07/17/2012 07:45 am ET | Updated Sep 16, 2012

Soothe Your Broken Heart: A Sample Playlist

Sometimes we feel like choosing not to listen to a specific type of music (or song) that sparks the "wrong" emotions. You might experience this if you were just involved in a breakup. Anything -- anything at all -- that is even remotely romantic is suddenly off your playlist.

A friend of mine recently commented that she was in a coffee shop when a song she used to play with her partner of several years (now her ex) came on. She immediately felt depressed and tears began to roll. Ironically, she loved that song, and it had made her feel so good so many times before when her relationship was in top shape. But now, it was different. It only made her sad.

This is a good example of how you need to restrict yourself, at times, from certain music -- especially when you are in a susceptible mindset -- as in the result of a breakup.

Instead, try being easy on yourself by not taking your mind to these musical memories.

Here's an out-of-the ordinary remedy mentioned in my book, Your Playlist Can Change Your Life. What can help during such vulnerable, emotional times are funny children's songs. Seriously! Remember songs like "Bingo" (Bingo was his name-O), "Old McDonald," and "The Ants Came Marching"? Get yourself a CD with funny music and lyrics, especially when the content is about different animals and their sounds, and practice singing along with them. This can work!

As for my friend (above), interestingly, she admitted to hearing the same song on the radio, on the way home one day, months later, and finally being able to enjoy it again.

Another individual was feeling so lousy after a breakup that he stopped going to his night classes, which he needed to spring him from a job that for him had become a major dead end. Just the thought of getting into a new career, for him, had rinsed away heaps of stress. But now he felt he was back peddling. He stopped going out for recreation, even started taking sick days at work. He found that listening to any kind of music that reminded him of his partner in any way brought him down even more. So he started thinking about a time in his life when he felt tremendously carefree, happy, and excited to head out into the day. For him, this was a time when he used to hang out with his hockey buddies in college. He remembered a song they used to blast on their way to games. The song was "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. He -- they -- loved that song and the way it pumped them up. They sort of bonded around the song. So he started putting it on now, and it worked. In fact, it put him into the same kind of good mood it used to send him and his teammates before the games. He discovered that every time he played the song now, his mind would stop going to (obsessing on) his relationship. He put the song on his iPod and started playing it several times a day, especially when he could feel himself reminiscing about his partner. This gave him some instant relief and he started feeling better and better with each day. By the beginning of the next week, he felt good enough to return to college night classes. For the next month or so, whenever he felt his mind derailing and being pulled into the emotional quicksand of his breakup, he'd play his song. This helped get him back "on track" and soothe him through this delicate phase of his broken heart.

In my previous post, "Make the Best Jogging Playlist Ever," I included information about how you can put a little science behind your playlists to amplify how they influence you physically and behaviorally. Remember, it's really all about training the mind to act the way you want it to in specific daily situations -- and music, when used in this way, becomes your conditioning tool. You may wish to take a look at some of those earlier suggestions, as they will work with any playlist you are creating, including this one.

To heal a broken heart: Use the power of upbeat songs you associate with positive memories, preferably from your more distant past when you felt safe, on top of your game, and happy. Avoid songs that even remotely pull you into the emotions of your breakup. Train your brain out of its funk by listening to your "Soothe Your Broken Heart Playlist" often and with intent.

Soothe Your Broken Heart Sample Playlist

  • "People Have the Power," Patti Smith
  • "Eye of the Tiger," Survivor
  • "Street Fighter," Sick Puppies
  • "No Way Back," Foo Fighters
  • "The Power," Snap
  • "Good Vibrations," Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
  • "Baba O'Riley," The Who
  • "It's My Life," Bon Jovi
  • "Just Dance," Lady Gaga
  • "Bingo" (Bingo was his name-o, children's song)
  • "Old McDonald" (children's song)
  • "Down by the Bay" (children's song)

Keep the light of peaceful happiness burning brightly in your core. Let it bring you home within yourself, your environment and within your relationships.


To learn more about how to use playlists to transform your life, check out of my newest book, Your Playlist Can Change Your Life.

For more by Joseph Cardillo, Ph.D., click here.

For more songs and playlists, click here.