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Music Is the Best Medicine

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SPECIAL FROM BetterAfter50

Most of us can agree on one thing: Music is therapy. It makes us feel. I've got my own set of go-to tunes that I cycle through to augment my reality. I allow music to play at my heartstrings: Annie Lennox brings up the romance, as does Shelby Lynne; Bruce ramps up my jogging pace and Van Morrison deepens my connections. Yoga, sex and dinner parties are better with music. So are funerals. Generations blend as singing Christmas Carols at a favorite annual party connects all ages in the room -- when tone-deaf voices are usually blended in with the melodious ones. Music quiets the inner chatter, and as I sing in my car (alone) my serotonin fire is lit.

Music can actually make a sad mood feel lighter, so it's no surprise we turn it on and turn it up when disaster strikes.

The concert of 12/12/12 last week was the healing medicine for a natural disaster. Miraculously, the space at Madison Square Garden was cleared for that magical date. (Lord only knows how there wasn't some event or game already booked.) The rock stars carved space in their calendars -- this concert was a high priority. The concert of 12/12/12 made us pause for one special evening.

The very Sandy that blew through our homes and lives and broke us apart united us. The concert's message was clearly and beautifully delivered, the music softened our hearts, lifted our spirits, united our cause and opened our pocketbooks. We could not ignore that New York is still living the effects of Sandy.

The Robin Hood Foundation mastered music as charity ingeniously. Their powerful charity model wed event to technology and drew us into the experience so we couldn't help but feel the power music had on our desire to get involved and give. We were moved seamlessly along the path from dancing to donating. Reaching into our pockets with a keystroke on our phones sent a flood of dollars in the right direction. Check writing, snail mail and handwritten thank-you notes suddenly felt so last year.

There was no better placeholder for our youth than when the Boomer rock stars took to the stage. When Billy Joel started playing "Piano Man" at 12/12/12, I was transported back to my college bar in Boulder, Colorado. But happily, we've moved forward from those days. As I watched the 12/12/12 concert from my bedroom, I thought about the power of technology and how reachable we all are.

There's no question fundraising aligned with technology creates a steady stream of giving. Twitter fuels the process. Everyone checks in and wants to have an opinion. From Kanye's skirt to Paul McCartney acting as front man as the legendary group Nirvana reunited, not to mention how Bruce sets us all atwitter -- everyone has an opinion. Twitter feeds are a self-perpetuating machine and everyone wants to get on board.

The natural disasters we've witnessed in 2012 have been remarkable. This disaster evoked a global response. People want to make a difference and the concert showed us how we can.

Paul McCartney closed the concert into the wee hours saying, "When he heard there was going to be a concert -- I wanted to do my bit and give something back. Any time there's a natural disaster we all sympathize -- this was more than a bad storm and it's still leaving people without homes."

So even after the rock stars left the stage, we are all able to still do our bit. We are just one text away from helping and the music has moved us to hit the send button.

Click here to learn more about Robin Hood Foundation's Sandy Relief Efforts.

WATCH: 12/12/12 Concert Highlights:

Read more from Better After 50:

Countdown to the End of the World
A Toxic Cocktail: Menopause, ADD and Holidays
A Christmas to Forget
Holiday Medicine For Loss