So there are days when I need to be productive, I need to get up and go, and I just can’t. It’s like being crushed by a giant weight I can’t push off, however hard I try. And it’s worse, because I know I have to face the day and I’ve usually got millions of things to do! This happens especially on dark, dank days when the sun doesn’t decide to show its face – and we have a lot of those days here in England.

One thing I’ve learnt over the years (even in the absence of the sun) is that music can help with this. Certain types just lift my heart a little and I feel able to potter about and do things – even if they’re only small jobs. At other times I feel invincible and get LOADS done – just by listening to a few playlists.

What music??

Music is subjective of course and it depends on taste. I’m one of those people who loves pretty much every kind of music (apart from the screamy heavy metal stuff and loud opera – both hurt my ears!) I have a real mixed bag of artists if you were to browse my iTunes – from Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne to Louis Armstrong, Etta James and Einaudi (a classical pianist). It all depends what mood I’m in – and what I want to do. Acoustic tracks and piano music are good for writing sometimes, but at other times I need a kick up the arse. Uplifting music takes soo many forms – it all depends on what you want it to do and how you’re feeling.

Soul

I LOVE soul music – it’s my go-to for everything. I found a few playlists on free internet radio 8 tracks which I’d love to share with you – even if it’s not your thing, give it a listen in the background. It’s feel-good, happy, genuine music and for me it’s hard to be unhappy when I’ve got my soul on.

R n B

RnB is great because for those of you who hate old music (:() there’s a modern reincarnation of it for you to enjoy. I love Jhene Aiko, The Weekend, Trey Songz and Neyo for chilled, soulful music.

Motivational

Rap is great for this but also electronic, house or dance music with a rapid solid beat. Obviously I always listen to this type of thing at the gym but I also like listening to it if I’ve got a job to finish or need to feel excited and upbeat.

Calming

If you’re really after something very subdued and calming then for me piano music and relaxation songs are the best. The sort you listen to in a spa (with chimes and whales) do send me to sleep so I can’t always listen to them for long unless they have got a beat to them – and there’s a fair few ambient, ethnic tracks that do!

Motivational

I love it when people make mixes on Youtube or Soundcloud which incorporate sometimes almost subliminal messages into decent music which gets you going and motivates your mind all at the same time. Harmonic Vibrations on free playlist sharing site 8tracks is one of my favourites for this – you can check their page out here.

 

What’s your go to music (if you have any!)?

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5 tips to feel better NOW during recovery

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Bad day? No problem!

Talk to someone about themselves: Yep, anyone! It can get really tiring just talking about ourselves and our situation all the time, especially if it is in a negative capacity. Go and ask someone a question – not only will it make them feel good, but you’ll get to know lots about that person and may even be able to offer them advice or learn something new. It’s really refreshing to talk about something you never normally would – especially if your daily dialogue usually revolves around health care and food.

Go out and spend some time in the sunshine: I am a self-confessed sun fiend (I actually NEED it to function properly at all!) and even now I always feel better for a little time spent with its warm rays on my face. When I was poorly, a couple of the nurses would wheel me out into the sun because they knew how much it benefited me – physically and mentally. The sun has been shown to help lift mood and also restores vital vitamins in the body such as vitamin D which is very much needed during recovery. Obviously too much sun exposure is bad for us so if you’re sensitive make sure you’re wearing protection and don’t lie in it all day!

Do something which you enjoy: Even if you don’t feel like it. Read a book, paint a picture, sketch, play a computer game, have a go on the drums or the guitar (whatever floats your boat – I’m just guessing!) Take a long shower, or if you’re able to, a bath is also great for relaxing and uplifting. Go all out with candles and your favourite smellies – paint your nails, indulge in a face mask. Just half an hour out of a crappy day giving yourself a break can often be enough to change it around.

Have a go at havening: I’m really interested in how techniques such as NLP and havening can help recovery – not just for eating disorders but also for anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia and more. My lovely friend Geraldine has used touch therapy and NLP extensively in her own life and with her family and it has really made an incredible difference. I’m only just learning more about it, but if you’re interested check out this simple article in which Paul Mckenna introduces havening and shares an easy ten minute technique you can try.

Watch an inspirational video or film: I know it sounds a bit silly but honestly, it’s remarkable how uplifting and inspiring some movies can be. It doesn’t have to be heavy or intellectual or spiritual – just a film that makes you feel good! Perhaps it’s a film from your childhood, or even a TV show. If you want to try something new, take a look at some of the inspirational videos on Youtube. There’s lots of them – many of them have beautiful photographs and offer a new perspective on life which you might be able to take something away from.

 

We all have bad days – and it’s completely understandable that you may be having more than most at the moment. Remember that one bad day isn’t a setback, it’s not a failure, it’s simply a bad day. Give yourself a break, remember how far you’ve come and focus on your future goals – you’ll get there 🙂

If you’re into beauty, why not have a look at these simple uplifting beauty rituals to brighten your day?

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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