Are you stuck in a harmful emotional state? How can music help you to grow as a person? Which song might shift your mindset?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok interviews Susan Drumm about how music can help you shift your emotional state.
Podcast Sponsor: Noble
Our friends at Noble have run their own clinics, worked with thousands of clients, and have seen firsthand the burnout and stress that can come with heavy caseloads, difficult topics, and a lack of time.
With these issues in mind, Noble built their app to support therapists by making between-session support easy and offering an opportunity to earn a passive income. Now, with new CPT codes coming in 2023 that will allow therapists to offer reimbursable remote monitoring support, Noble is revolutionizing remote patient monitoring.
The team at Noble has built a program that you can quickly implement to allow you to reimburse code 989X6 for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) remote monitoring.
This is so exciting for therapists and clinics!
This new CPT code, which is coming into play in January 2023, will allow you to make more money per hour and earn passive revenue. Noble’s system provides everything needed to reimburse:
Objective data gathering device integration
Assessment and data stream, display, measurement, and integrations
HIPAA-compliant integrations into other EHRs
Real-time and immediate interventions for elevated symptoms
If you would like to discuss adding their “plug-and-play” remote patient monitoring for 2023 so you can reimburse the new CPT codes, schedule a time to talk with Eric, their CEO at pop.noble.health
Meet Susan Drumm
Susan Drumm is a CEO Advisor and Leadership Coach focused on helping leaders and their teams to develop the capacity and mindsets to lead in today’s disruptive environment. She has personally coached billionaire CEOs, prominent Fortune 50 executive teams, and incredible entrepreneurs that set out to disrupt the marketplace. Her firm, Meritage Leadership, uses a cadre of over 15 seasoned coaches and consultants who work with senior leaders and executive teams. Susan is also the host of the podcast and YouTube channel The Enlightened Executive.
At times we feel like we’re bumping our head against a ceiling, but what you’re bumping up against isn’t outside you, it’s inside you.
Music is a powerful way to transform your mindset. It has the ability to form and reinforce the neural pathways in the brain.
When we listen to music, almost every region of the brain is stimulated. This allows us to get in immediate touch with our emotional state.
If you find yourself stuck in an emotional state, and you want to shift it, the answer is music.
We Use Music Literally and Figuratively
The literal use of music is that it allows new neural pathways to form in the brain faster than they would otherwise.
However, you can also use music metaphorically. Music can be used to treat old childhood wounds that have come back to affect us as adults.
Some of the most common wounds, or statements [are] ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m excluded’, ‘I’m treated unfairly.
If you think of these old wounds as harmful self-beliefs which circle the brain like an old song, then listening to music can be used to create new neural pathways to help you shift the old emotional state.
What is the new experience that you want to have and what is the music that will help you shift state and help you to be in that space?
Finding Music to Shift Emotional States
First, you need to identify which emotional state you currently exhibit, and which state you want to have.
Try to identify one anchor song which you feel is strongly associative with your desired mental state. For example, use Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off to feel carefree and confident.
Next, create a playlist of songs that are also associated with that same emotion you want to have.
The brain likes variety, so if one song gets old, we want to shift it up and update the playlist.
Using Music to Grow Your Leadership
Identify the thing that you want to shift in your life
Notice where else in your life you have felt that same way
See if there’s a song to match it – and use that song to build awareness about that emotion.
Susan Drumm’s Advice for Private Practitioners
In your practice, you will have ups and downs. Embrace the highs and the lows.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Useful Links mentioned in this episode:
If you would like to discuss adding Noble’s “plug-and-play” remote patient monitoring for 2023 so you can reimburse the new CPT codes, schedule a time to talk with Eric, their CEO at pop.noble.health
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 794.
I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast where we are helping you start, grow, scale, and exit your private practices. We cover all sorts of things around leadership, around SEO, about growing your practice, scaling it adding people. We don’t just cover the private practice stuff. We interview a lot of people that are just in general business or doing unique things in the business world. I’m always looking for people that have a unique approach and I’m really excited to talk with Susan Drumm today. Susan Drumm is a CEO advisor and leadership coach focused on helping leaders in their teams to develop a capacity and mindsets to lead in today’s disruptive environment. She’s personally coached billionaire CEOs, prominent Fortune 50 executive teams and incredible entrepreneurs that set out to disrupt the marketplace. Susan, welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. So glad that you’re here today.
