I’m a world-class worrier. Being a writer just makes it worse; I can go from a simple concern to a doomsday scenario in under three seconds. I’m also an expert in becoming fixated on a particular worry, so that it runs over and over in my mind, like an annoying “earworm” song you cannot shake.

I’ve had several of those earworms lately, related to big projects I’m trying to get off the ground. I know the relentless chorus of anxiety in my head adds to my stress and keeps me from doing my best work, but it’s been impossible to silence them. Until I remembered hearing a comedian explain that any earworm can be chased away by humming the theme song from “Gilligan’s Island.” Replace the song that vexes you with one that makes you smile.

So I decided that every time I heard the chorus of worry swelling in my mind, I would replace it with a song of praise. First, fretting over deadlines was drowned out by choruses of “Amazing Grace.” Then, worrying about studio notes was shoved aside by “How Great Thou Art.” Sometimes, I sing out loud (especially when I’m alone in the car). Sometimes, letting the song play in my mind is enough.

And it’s working! Not only do these songs overcome the worry, they replace it with joy. They drown out the stress and remind me of where my mind should be – set on God. They redirect my heart to the One who fills it with hope. They fill me with the strength I feel when we sing these songs together in worship. I am refreshed and inspired. A new song for Him makes me new in Him.

If worry or sadness or any other burden is making your mind and heart sing sad songs, I encourage you to change the playlist. Let the music of praise and love fill your heart, clear your mind, and connect you to the Lord. Let us sing these songs together, to our healing and to His Glory.

 

“Sing to the Lord a new song,
for He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm
have worked salvation for Him.”
Psalm 98:1