Latest Posts

5 Legendary Live Music Performances

A recent study conducted by the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index involving 1000 participants concluded that live music events are associated with higher levels of subjective wellbeing. The telephone survey pointed specifically to the communal element of these musical engagements, such as concerts and festivals, and that the feeling of unity and shared experience contributes to a more positive disposition.

It can be argued that hearing music in a live setting is essential to the human experience, as music has historically been a part of human life for over 36,000 years. The performance aspect of live music ensures a certain amount of vulnerability your LP can’t quite capture. It can be a momentous, “I was there” event that can be one of the happiest memories of your life. As a society, certain moments in music history live in the minds and hearts of all, and are as legendary as the artists themselves.

1. The first time Michael Jackson did the moonwalk.
The 1983 TV special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever is immortalized as the first time Michael Jackson did the moonwalk to his smash hit “Billie Jean” in front of an audience. The history of the moonwalk hardly starts with the King of Pop, and It’s also worth noting that since Jackson wanted to depart from the motown theme of the night, he lip synched the performance as opposed to letting the live motown band do a rendition that he felt wouldn’t capture the groove of the song. Yet, Michael Jackson still made the performance his own, captivating the audience and the world for a brief, extraterrestrial moment.

2. The Beatles’ American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The year was 1964. A four-piece band from Liverpool had exploded onto the scene, creating a mass hysteria akin to the hype around Elvis a decade ago. They caught the attention of America’s most popular variety show host Ed Sullivan, and booked the band for what would be one of the most monumental music events in history. 73 million people tuned in to watch, and from that point on, Beatlemania had arrived stateside.

3. Elvis Presley’s Performance of Hound Dog on The Milton Berle Show.
Rock and roll took America by storm in the ‘50s, shocking conservative parents and igniting rebellious teenage angst like never before. This particular performance on the Milton Berle Show was the country’s first glimpse of Elvis’ pelvis after being hidden away by his acoustic guitar on previous performances. For the times, it was raunchy and incendiary, but nonetheless a turning point for American pop culture.

4. Prince’s Super Bowl XLI Halftime performance
Anyone familiar with Prince’s overall presence and entity know that he is somewhat of a superhuman figure. His performance of Purple Rain at the 2007 Super Bowl was nothing less than a cosmic event, as the show occurred during a quintessential Florida downpour. It goes down as a performance where nature, music, and man became one for a brief moment.

5. Janis Joplin’s debut performance at Monterey Pop.
Janis Joplin goes down as one of the most legendary female rock figures of the last century. Her passion and exceptional musical ability was always present in her performances, and she exploded onto the famed Summer of Love music scene with her set at Monterey Pop ‘67, two months before Woodstock ‘67. Her performance of Ball and Chain, a bluesy song brimming with melancholy, left many in the crowd open-mouthed knowing they had witnessed the birth of an icon.

In a world that is increasingly becoming dangerously polarized, these moments of harmony among people of all color and credence are all the more precious.

Make Lists: Think Happy To Be Happy

If you’re in a slump or angry and can’t control the way you feel, you might try to train yourself to shut it off. While that may not be the ideal way to deal with actual problems head-on, some of us simply have seasonal or random bouts of depression that crop up for no discernable reason. When that’s the case, the best way to get back on track is to think about the things that make you feel at your best. That’s why you can make lists in order to think happy.

Lots of different things might make you happy, and it’s up to you to think about what they are. The most obvious choice is music. Science has proven that music can enhance your mood and even help you learn, and that’s why you should keep a list of your favorite songs for future reference. Sure, keep the best of the best on your phone or computer, but be sure to have a backup copy so you don’t miss out on any of your favorites down the line.

If you meet someone you don’t like, then you aren’t alone. It happens to everyone. That’s why it makes sense to counteract the bad experience with a good one. Create a list of the people who mean the most to you. When you can’t make a quick visit or call, just take a look at the list to know that you have people in your life who can make you feel on top of the world. There is another benefit to keeping these people around: according to Harvard researchers, those of us with the strongest relationships are more likely to stay healthier longer and increase our longevity.

If you have the travel bug, then it can be helpful to keep a journal of your favorite destinations. If you have a good experience while on vacation, then write it down in order to recall it more easily later. If the winter weather or rainy day has you down, then keep your mind on where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what you might do again. Psychologists have found that traveling can enhance our creativity, make us more amenable to others, relieve stress, and boost overall happiness. Believe it or not, you can get these benefits just by walking down the street. It’s the change of scenery that benefits us the most, not the exotic locations.