I’m super excited to be here. Thank you for having me.
Yes, you have a new book out and I want to hear about that. We’re going to be talking about music and leadership, which I’m crazy excited about but before we dive into all of that, how did you get to this point and why do you care about music and leadership?
That’s a whole, how I got to this point in music and leadership was incredibly enlightening when I wrote about my journey and my life. So when we get into the topic of the book, I’ll tell you a bit about how I discovered that music can actually a powerful way to transform your mindset and your leadership at the end of the day. I’ve been using that in my practice, my coaching practice and consulting practice for several years now with some pretty tremendous results. So excited to talk to you about it. My journey had a lot of twists and turns to it. I went to law school at Harvard and did not end up practicing law which I’m sure my parents were wondering what is going on, but I knew it wasn’t for me and my heart once I got into it. I kept looking for, well, what else could I do?
That’s when I went into consulting right from law school in to BCG, the Boston Consulting Group, and did management consulting and strategy consulting for many years, worked for and learned a ton about, started the difference between coaching and consulting right there when I worked with a manager who was particularly good. Now this is, I’m going to date myself, this is the mid-nineties. I don’t think too many people knew what coaching was at that point, and I didn’t even know it was called that. But I did know that the way one of my managers approached a project versus consulting and telling the client what to do, it was leading these five division presidents to be able to make the recommendation by teaching them the BCG methodology. That was very transformational.
Little did I know through the twists and turns of my career that I would eventually end up becoming a coach in 2002. I’ve been doing it now almost 20 years but prior to that, had worked for NBC doing marketing and business development. I also got a Master’s in Drama at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. What I found is, even though my career initially took all these twists and turns, I use all of that in the work that I do today. It’s actually been quite a blessing. Even if I didn’t know where I was going at the time, I figured it was something like, ah, there’s a way I can draw all these disciplines, all these interests together in becoming an executive and leadership coach.
This summer we did a series called How I Got Through It, where I interviewed people that had been through difficult things and just hearing how they make decisions and think was just really inspiring. I want to go back to that moment when you decide after getting a law degree at Harvard, you decide not to use it because you just went right through that. But that to me seems like when you think of the American dream, it’s going to Harvard, being a lawyer, I mean, that’s, it’s like a John Grisham novel and then you decide to not do that. How did you even make that decision? Or was it just really easy to make that decision when you knew it was not
Yes, it was not easy to make the decision. You have two summers of which to intern at law firms, and I split both of them, meaning I actually worked at four different law firms versus most people work at two. Because I kept trying, well, maybe if I try litigation, maybe if I try securities and law, maybe if I tried labor and unemployment law. What I was thinking is, gosh, I’m going to, I was dreading graduating, literally, I had this pit in my stomach. Now I love to learn. I think I could go study anything and be really happy, but when it comes to the practice of it, that’s where I just knew that this wasn’t for me. I started taking classes at the business school. I had a business undergrad degree at Harvard Business School and transferring them over and that’s when I learned about consulting, because my other constraint is I was coming out with very heavy loan debt over a hundred thousand dollars back in the mid-nineties. It was pretty significant. So it wasn’t like I could just go do something, I had to find something that would pay equivalent to the big law firm’s salary and I found it in consulting.
Wow. So fast forward, you bring music and coaching, consulting leadership altogether. How did that start unfolding for you?
Well, I knew I wanted to write a book and I’ve had some very interesting experiences over my life. It was through writing a book that I noticed, a recurring pattern show up in my life, an emotional pattern, that emotional pattern was feeling left out in some cases treated unfairly and frustrated. It showed up in my work and my personal life in a really interesting way, in ways I didn’t see before I wrote about. I started journaling about my life. So I set out to shift it in a very, and the answer came in a very unique way. What I learned was I think at times we’ll feel like we’re bumping our head up against a ceiling, but what you’re bumping up against is an outside you. Of course, it’s inside you. I discovered that music is actually one of the most powerful ways to transform neuro, and create new neural pathways in the brain.
