5 Songs and 8 Ways to Start Your Morning with Joy and Movement

scotland morning
Morning in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, Scotland. Bliss.

Morning: the first or early part; the beginning.

Dance: to leap, skip, etc., as from excitement or emotion; move nimbly or quickly.

Mornings can be really tough, especially in the winter. I read somewhere, a few weeks back (and I can’t remember where), about a women who had survived cancer and who decided she was going to dance each morning to the Pharrell song “Happy.” Funny how there are those little moments that spark a brain change in our lives – for me, that was one such moment. I suddenly thought: if I could start off every day dancing, why wouldn’t I?

And so I’ve tested it out.  Instead of listening to my usual radio station (which, admittedly tends to play more wah-wah sad music), I’ve danced around each morning for the last three weeks, and here’s what I’ll tell you: dancing in the morning makes you feel approximately 8-15% happier (all calculations are approximate and extremely un-scientific). When I wake up, it’s often still dark outside. Truth be told, here in Ontario, it’s dark, and it’s also cold. Talk about a recipe for depression and lethargy.

scotland morning 2

But, dancing in the morning is like a little happiness multivitamin. It wakes up your body and opens up your joints and hips and heart. It makes whipping up your breakfast smoothie more fun. It gets your energy flowing and reminds you that you are, indeed, alive (easy to forget on a tired, dark, cold Monday morning).

So here are my Monday to Friday recommended dance songs. Each one offers you an uplifting message for your day:

  1. Happy – Pharrell Williams, Neus Remix  OR Happy – Pharrell Williams, Vaux & Rivera Remix (message: dancing and happy go together)
  2. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye, Kygo Remix (message: sexual energy is life energy, and, remixes of Marvin Gaye songs are fabulous and make you happy)
  3. Got to Give It Up – Marvin Gaye (skip to 16:20 for the song) (message: moving and grooving leads to life possibilities)
  4. I Wanna Dance with Somebody – Whitney Houston (message: it’s awesome to dance with people who love you)
  5. Shining Star – Earth, Wind, and Fire (message: you are a shining star, no matter who you are).

If you’re looking for other excellent morning habits, here are a few more:

  • drinking a tall glass of water in the first few minutes of getting up to replace any fluids lost overnight;
  • eating a healthy breakfast;
  • taking your multivitamin and/or vitamins (vitamins are best taken in the morning; minerals best in the evening)
  • getting some natural light or exercise outside in natural light;
  • saying something positive to yourself about the day ahead or about yourself and your capabilities (rumour has it Christie Brinkley throws open the curtains every morning and shouts “thank you!” to the universe. I read it on the internet).
  • enjoying a mug of your favourite tea while you are still and calm;
  • engaging in some gentle wake-up type stretches.
hawthorne sunshine
Hawthorne indulging in a morning sunshine stretch.

We don’t always have a lot of time in life to carry out everything in the manner we’d like. Sometimes, it’s the snippets that we can grab that help us achieve great things. On a sunny morning, I watch my cats bask. They find a patch of sunlight, roll around on the floor, stretch, open up their bodies to the light, and embrace the bliss. When that patch of sun disappears, they move and find another one. They maximize the opportunities for joy that are available to them, right now, in the present.

So, think again about the definitions of morning and dance. If you could spend the beginning or early part of your day leaping, skipping, as from excitement or emotion, moving quickly or nimbly, what kind of energetic changes might that create in your life? How might that change your day?

Happy Dancing!

© Eat Well, Live Vibrantly


2 responses to “5 Songs and 8 Ways to Start Your Morning with Joy and Movement”

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