3 Keys to Happiness That You Might Overlook

Have you ever noticed the boost you get after a bout of exercise? There are a number of reasons. Exercise equalizes the amounts of glucose, leptin, and insulin in your body, helps keep you alert, increases sexual function, improves the health of your skin, elevates mood, helps you sleep, creates the conditions necessary for your nerve cells to replicate–thereby helping keep your brain at peak performance–and the list goes on and on.

We all know the benefits of exercise, but not all of us know that spreading it out during the course of a week can help even more than if you stuff a hardcore workout here or there. In other words, you won’t get the same beneficial effects of exercise if you do it one day and then sit around to play video games the next. Exercise needs to be consistent, and that’s what you’re likely doing wrong.

Exercise can also help you get outside. That’s a good thing, because another key ingredient to happiness is a lot of vitamin D. Because of genome sequencing, we now know that vitamin D plays a part in perhaps 2,000 genes. You can consume the vitamin through food or supplements, but the best means of consumption is via the sun. Vitamin D plays a role in keeping our immune system healthy, and also helps us absorb other vitamins and nutrients such as calcium and phosphorous.

Even if all you do is take a long walk in the sun, you’ll still notice elevated amounts of energy over the next few days. That’s because vitamin D regulates mood in order to combat depression, helps you lose weight, and combats disease–so keep at it!

The third key to happiness is one of the most important, and can influence anything else you do to keep yourself upbeat: get enough sleep! Believe it or not, the way your brain works changes when you don’t sleep. Scientists at Western University in Ontario found that brains are much less active with less sleep, and can lead to a number of psychiatric conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, etc.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to do everything we need to do, but these are three of the most important. Exercise regularly, get outside for some good old-fashioned vitamin D and get enough sleep.

The Odd Little Things That Make Life Worth Living

Commercialism and pop culture will tell you that you need unlimited financial resources to break the smallest smile, but that’s a load of hogwash. The fact is and has always been the same: the things that really make life a joy are absolutely free.

If you want some endless sources of smiles that come from the oddest places this following list of strange pleasures is sure to put a smile on your face and remind you of what a privileged individual you truly are.

1. The clean feeling after a shower

The day was long and tiring, the demands were high and the AC was out of order, but all that is gone with the flick of some magical chrome knobs. The miracle of indoor plumbing is a source of pleasure few take for granted. The feeling of the day’s battles, filth, and distress washed away and the evening of hallowed relaxation awaiting is a priceless joy.

2. Doing something for others

Society and civilization teach us to look after for No. 1 and it can get lonely and cynical in your own little world. But, try a little stretching of the soul and what a great feeling comes over you. It really is more blessed to give than to receive.

3. Good Company on a Soft Sofa

It can be difficult to make a good connection with another soul i this techno-paradise. But curling up on a warm couch with a beloved friend, lover or even house pet is a prize to be valued. There is something in the shared warmth of human life that strengthens bonds and makes the lonely trip life is less solitary.

4. Laughing so hard it hurts

Do you remember the last time you laughed so hard you felt your sides would split? Science has proven that those who reach this point or exertion from sheer gaiety are likely to live longer and less likely to suffer from a degenerative disease. If you need a good subject to unleash the bellows of joviality just look at your own life and situation, you got to admit it, you’re pretty funny.

5. Finding lucky money in unexpected places

Have you ever been making your way through your day; your mind a pleasant blank or a ball of confusion when a lucky stack of cash that seems to be completely forgotten by the world suddenly introduces themselves? Whatta feelin’! Finding money in unexpected places like old clothes books, drawers and car seats is like a gift that keeps on giving.

For more ways to be happy, you can visit website.

The Science Behind People’s Obsession With Pumpkin Spice

The Pumpkin Spice, which is a drink Starbucks has greatly advertised as a fall favorite has obviously become an obsession for many people. After being away for quite some time, Starbucks is expected to get it back on their menu in a week’s time, with the anticipation being as big as ever. Unlike other Starbucks beverages, this one has its own Twitter account, Instagram page, hashtag and many enthusiastic devotees who cannot help but express their longing for it on all these platforms. In fact, some enthusiasts are so hitched on it that they are demanding it while others have successfully placed orders in stores even before the beverage is officially launched.

Starbucks actually calls this beverage their most popular seasonal beverage. The Pumpkin Spice seems to trigger lots of questions with one of the most common one being whether there is some science behind people’s obsession with this beverage. The truth is that there could be some science and we are here to break it down for you.

