What’s Your Theme Song?

Olive on the sofa in the casita.

Have you heard about the power of music and the need for a theme song? I read an article by my favorite Wall Street Journal columnist Elizabeth Bernstein called “You Need a Personal Theme Song: A beloved song can pump us up and get us through tough tasks.”

Here’s a snippet:

Ms. Smith has been singing the song for decades at times when she needs an extra boost of courage or energy. The science supports her habit. Listening to a beloved song can help us manage our emotions and focus on the task at hand. It can also help us access what psychologists call our autobiographical memory, or personal history.

“It reminds us who we are and helps us stay focused on who we want to be,” says Daniel Levitin, a cognitive neuroscientist, who studies how music affects the brain.

Music can inspire us and spur creativity. If its beat is faster than our heartbeat, it can fire us up and make a difficult task feel easier, says Dr. Levitin, who was a session musician, sound engineer and record producer before becoming a scientist, working with artists such as Stevie Wonder and Blue Öyster Cult. A more sedate tempo can help slow our heart and respiration rate down. 


What would my theme song be? I listened to several songs I love and I think I need more than one theme song depending on the moment. The article agreed with this point:

Have more than one personal anthem

Your goals, challenges and moods change throughout your day and throughout your life. Your theme song should change with them.

“Music is functional,” says Dr. Rogers. “You have a need. And you want to choose music that fulfills it.”

Another person interviewed in the article said he started each day with his theme song. I may add that to my morning routine.

Below are two of my personal theme songs. What they have in common is they are laid back, soft and have beautiful lyrics. They are also songs I listened to in my teen years. I think the soothing melodies help me stay calm when I am anxious.

Castles in the Air written and sung by Don McLean

Disney Girls sung by Art Garfunkel, written by Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys

One of my favorite lines in Disney Girls is:


It’s not for me.

And it makes me laugh.”

Here are links to the lyrics of Castles in the Air and Disney Girls.

I hope you take a few minutes to listen to my theme songs or read the lyrics.

What would you choose as a personal theme song and why?

45 thoughts on “What’s Your Theme Song?

  1. I often joke that Ride of the Valkyries would be my intro music…but I like don’t stop believing or don’t stop me now

  2. There’s no way I can pick 1 or even 2 songs as my overarching theme song! My entire Spotify favorites playlist… has every song that has spoken to me at a specific time in my life. Let’s just say I am multi-themed 😉

  3. What a fun post…and I’m enjoying reading the comments. The other day Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” popped up from an old playlist…I think our daughter’s from when she was in high school? It was a fun treat to listen to in the car…if only it had been warm enough to have the windows down. That tune is like an ANTHEM! 😎😎😎

  4. What a fun and interesting post and thanks for sharing your songs. I would definitely have to think about it. I like that you pulled from your growing up years as those memories are so strong. It makes me think of “eye of the tiger” and “take on me” from my high school years. Hmm, I’m going to mull on this today!

  5. LOL some people hear voices I have a jukebox in my head. There are a couple situations that always dial up a specific song. Going to job interviews a song by a band from the midatlantic always starts: “Maybe I can Fool Everybody Tonight” by Crack the Sky, and “Favorite Things” by Julie Andrews (when I am stressing).

      • She talked about it at one of her concerts. She had gone to a clothing store in SF called The Velvet Underground when they first started out and she found clothes she liked but couldn’t afford. She made a promise to herself to get to the point where she could buy whatever she wanted. When they got bigger, she went back to the VU and bought the clothes. Moral of the story, don’t give up on your dreams.

  6. When I worked at a job that I called The ShinMaywa (California) Adventure, the tagline I applied after that was that everyday was like an “E” ticket ride. You probably know what I’m talking about with those two references. My theme song then, and especially there, was “Roll With It” by Steve Wynwood. That could sometimes still apply, but I probably need to find another one that better suits what my live now is like. Is there one titled “Homeless”? JK!

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