Bagels and Jams

Today, I had bagels and jams for breakfast. No, not the jam you put on the bread, the musical kind. With guitars. And vocals.

My friend Pat invited me to the Bagel Art Cafe, a cute little spot in Evanston, IL, where on most Tuesdays, he and two of his friends can be found entertaining commuters who stop in for their morning bagel and shmear and coffee to go. Or people like me, who’ve been invited to hang out and enjoy the hour.

This morning, at the time when I’m usually still in my pajamas at my kitchen table, I made my way over to the cafe. For an hour, I sat with my coffee and egg sandwich and got serenaded by three guys singing Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby Stills and all kinds of great tunes.

I can’t say that I’ve ever thought of bagels and jams going together, but it is really a perfect way to start the day. How can you not be happy rocking out to the Beatles Here Comes the Sun?! Especially on a mid-March Chicago morning where the sky is blue and the sun is actually shining?

I’ve been thinking about it all day, and I think companies should start their day off this way. Imagine what a good mood you’d be in if you spent the first hour of the day drinking coffee, tea or hot chocolate and singing your lungs out to great music? Productivity would be through the roof, complaints would decrease, and workers would be delighted to spend the day in such a place.

With all the emphasis on corporate wellness these days, why not add song to the program? It seems like mixing in a little music would be the perfect prescription for good health. We already know that music improves mood and memory recall, and studies show it even helps people with Alzheimer’s improve their ability to function.

Maybe you’re thinking, “but I don’t like the Beatles.” That’s ok, it doesn’t have to  be John, Paul, George and Ringo. Whatever music gets your toes tapping and puts a smile on your face will do.

Or, you’re thinking, “Are you goofy? My boss will never go for that. We’re a serious business.”

That’s ok too. If you can’t get your bosses on board, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own music fest right at your desk. Whether you’re IPhone or Android, Spotify or Pandora, there’s a way for everyone to enjoy music at their work place. Just put in your earbuds or put on your Beats, hit your playlist and you’re there.

Who’s with me? Everyone who has checked in here, try it out for the next week. Headphones, speakers, in your office with the door shut, in your home office through the surround sound. However you listen, just listen. Play some music to start your work day every day for the next week, come back and tell me what you thought. Were you happier? Did you smile more? Get more done? Did other people notice and comment? Let me know….maybe this can be the start of a new workplace music revolution!