1. You Are Biologically Wired To Love The Beverage

Any combination of sugar and fat is a big attraction to many. When the fat and sugar interact in your taste buds, they boost your flavor and make you crave for more of the same. Besides the sugar and fat, Pumpkin spice also has some salt, which besides boosting the beverage’s overall taste acts as a food enhancer to the taste buds and to the brain as well. Obviously, people love tasty things and that is the reason why Pumpkin spice has been an obsession for many.

2. The Brain Associates It With Happy Times

Just think of all the fun rituals associated with autumn. You obviously have some happy thoughts about autumn and all the memories it produces; carving pumpkins, dressing up for the Halloween, picking apples, jumping into leaf piles and coming together for Thanksgiving. The spices associated with the fall season (cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon) help trigger all the happy memories and thoughts to the mind and sipping the Pumpkin Lattice is one way to enjoy these spices. This beverage connotes happy memories.

3. There is a Caffeine Hit

Caffeine is arguably the most commonly used mood-altering substance in the world. Coffee lovers can confirm that caffeine stimulates the nervous system to boost your energy and make you more alert. It can also cause you crave for more of caffeinated drinks, like Pumpkin Spice.

What is Happy According to Psychology

There are arguments to be made about what happiness is. Is it a state of being? Is it our perception and reaction to various events throughout our lives? Is it avoiding that which we might find displeasing? Some would argue that happiness is something that we must work toward as humans, some may even argue that we cannot attain real happiness in this life – that what we experience now in our mortal life is only a build-up to true happiness in the afterlife. Others believe that happiness is simply just a matter of how we see and engage the world around us.

There are several concepts within the field of psychology alone that suggest different means and different matters regarding how to attain happiness. One of the more prominent fields over the last several years is a study called positive psychology. The study entails examining ‘what makes living worth living,’ according to Psychology Today. What it aims in doing is validating the good in one’s life: that focusing on the good events that happen is as essential as using what is regarded as healing psychology to counteract the bad. Some have misconstrued the purpose of positive psychology over the years, but those who studied it and developed it suggest that positive psychology is meant to complement healing psychology, not to supersede it or suggest that positive psychology is more critical to one’s life than using healing psychology to sort through traumatic events. What positive psychology hopes to establish is that focusing on and acknowledging positive, beneficial experiences is just as necessary to one’s mental health as attempting to correct or mitigate the effects of negative, detrimental experiences. In short, it’s not just about avoiding or correcting painful things that happen in our lives; it’s also about giving weight to the good, pleasurable things that happen in it as well.

Considering the obvious subjectivity of happiness, as many different things have a wide-ranging emotional impact on many different people, psychology is also well-known for having developed several different scales used to determine one’s own measure of contentment or satisfaction with regard to their lives. The Subjective Happiness Scale, a 4-item questionnaire, is one such test, developed by Sonja Lyubomirsky and Heidi Lepper. While not necessarily greatly detailed or in-depth, the test itself is said to measure a perceived quality of life by the individual rather than a perceived quality found by outside sources, that being other people or psychologists themselves.

Many things influence our perception of happiness according to psychology, and there are a few prominent theories regarding the hierarchy or structure of these needs. Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of “needs” that all humans should observe in an attempt to attain happiness.

  • Physiological – the basic needs in order for a human to survive at all, including food, water, air, clothing, and shelter. These needs should be satisfied first and foremost, as all other needs are pointless without survival.
  • Safety – security against stress or potential dangers. Some of these safety measures come in the form of personal protection, financial stability, and avoidance of injury or illness.
  • Social belonging – the satisfaction of interpersonal relationships. These can come in the form of friendships, family, and romantically inclined relationships.
  • Esteem – the need for respect or acknowledgment from peers or those involved in one’s life. A lack of attention to this part of the hierarchy can lead to cases of inferiority complex or depression and can have a great impact on higher levels within the hierarchy.
  • Self-actualization – acknowledging one’s own potential and taking steps to realize it and accomplish as much as one can or feels he/she should within his power. Realizing this need within the hierarchy requires significant understanding and accomplishment within the baser levels.
  • Self-transcendence – relating one’s self-actualization to higher needs and goals no longer pertaining strictly to the self, “refers to the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness.”

Suggesting that one may be happy or unhappy in one’s life appears to base itself greatly within internal understanding as a result of a lot of external sources – how we interpret and react to the world around us, and how we can apparently adapt ourselves in living: not only to avoid the negative experiences as often as possible, like having a car that’s a lemon but to embrace, acknowledge and understand the positive ones as well.

