Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

On A Good Day — In The Mood


We all have our good days and bad days.  I have certain strategies I use to keep me from being taken captive by thoughts I know I shouldn’t nurture; nor do I want to stew in biochemicals that can go with stress.   On those down days, I try to do what I feel like doing on a good day.  I take ‘me time’ outs even if it’s just putting in my earbuds.   I like to listen to music with specific beats per minute (bpm). I may not initially have the incentive if I’m in a certain mental state.  But the effort is well worth the trouble if I want to get out of a mental funk, eliminate stressful mind chatter, or to maintain a good mood.

The videos below are an example of tunes I listen to that aid in bringing my brainwaves to a desirable brainwave state.  It’s not classical brainwave entrainment, but the music can cause a cortical evoked response—synchronization.   It can be any genre as long as it falls within specific bpm.  These specific beats per minute also get my creative juices flowing.

I prefer the mid-to-upper level alpha and sensorimotor rhythm.  Between 10 – 14 hz or 100 – 140 bpm.

Positive lyrics enhance.  I experience clarity, awareness, mind chatter tones down and did  I mention endorphins?  🙂

( ( (d[-.-]b) ) )

On A Good Day -~OceanLab (Above & Beyond)
Sweet Disposition  ~The Temper Trap
Image courtesy of
Artist: Omdur

*Waves to Christy*


Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

32 thoughts on “On A Good Day — In The Mood

  1. I love the Sweet Disposition music!


  2. Victoria, I love these two songs! Especially The Temper Trap–wow! I’ll definitely be adding these both to my running playlists. I have my long run tomorrow, so the timing was perfect. How strange that we were both thinking bpm at the same time. Talk about synchronicity! I love when that happens.

    I tend to run more at a 150-160 bpm, but I’ll do an experiment and keep half at my run below 140 to see what happens. 🙂

    A friend is doing this week’s music and exercise post, but the following week I’ll be sharing these songs and your blog with everyone–so thank you!!!


  3. WOW… right blend of music and science or rather science of music. just like your blog right blend of science and mindfulness..


  4. Any time I need a mental reframing, I pop in a U2 CD and hit the road. Any of them will do, but the best ones for the particular purpose (I think) are either All That You Can’t Leave Behind (if you want positive lyrics, you’ll have a hard time beating “Walk On“–I got through my Master’s thesis pretty much on that song), No Line on the Horizon (Magnificent, Breathe, I’ll Go Crazy), or The Unforgettable Fire (Pride [of course], Bad). If these tracks don’t put you in a better frame of mind, then you’re just plain deaf…


    • Hey Vance,
      Thanks for sharing. I added YouTube links to the tunes you listed. I just finished having a U2 concert while I sipped on my morning brew. U2’s style produces surprises in their music. I pretty much like all of their tunes, and you listed some great ones. but “Bad” was just awesomely good! 😀 So, no thanks to you, my concert was a little extended. Here are a few of my U2 favs. “Running To Stand Still”

      The members of U2 are unified; tight. “Running To Stand Still” tends to slow my brainwaves down to the lower Alpha range (which is not bad when I’m totally into chillin’. Music between 70+ – 90 bpm can encourage states of reflection, contemplation, and self-awareness. These bpm can sometimes encourage supressed memories. It can also make me feel less inhibited so pensiveness can sometimes be enhanced. If I like a song, I find myself playing it over and over to capture all the nuances. The harmonica at the end brings an incredible close to that song.

      Bono knows how to connect (as seen in the concert below), and his inner most thoughts, reflected in the lyrics, have resonated with my own. When I was in the midst of de-conversion, studying and having lots of questions, I listened to this tune a lot.
      “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

      This one “Beautiful Day” is such a cool video. It reminds me of the times (many times) my friends and I would park just outside a military runway. Training (Reserve training) took place on certain times of the year, and fighter jets would take off regularly between certain hours on one specific runway. We’d park the car(s) just outside the fence (the end of the runway), sit or lay on the hood and watch the jets take off just over us. Good times. 😀


      • “Running to Stand Still” is my favorite song off the Joshua Tree album (along with “Mothers of the Disappeared,” since it’s based on events that took place in Argentina not long before we moved there in ’88).