You may have heard about how music can impact Alzheimer’s patients, late-stage Alzheimer’s patients who are unresponsive. When they put music on their whole body lights up, their eyes sparkle, they hold eye contact, engage, maybe even start talking when they hadn’t before. I was fascinated by this, and I started to do some of the research about how music impacts the brain. Music actually lights up all regions of the brain and it is, what allows us to do is get in an immediate touch with our emotional state. So think about, I’ll ask you this question, was there a song that just completely resonated for you back as a teenager? It was like your anthem?
As a teenager, I probably, it would be a rage against, I think it was Rage against the Machine where they, it ends with f you I won’t do what you tell me. I didn’t understand the social justice lyrics that they really had in there about like, police brutality at the time. It was just like, I hate, I hate my parents. F you won’t do what you tell me.
So we know as teenagers, we naturally, and even as adults, we naturally select music or we resonate with music that matches our emotional state. It mirrors what’s going on. It allows us to express that in a way. Feel it and express it, which is all good. If you found yourself like me stuck in a loop of an emotional state that you want to get out of, you want to shift, okay, it’s not like I needed to express this anymore. Like, I want to shift this showing up in my life. So if we can use music to mirror the emotional state, can we use music to shift it? The answer is absolutely we can. I mean, athletes know this. So think about, go back to Phelps face. He was putting in his headphones and he was thinking about what getting ready to win that race.
This idea of shifting state is something that, again, bringing back my acting training, it’s what you learn to do as an actor very well. You need to learn to manage your state, to be in and inhabit the actor, to do the character to do it successfully. So using, we use the idea of music both literally and figuratively. So I’m talking about the literal use of it that actually allows neural neural, new neural pathways to form in the brain more quickly than they would otherwise. So if you want to groove a new pathway, you can actually access music or use music to create that new pathway and allow it to stick better. But we also use it metaphorically. So there’s a side hidden piece to the work I’m doing here, which I don’t lead with right away because I know potentially the response in the marketplace might be, oh, but let’s just say there’s a hidden target.
The hidden target is that, what I noticed in coaching, let this point hundreds of leaders, is if we don’t work to shift the childhood wounds that we incurred, they will show up in your leadership and in the workplace. I set out to codify what are some of the most common wounds, let’s say, or statements that people, I’m not good enough, or I’m excluded, or I’m treated unfairly. That is actually an old wound. Think about it as old, an old playlist, an old song that just keeps playing in the background over and over, and we need to get off that song. So it’s really helping people as well identify what is that sort of old pattern, that old belief, that old childhood wound that’s circulating in the background and how you can actually use music to shift that?
So how do you identify those things that are on repeat? Then how do you use music to shift it?
Well, in the book, I go through a seven-step process that I take my clients through. I have a couple of different exercises that I’ve been work taking people through to understand, well identify that area in your life where you’re bumping your head up against a ceiling, like what is that? Then connect to the emotions that you’re feeling when you, like, what is it for me is frustration, in some cases even betrayal? Then you look at, well, what are you saying to yourself about this? So I coached one leader, her name was Olivia and she ended up having, she couldn’t end up scale her business, and she ultimately had to have another CEO take it over. What she was saying to herself about this issue, because she couldn’t delegate, was leading a team is more trouble than it’s worth and they just don’t get it.
The more she started paying attention, like, I’ve got that recurring statement all the time going on when I’m leading my team. So we have people understand like, what is that, what are you saying about this issue to yourself? But then you take it much deeper and you say, what are you saying about yourself? It comes in the form of an I am statement. So for her it was, I am all alone. That’s what really she was saying. So helping people get to when she’s, then we started doing the work to look at how that thread pulled through her life and where it started. Even this idea of, if it’s going to be, it’s up to me and I don’t have any support and I need to do this. You can see the translation. If you’re having that belief, well sure it’s going to be hard to delegate because you really don’t believe there’s anything else that’s possible. Then starting to look at, well, what music actually represents that old playlist so you can catch yourself before you go down the eight-lane highway to hell. What is the new experience you want to have and what is the music that will help you shift state and be in that space?
