LET THE MUSIC PLAY – And Have Yourself A Lovely Day!

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Music Therapy For Cancer Patients

Music is amazing, isn’t it? It can trigger memories of dancing till 3 am with your girlfriends in college.  An amazing road trip that you took with your boyfriend. Your wedding night. Your favorite movie. It also brings us back to chapters that we try to forget. A bad breakup. A job that you just couldn’t stand. The loss of a loved one. I could go on and on but this is supposed to be a positive, uplifting post.

That being said, music is therapy for me. No, it doesn’t cure cancer. Or instantly mend a broken heart. But it does make me feel better, which leads me to believe that music for cancer patients (or anyone for that matter) is a truly a form of therapy.  

The Research

My nerdy side felt compelled to seek out some research to back up my claim that music is good for us. Below are my findings:

“Music was shown to have beneficial effects on anxiety, pain, fatigue, and quality of life, with small effects on heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, in a systematic review of 52 clinical trials involving 3,731 patients with cancer. It was also reported to improve coping and social integration and reduce mood disturbance in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, a procedure associated with high levels of distress.

Interesting, huh? You can view the whole article here.

Basically, music is going to improve your mood. Since I’m here to help you, I went ahead and created a very special playlist for your listening pleasure. It’s right here on Spotify. Download it. Blast it nice and loud when nobody is home.  If you don’t have a Spotify account, I strongly suggest you get one. So much fun. You can create playlists for just about any mood and any occasion. From dropping the kids off at school to jamming out at your desk….or maybe you’re just having a hard day and need to shift your perspective. This is where our friends Prince, George Michael, Madonna, and Phil Collins come in.

Please don’t judge me. I’m an 80’s girl who also has an appreciation for cheesy 90’s dance music. But I can also chill with Stevie Nicks and the Rolling Stones. Without further adieu, below are some of my all time favorite songs and the rationale behind my selections. Enjoy, and let the music play!

My Personal Music Therapy Picks

LOVELY DAY, Bill Withers

Ladies, this is the BEST SONG TO WÅKE UP TO. Forget those horrible alarm bells. Change your tune. Literally. Not bad for decluttering the house on a Sunday either. Just saying.


We started dancing and love put us into a groove
As soon as we started to move
The music played while our bodies displayed through the dance
Then love picked us out for romance                                                                                                                                                                 I mean……need I say more? These lyrics. Could they be any more 1985? Pass the Paul Mitchell hairspray, please.

Image result for stevie nicks images

STAND BACK, Stevie Nicks

I like to play this song on Mondays. When I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by what I have to accomplish all week. Stevie’s voice is so reassuring and confident. I want to be her when I grow up.


healing music for cancer patients

KISS, Prince

You don’t have to be beautiful to turn me on. Thank you, Prince and we miss you so much. Purple Rain was the first concert that I ever went to. The ticket actually said, “Wear Something Purple.” I’ll never forget it. Every concert since then has paled in comparison. I strongly suggest this song if you’re getting ready for a date. Or unloading the dishwasher. Either way, it will make you want to throw on a purple jumpsuit and dance the night away.

music for cancer patients

Borderline, Madonna

Ahhhh, Madonna. I know, I’m such a girl but I just never get tired of her original hits. Borderline is so much fun to sing in the shower. And in the car. It almost makes me want to put on neon ankle socks with pumps. Almost.

Come On Eileen, Dexys Midnight Runners

Come on! Who doesn’t love this song? Plus my middle name is Ilene but spelled differently. I don’t know why, but this song always puts a smile on my face. I still have no idea what it’s about.

I.O.U., Freeez

This song reminds me of parachute pants and Capezios. And hair spray. So. Much. Hair Spray. This video is hilarious BTW.

music for cancer survivors

Groove Is In The Heart, Deee-Lite

I remember dancing to this in college. I went to Marist College up in Poughkeepsie, NY. I was a fashion design major with insane deadlines, so my favorite form of stress relief was to go out dancing.  My classmates (who are still to this day my BFF’s) and I would hit the local club and dance all night long. This song brings me right back to those days. And I still know all of the words. Just not sure if I still have the stamina to dance until 3 am.

Sussudio, Phil Collins

This song brings me right back to high school. I just moved from Long Island to New Jersey. A rough transition for a high school freshman, but I ended up making the best friends. Today they are like sisters to me. This song also reminds me of working at The Gap. Oddly enough, I enjoyed folding jeans for hours and going on lunch break to Chick-Fil-A. I miss the 80’s!

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