        I, too, relate to the lyricists’ thought processes: one of the reasons I’m drawn to the band is the similarity between their spiritual path and my own, from the “on-fire” Christianity of the early albums, especially October, to the growing skepticism of Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and Pop (that last is the most philosophically meaningful and introspective of the lot, I think, even though it was panned by critics and fans), to the new, earthy optimism and activism of All That You Can’t Leave Behind and after. I am on a similar journey in search of new ways to express spirituality and faith in humanity as a race, and I find encouragement and great inspiration in theirs.

        By the way, given what you’ve shared with me about your personal journey, I think the songs “Please” and “Wake Up Dead Man,” from the Pop album would resonate with you, too (no pun intended).


      • I love the U2 songs you both mentioned. “Running to Stand Still” is a great song, it captures the essence of addiction very well. It was written about heroin addiction. Not many know that, but the lyrics paint the picture so well.


  5. Victoria, I’m back with my experiment of one results 🙂

    Not sure if it was starting with the slower-BPM music, but I had an outstanding run. I had planned ten miles, but when I reached eight, I felt so good that I decided to go either 12 or 13, and managed 13.1 (a half-marathon).

    Here’s a few things I noticed:

    I got “into the groove” much quicker. Usually I don’t feel warmed up until the four mile mark, but I felt very settled in at 2.7 miles this time.

    My brain wouldn’t shut up. It kept coming up with random thoughts and ideas and other songs I wanted to listen to and ideas for blog posts and things I needed to get at the store, and on and on. I had to keep an on-going text message to myself so I wouldn’t forget everything. (When I switched to faster, edgier music after 5.2 miles, my brain quieted down and I did not capture any more random thoughts in my text message to myself.)

    I was genuinely happy. That first song you shared, put me in a reflective and happy mood, and I found myself listening to it almost five times in a row. I could self-identify with the lyrics a lot. I even tried to snap a photo of the sunny day that the song made me think about.

    I felt like a could keep running and running.

    When I switched up to faster BPM music after 5.2 miles (I had planned a ten mile run initially), my mood became more intense and I focused more on lyrics versus random thoughts.

    I felt like I wanted to push harder/faster on my run, but I kept my pace steady.

    I got a little antsier and looked around a lot more for distraction, versus the inner reflection I found myself doing earlier.

    So I feel like the 140 bpm range actually works best for my “long slow runs” when I need to settle in for a while and just run and run. The faster may be good for shorter distances or speed work, but if I need to work through some thoughts, the slower bpm works much better. While my stride did not match the 140 songs, I wasn’t distracted by it, like I thought I would be.

    Not very scientific, with only one person and one session, but those were my observations!

    Would love to have you explain what happens at different bpms for us sometime if you’d ever like to guest spot. It’s super interesting to me!

    Check out today’s post for some more music/running thoughts from a friend. She listed a song “Go Do” that I thought you’d like–it reminded me of the two above in your post. Funny, she said that song just made her feel happy to be alive. Maybe you’re on to something, Victoria 🙂



    • Christy, your comment was so much fun to read. Right up my ally, I tell ya. 😀 I’ve got lots more to say, but I’m in crunch time right now with a deadline I have to meet by tomorrow. When that’s out of the way I will properly reply and hopefully in a timely manner. Just awesome feedback! Thank you!

      Be back soon, promise. ღ


    • Christy, I don’t even know which parts of your post I should highlight, lol. All of it, perhaps? In a nutshell, you brilliantly described the process of brainwave entrainment or a cortical evoked response and you probably didn’t even realize it. I wasn’t quite sure if you had started with slower bpm and worked up to the edgier bpm, which I’m guessing was around 150-160 bpm, or did you top off at 140, yet kept a 150-160+ pace/stride? Are most of your marathons slow runs? Do you encourage thinking when you are running or is that a bi-product of warmups?

