8 Ways Country Music Can Make You Happy

I’ve been going through a rough time lately with a trifecta of stress: My house is for sale because I can’t and was advised that I will never be able to afford the mortgage, I’m looking for and desperately need a job, and my boyfriend “needs time to think” so he hasn’t been available. I’m basically a positive person and have plenty of experience with hardship so I know this will get easier, but all the usual short term solutions to get through this haven’t been working. So I decided to do the opposite of everything I normally do and one is that I switched my morning radio station from adult contemporary to country. And to my surprise it’s working. I’m starting to like it. Bear in mind the last concert I went to was Pearl Jam, a year and a half ago, and I’m still stuck on Eddie Vedder. But Eddie’s a troubled soul and very often I’ll just start crying when I’m singing along with his sometimes undecipherable lyrics. Clearly it’s time I lightened up and found happier music. Here’s what I’ve noticed since I went to country:

1. Present moment oriented: Country music keeps things real. The image of a loving mother and child makes me want to be a more loving mother with my children, much better than that a mother yelling at her children. I’m not brought back to my painful childhood memories. In fact, I’m reminded that in the here and now, I’m creating childhood memories with my own kids.

2. Positive images of women: Not that I want anyone to refer to me as his “gal,” but secretly I wouldn’t mind. Country men love their women and aren’t afraid to say it! How refreshing is that?

3. Female country rockers kick ass. My favorite new song is “Crazy Women” by Leann Rimes. What’s that line? “Crazy women are made by crazy men.” That’s awesome. And some of those country men are totally hot. How’d I miss that?

4. The men “step up.” I’m not sure why every country song has to include a truck and a dog, but it works. The men of country know their place and embrace it. They act global (always waving a flag) and go big (the bigger the truck the better) but think local (my house is humble and that’s enough for me).

5. It’s fun! There’s always a dance, party, or BBQ. It can be a close group getting together, a bunch of guys doing some guy activity like shooting or racing, or a romantic night. Go PBR! They understand it’s not all about providing the best and most of everything; it’s being 100 percent present with friends and family (and girlfriends.) Keeping it real and saving the fancy art gallery or expensive Broadway show for another time.

6. Country music is chill. It’s relaxing. There’s always a dog to pet, a child to play with, a Georgia peach to bake a pie with. And simply spending time with your loved one. If you sing along, and it’s easy to pick up the words, the imagery is really very nice. It keeps me grounded.

7. It’s simple. I can hear and understand the words. I don’t need to look up the lyrics to figure out the point of the song. There’s not much underlying meaning behind “grabbing a beer and gettin’ your Friday night on.” I oftentimes also just want to grab a beer and get my Friday night on.

8. And there’s that touch of fantasy, that maybe one day I’ll meet a “cowboy” who treats me right. For the record, that means he would pick me up for a date on time, take me dancing, tell me how much fun he had, give me a long kiss goodnight and tell me everything will be alright. And then drive off in his pickup truck to go take care of his dog and hang out with his friends at a BBQ the next day. And invite me.

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