I love this. It’s interesting how much I’ve used music, I mean music, I just love creating pay playlists for specific moods or shifts. Even when I was writing Thursday is the New Friday every time I was writing, I had a writing playlist and I changed the lighting in here. I moved the chair so it would trigger that flow state quicker. It did because I was reading all the neuroscience and music and shifting your states. But even through my uncoupling last year I created a playlist called songs that make me feel better. It was just anytime I’d hear a song that like lifted me up, it was like every day I listened to this for my first hour of the day when I went for a walk and was planking. It got me through, but it also now, like I’d hear those songs and obviously there’s some different feelings to them. But it just, the idea of using music to set the tone. Like I do that all the time with my girls when we’re getting ready for bed or when we’re amping up for the day. For them Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. When they have a bad morning, just like, we’ll play that, we’ll dance for a couple minutes and then it’s like, all right, our morning is not bad anymore.
Yes, exactly. So we know how to do it, let’s say for the daily living part, at least some of us do just as you experienced it. What if we could use it to shift some of the really deeper patterns that get in our way? I would suggest if we can do it at the level you are talking about, whereas like start my day and I need to shake it off, then we can also do it to interrupt deep wired programs that will help us be more effective leaders.
Our friends at Noble have run their own clinics, worked with thousands of clients, and have seen firsthand the burnout and stress that can come with heavy caseloads, difficult topics, and a lack of time. With these things in mind, Noble built their app to support therapists by making between sessions support easy and offering and opportunity to build passive income. Now with new CPT codes coming in 2023, that will allow therapists to offer reimbursable remote monitoring support, noble is revolutionizing remote patient monitoring. The team at Noble’s built a program that you can quickly implement to allow you to reimburse code 989×6 for cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT remote monitoring.
This is so exciting for therapists and clinics. This new CPT code, which is coming into play in January, 2023, will allow you to make more money per hour and earn passive revenue. Noble’s system provides everything needed to reimburse objective data gathering, device integration, assessment and data stream display measurement and integrations, HIPAA compliant integrations into other EHRs, and real-time and immediate interventions for elevated symptoms. If you’d like to discuss adding their plug and play remote patient monitoring for 2023 so you can reimburse the new CPT codes, schedule a time to talk with Eric, their CEO at pop.noble.health. Again, that’s pop.noble.health.
So how does one find good music to help with that? Because I imagine all music isn’t created equally. Is it just, oh, this song is going to help me in this area, or is there more strategy to it than that?
Well, you want to get clear on the emotional state you want to run towards versus what you’re running away from. What is that feeling? For me, it was feeling blessed and I had this phrase, everything is working out for me, so what does that feel like when then what is the music that puts me into that state? If it’s, and I recommend usually an anchor song that you have this one that’s like, your Shake It Off, Taylor Swift song, you have an anchor song, but you have a real playlist of at least 10 songs that will help you be able to, the brain likes variety. So if the one song gets old, we want to shift it up and update the playlist as well.
My playlist, everything is working out for me. Had all sorts of songs. Well, my anchor song was Bruno Mar’s 24 Karat Magic. Because every time it’s the exact opposite of my old playlist, my old playlist, I’m left out and treated unfairly and Bruno Mar’s 24 Karat is like, I have arrived and the party can begin. Like, it’s showtime. So even when I think of that song, my face just lights up and I can use it the minute I feel myself, oh, there’s that old fricking pattern, shift out and bring the best self that I want to bring, the higher-level self that I know who I am, which is yes, I have something important to offer. Let the party begin versus getting caught up in a victim mindset.
The song I almost always listen to right before I go on stage to speak is Keysha’s Blow, like this place’s about to blow. It just gets me so fired up, like, here we go, let’s do this. Now we have a lot of therapists, counselors, social workers, listening, they have private practices. I wonder how would you encourage them to apply this with their clients? How could they use musical playlists within their client work?
Well, I think at the, again, similar to what you’re talking about, you could start first with, I’ll call it more, it’s not, maybe surface is the wrong word, but it’s not quite the deep or let’s shift an old childhood wound use of music. But it’s how can, what is the, what is the new habit someone wants to create that you’re working with and how can, coaches are usually familiar with different types of anchors and they may even be familiar with using some music as an anchor. So using, having them select a song that they tie to that new habit that they want to form and using it both to play, but talk about why that song resonates for them. Because usually when you get people talking about why they like certain music, they’re out of their head in a way and they can experience the emotion of it just as I talked about 24 Karat Magic. So that’s what I would recommend to start. Then obviously take a look at my book and the seven-step process to get to more of the deeper level pieces. Also in my book I detailed the nine most common old playlist titles or childhood wounds that I see and what that leader did to shift. There’s a lots of ideas in there about different techniques that you can use to leverage music.