      Anyway, let me break it down for you. Usually with traditional brainwave entrainment, you start off with frequencies that generally match your current brainwave state. That can be slower or faster than your target goal. Then the frequencies (beats/tones) can evoke a response with your brainwaves—oscillating at the same frequency as the outside stimuli. The goal is a frequency following response or cortical evoked response—in the flow or groove, to reach your target brainwave state. See, I can spell “groove” after all. 😀

      But I digress. Re-focus: so continuing on, you then described different brainwave states when you said you went from a lot of mind chatter to a focused state. That may be your target zone for duration, which I think is in the border alpha/beta (SMR) range for you. With focus can come visualization, as you know. Nearly every famous or Olympic athlete I’ve seen interviewed has used visualization as a tool to achieve their goals. In fact, many athletes have been using traditional entrainment methodologies as part of their training protocols.

      The best way to see if this was a coincidence or a possible method for you to get into the zone(s), would be to repeat the same process several times, keeping notes on each run. Then compare notes from the times you used your traditional method. Also, I’m not sure if you do lactate threshold training, but if you do, I’d be curious to see if you notice anything different during the experiment.

      You said:

      “While my stride did not match the 140 songs, I wasn’t distracted by it, like I thought I would be.”

      That’s impressive. Due to back surgery and bad knees from falling down a flight of stairs a few years back, running is not an option, so I rebound (basically running in place). I find it difficult to rebound with a musical rhythm that’s different from my stride or pace, and remain focus. I get all discombobulated. 😀

      Happy Friday. ღ


      • Hi Victoria, thank you so much for the detailed response here and on my funk run post. I’ll be responding to both in the next couple of days when I get some quiet time. 15 miles tomorrow (hopefully!), so I’ll have plenty of time to ponder. 🙂

        Happy Saturday! C-


        • 15 miles? Wow. You go girlfriend.

          Oh, and take all the time you need. I asked you a gazillion questions, lol. I totally understand having to wait for some quiet time.

          Hope you had a great weekend.



          • I’ll be on the road for a few hours tomorrow–will write then.

            I got 8 of my 15 before I got stomach cramps and had to cut it short. But that’s ok… I made up the miles today with a good 12 miler. Interesting insights from today too I’ll add in. Happy Monday! ❤


  6. Pingback: Rambling Running Thoughts (On Spot, Paul, Polls, BBB and ‘Smashed’) | Running On Sober

  7. Hi Victoria!
    We are truly kindred spirits! Although, it certainly seems that your taste in music is definitely more mature and sophisticated than mine 🙂 Isn’t it funny though. How we innately know what we need even if we don’t have words to understand exactly what it is. Your description about something as simple in putting in ear buds gets to the heart of what I knew…but, couldn’t really put into words.
    I’m struggling with my day job today…your music clips are happily running in the background now.
    Thank you dear friend!


  8. *jumps up and down waving to Michelle* 😀

    “Your description about something as simple in putting in ear buds gets to the heart of what I knew…but, couldn’t really put into words.”

    Isn’t if funny how we sometimes don’t see what others see? I thought your posts was so well written, and your descriptions resonated with me. I was so excited to comment in your post — you have no idea. lol Then — poof — down went the Internet. I tend to babble on when I get all excited about a post I’ve read, so I was not a happy camper when I lost those words in the moment of feeling that connection with what you wrote.

    “it certainly seems that your taste in music is definitely more mature and sophisticated than mine.”

    There you go being hard on yourself again. Don’t make me come over there. 😛 You made me giggle and blush. Thank you.

    “your music clips are happily running in the background now.”

    Haha, that is awesome — well not the part about you struggling with your day job.

    I’m listening with you, now. We be jammin’.

    Oh, speaking of jammin’, I want to share this one with you. If that doesn’t lift your spirits, I don’t know what will.



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