What is Happy According to Religion

For many people in this world, the idea of happiness is a rather simple concept in theory. Most of the time, it involves doing things or being in positions that make us feel good. Some of us associate happiness with having a good job that allows us to provide for a family. Some of us think about traveling the world and experiencing exotic cultures. Some of us are happy just being able to bring others to that state through means such as community service and volunteering. And while these are all viable options of achieving happiness, it doesn’t really answer the question of what happiness exactly is. Is it as simple as just being in a state of well-being that is the polar opposite of being in an undesirable state? Can it be characterized or quantified? Is it even real, or is the entire effect just a placebo to stave off something else?

From a religious standpoint, the idea of achieving happiness seems to have deep roots in ethical concerns and, as St. Thomas Aquinas states, “an operation of the speculative intellect.” More simply, a contemplation of what are considered divine matters. Many religions believe that true happiness does not necessarily occur for the self, but rather through the self in acts of outward kindness and the betterment of circumstances for those around him or her. This is why ethics seems to play a crucial role in religions and spiritual beliefs such as Confucianism.

In many religions, happiness – true happiness – is not something to be attained be in the mortal world. Rather, there are those who might say that the struggle for happiness is a life-long endeavor, because true happiness is only attainable in the afterlife – Heaven, as many religions call it, particularly Christianity, Judaism and Islam. All of these religions offer specific aims in life, ways for those faithful to them to live and to treat others. The ideal for all of these is the effort of appealing to God, receiving judgment at the time of our deaths and to be found worthy of entering Heaven.

For other religions such as Buddhism, happiness is a matter of “settling karmic debt.” Buddhism encourages following a code of guidelines known as the Noble Eightfold Path – some may this is similar to the structure of something like the Ten Commandments in Christianity. However, Buddhism also places emphasis on the concept of rebirth, a concept that usually leaves many people confused as some differentiate it from reincarnation. The general goal of rebirth in Buddhism is to attain a state known as Nirvana – complete freedom from desire, jealousy and ignorance. It is described as a state of pure contentment and understanding.

The common thread in many of these religions is that, while being happy does exist in the realm of mortal lives and while many may interpret happiness as a state of mind, true happiness as far as many religions seem to define it or its ability to be attained is with service, compassion and understanding toward a divine power and outwardly to others. In some cases, such as Buddhism specifically, this sort of attained happiness – or peace or bliss – can take several lifetimes to achieve. When this state is finally reached, the necessity of death and rebirth no longer exists, and one knows true happiness as an end state.

Three Songs That Have Happy In The Title

If you’re feeling down in the dumps, then perhaps the best way to elevate your mood is with a favorite song. Then again, you might be better served in a search for new music, which is a deeply satisfying quest by itself. Why turn to music, though? A number of great reasons exist: music can reduce depression, help you sleep better, make you happier, and even enhance your exercise regimen–which can make your mood even better. Here are three songs that have “happy” right in the title!

The song “Happy Days” by Pratt & McClain, or Brother Love, was used for the opening theme song of the same-titled TV show, a sitcom made in the 70s. It wasn’t used until the third season, but this chorus-song version was as much a hit as the Pratt & McClain version, which made it to number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It’s impossible to think of songs with Happy in the title without thinking of this song. And in our opinion, this song was much better than Rock-A-Round The Clock. 

When “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” was first vocalized by Brenda Holloway, the original composer, it did all right. When Blood, Sweat & Tears, a band based in Phoenix, played their version with frontman David Clayton Thomas, it hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart–smashing Holloway’s record that had previously held at number 39.

Everyone loves a good bit of gospel. Well, maybe not everyone, but that didn’t stop The Edwin Hawkins Singers from realizing a version of an eighteenth-century hymn you might recognize called “Oh Happy Day” that came out in 1969. It made it to number four on charts at the time. It was used in several more contemporary movies such as Big Momma’s House and Nutty Professsor II: The Klumps and Secretariat.

Three songs isn’t that many, so here’s an honorable mention: “Shiny Happy People” performed by R.E.M. came out in 1991. Although R.E.M. is still widely known, this song was the last one that made it to the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.

We’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s good to get outdoors and take a short break from the harsh reality of a long workday, and sometimes we just need a quick pick-me-up from the daily grind. Music can reduce stress, help you manage eating habits, enhance your capacity for learning new things, relax you before a rough surgery and improve recovery time afterward, help you recall old memories, reduce pain, raise IQ, and keep your brain healthier for longer. Music isn’t just something we love–it’s something we need, and you shouldn’t miss out on the great songs that are out there just waiting to be heard, new and old alike.

