Guide for Caregivers: Music guaranteed to lift your spirits

Watch the two videos below and we defy you to keep from smiling!
Music holds that power.
And we want to hear from you:
When has music lifted your spirits?
Or, to pose the question another way: What music reliably lifts your spirits?
Dr. Benjamin Pratt, author of our popular new Guide for Caregivers, has been asking this question everywhere he travels. In fact, the question is the focus of one chapter in his new book.

To prove this point, Dr. Pratt found two short music videos that will lift your spirits, no matter what tough stuff you are grappling with today. In fact, the first video—shot on the fly by a young woman passing through a lobby at the Mayo Clinic—became a defining moment in the life of that young woman and her mother. The daughter, Jodi Hume, and the mother, Sharon Turner, were passing through Mayo as part of an absolutely agonizing years-long process to surgically rebuild Sharon’s jaw after cancer. Horrifying, right? That’s certainly how Jodi described the whole medical-and-caregiving process later.

One day Jodi and Sharon were leaving Mayo after the latest surgery, when she heard the piano and caught Fran and Marlo Cowan spontaneously entertaining anyone within earshot. She asked if she could capture a video clip of their next number. The Cowans agreed. The result is this YouTube video.

And, the most important result of that music? Sharon laughed. Jodi laughed and, for the first time in many years, Sharon dared to order a regular sandwich for lunch—and took a big bite, confident that her newly restored jaw would work. And it did.

Get the point? Now, watch the video! (NOTE: If your version of this story does not include a video screen, click here to reload the story in your browser.)

The second video was produced with a bit more pre-planning by members of an orchestra in Copenhagen, but it proves the same point.

Dr. Benjamin Pratt and all of us at ReadTheSpirit are asking, everywhere we go:
When has music lifted your spirits?
Or, What music reliably lifts your spirits?

Add a comment below or email us with your thoughts at [email protected]

Want to read more about lifting the spirits of Caregivers?

Get Help: We publish an ongoing series of Recommended Resources for Caregivers.

Get the Book: Appreciating the power of music is just one of the chapters in Dr. Pratt’s book.

Originally published at, an online magazine covering religion and cultural diversity.


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