audio science.

i read on kori gardner’s blog that it has been scientifically proven that repeatedly listening to a song that you like and that is meaningful to you increases cranial activity and blood flow, which is really good for the brain. i feel like that makes sense, because the brain and body can have such an unconsciously visceral reaction to particular music (or anything really, i guess). i know that, for me, every time i hear the kinks’ “a well-respected man” i laugh because i can’t help but imagine michael cera as paulie bleeker in juno, coming out of his front door in yellow short-shorts, his legs adorably scrawny and white.

which is what kind of made me start thinking about this: i was listening to music at work today as i usually do, to break up the monotony of my work, and as i was shuffling through my ipod trying to find something good to listen to, i came across the juno soundtrack and thought ‘i haven’t listened to this in a really long time.’ and once i started listening to it, i remembered why i hadn’t listened to it in a while: just about every song on that soundtrack reminds me of my life a year and a half ago. namely, of who i was dating a year and a half ago. we went and saw juno the day before my 20th birthday, and we both cried and laughed and loved it. after we had downloaded the soundtrack, it was something that we listened to together all the time. and it’s humorous, actually, because as i was listening to each of the songs, i could see him making comments about the value of each song (namely, him saying that he didn’t like “i’m sticking with you” because the singing was so annoying). and i thought of how, for a while, our designated car song was “all the young dudes.” i can’t remember the last time that i’ve had such an overtly physical reaction to particular music like i did today.

and here’s the thing: i don’t have any bad memories surrounding any of these songs; in fact, the situations that i most strongly associate with them are ones that i look back on fondly. but when i listened to them today and revisited those memories, i felt kind of anxious and uncomfortable. so what i’m wondering is, are these songs that, in their essence, will increase my cranial blood flow and be good for me, or should i stop listening to them? or is it just disruptive to my current life because it conjures memories of things that are no longer part of my current life, and has no bearing on the healthiness of my brain activity?

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