The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

At some point, you’ve probably heard that a little bit of chocolate each day can be good for you, and maybe you’ve already searched for some answers as to why. There might be one or two things you didn’t figure out. First of all, you should know that a little bit means just that: a little bit. Anything can be bad in excess, even though a lot of the things we like can be good for us in moderation. You can eat one or two ounces of dark chocolate, and that’s enough to reap the rewards.

Second, you need to know what constitutes “dark” chocolate. You’ll want to try to find something with at least seventy percent cocoa in it, and the more the better. The bigger the percentage, the less sweet the chocolate will taste. Some people like the bitter taste of extra dark chocolate, but it isn’t for everyone.

These are a few of the health benefits you can enjoy from a moderate daily helping of dark chocolate!

It contains high quantities of minerals that your body needs. These include: magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, zinc, selenium, and phosphorous. The chocolate does contain caffeine and theobromine, but only in small amounts that won’t affect your sleeping cycles.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the dangers of free radicals wandering around in your body. Essentially, free radicals are atoms that require electrons for pairing. While they look for the electrons they need, they can inhibit your DNA from carrying out coded procedures. Your cells die off as a result. To prevent this from happening, your body uses antioxidants to get in the way of any free radical chain reactions that could lead to a lot of damage to your cellular unction. It turns out that dark chocolate may have an even higher number of antioxidants than other “superfoods” like many different kinds of berries, thereby preventing free radicals from harming you.

Dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure, increase HDL (the good kind of cholesterol), and slash your risk of heart disease. In one study of 470 men lasting fifteen years, cardiovascular death was reduced by fifty percent in those who consumed cocoa. Other studies showed that cocoa can likely clean arteries of calcified plaque when consumed several times a week. On top of all this, it can help protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

That reduction in blood pressure and slashed risk of heart disease has another important take away: your brain will get more blood. Because of this, the elderly can expect to experience increased mental function.

Although a lot of the research into dark chocolate consumption over an extended period of time requires more time and complementary studies to ensure accuracy, we do know that there are a number of definitive benefits to eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate several times a week at the least. Just be sure not to overdo it–the high amount of sugar in any kind of chocolate can do a lot of damage if too much is consumed.

What Are Endorphins?

Balance.

That one word has become a catch word in most lifestyle, physical and mental health and being successful in life.

Whether it’s having a balance between work and family, or a balance between vegetables and desserts, or a balance between feeling good or feeling bad, we are always looking to find that balance. Anything that is imbalanced is considered a disorder of some kind. And the unfortunate thing is that we often try to correct the balance with some kind of drug or treatment, instead of actually changing some part of our lifestyle in order to achieve that balance.

Depression is an imbalance between happy and sad feelings; obesity is an imbalance of weight which may be an imbalance of food consumption or an imbalance of exercise (or both); being exhausted could be an imbalance between work and resting at home with family.

The human body and brain have ways to counteract these imbalances, based on conscious choice and natural chemicals produced by the body to counteract an unnatural imbalance in the system.

Endorphins are natural chemicals that provide balance of mood by counteracting sad or angry feelings. Endorphins are released naturally in times of stress of anger or sadness to help balance and give equilibrium to the human body. Depression is a disorder where not enough endorphins are produced to counteract the sad feelings.

When endorphins which are naturally released are not adequate to provide balance, some people go to professionals for treatments to increase the release of those endorphins.

Endorphins are a group of chemicals (most noteworthy of dopamine and serotonin) which are produced in various parts of the body (pituitary gland, brain, and spinal cord are most common) in reaction to negative stimuli like pain or stress. These chemicals are neurotransmitters which come in contact with certain receptors in the brain, suppressing negative emotions and pain.

When you feel pain or stress for a prolonged period of time, many professionals have suggestions to help you be in control of agitating your body into creating more endorphins – and the suggestions range from having sex to getting exercise (endorphins are credited with “runner’s high,” which is the euphoria that regular runners seem to feel when they run a distance) to eating chili peppers to just giving and receiving a lot of hugs and touches from close friends and family, can all contribute to establishing feelings of happiness or a dulling of any physical or emotional pain. Just avoid sexual harassment.

Certain endorphins have the specific task of dulling pain, while others (such as dopamine) bring out euphoric or positive feelings.  The pain-suppressing endorphins come about when there are feelings of pain, while the others come during stressful periods to keep us calm or come during times of excitement or joy to help us feel happy and positive.

Our bodies are all about balance. Endorphins are about giving us emotional and mental balance, and it is our job to take care of our bodies with balance in order to maintain that mental and emotional balance necessary for optimal health.