Shake it off, shake it out, shake it up…

shake it a-baby now! I’m not sure why so many great, catchy, and timeless songs involve shaking, but I’m certainly not upset about it. Not only do most of them come along with a positive message, or just a positive vibe, there are many therapeutic implications as well. These are the songs we put on full volume when we feel invalidated, left out, or just a little down to remind ourselves that being different is cool, but they are also my favorite kind of songs to use for functional goals.

Some of us have brains that are wired differently, and it can make us really creative, innovative, and surprising. But it does also come with some difficulties, like having a hard time deciding what is important to focus on, or what to do first in a sequence of directions. It can be hard to follow directions when you have a processing disorder, or anxiety, or ADHD, or autism.

For those of us, it can be much easier to follow directions when they are sung, most likely because the information is processed differently at a neuronal level. Therefore, I like to stock up on action songs to fill my music therapist tool belt. You can shake a tambourine, a maraca, a bell, or your booty, all while practicing following different, specific directions in rapid succession! Pop artists never leave us in a drought for shakes and twists, so there is something out there in the musical library for every person’s musical tastes. Here’s a little clip (stolen from our Instagram!) of one of my favorites to utilize. Enjoy!


(Photo is from

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