What’s a couple of those examples and how people shifted those old mindsets?
Well, there was another leader that got some 360 feedback from her peers. She was head of a division and the other division heads said she’s always wanting to be part of everything and she can’t be part of everything. If I don’t include her in x, y, z meeting, she throws a fit. This was the feedback. As we talked about it, she realized she had this sort of fear of being excluded and what she might miss, and therefore it would come back to bite her if she wasn’t. We traced that back to her childhood and looked at it, was actually she felt left out and excluded from a lot of things that her sister got to do.
What we did is look at an anchor song that would help her catch her in that old belief of, I’m excluded. That was Adele’s Hello. It’s like, so hello, can you hear me? So it was in a way, you’re like, oh, there’s Adele again. Oh, there I go again with worrying that I’m excluded and I should be part of this piece. The new playlist was I am welcomed and she had lots of songs. So in this way what started happening is people are inviting her to do things versus her inserting herself into things and feeling like she needed to do that. She felt her, as she shifted her internal state, the external world responded, and she actually got what she really wanted, which was to be part of the things that really mattered.
What are some steps that people could take right away after this episode to get started on a journey of using music to grow their leadership?
I would invite people to think about what is that thing that you want to shift in your life, the place that you are bumping your head up against a ceiling and start to notice, maybe ask yourself, where else in my life have I felt this before? If you could bubble it up to the more global level and begin to notice what is the belief you are saying about yourself to yourself? Then see if there’s a song that matches that. So the first step before we can shift it is let’s build awareness so we can catch ourselves in the moment. That’s what I would say the first step is to understand what is it, where is, where am I getting in my own way? Can I see a theme that it’s probably not just this moment? It actually traces back further. Based on that, then what is it I’m saying to myself just like I gave the example of the last leader?
Well, Susan, the last question I always ask is, if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
In your practice, you may have ups and downs. I have had tremendous highs where things are cooking on all cylinders, and then times when how what happened, where did all the work go? Why did this happen? I’ve learned over time to really embrace those troughs and learned to create something new. This book came out of that trough, which the trough happened for me during the pandemic. My new podcast, the Enlightened Executive came out during that trough. So you’re going to have those two.
Awesome. Well, if people want to get your book and connect with you, what’s the best place for them to do that?
They could go to the leadersplaylistbook.com.
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice Podcast.
Thank you. Great to be with you. Thank you.
Well, there’s something about music that is just so primitive in our brains, and I love having these conversations. When you think about it’s probably in evolution of the very first times that humans could collectively do something that they couldn’t do alone. Even just you think about a song you got, whether it’s the bass or the drums or the guitar, it then becomes something that’s bigger than collectively what the individual things were. So it’s so great to think about rewiring our brains and intentionally saying what do I want to become? Even just the idea of going through a law degree at Harvard and then saying this isn’t for me, like, how many times do we feel stuck in a box that we’ve created and we don’t jump out of that box?
I know when I left my full-time job at the community college to go to private practice and then this podcast and eventually sold that practice one of the big questions I asked myself was, would I rather leave this job and try and fail potentially, or would I rather stay here and never know? For me, that jump was just so important for me to go out on my own and not follow the script that I had been given in regards to private practice and having a full-time job and all of those things that I had bought into. So whatever that next step is for you to step into your greatness, to take a step into being a better leader, do that, take some action.
We have so many resources over at Practice of the Practice. If you haven’t visited the website in a while, we’ve done some major updates to make sure that it’s easier than ever to find all the podcasts that we put out to find all of the blog posts, to get the help that you need to start, grow, scale and exit your private practice. Make sure you head on over to practiceofthepractice.com, all sorts of different things over there.
Also, we couldn’t do the show without our sponsors, our sponsors like Noble who has been so supportive of the show. Our friends over at Noble have exciting news to share. Their goal is to help mental health professionals serve more people in less time, support a worthy cause and earn passive income. They’re on a mission to add 50,000 mental health professionals to their platform over the next few months. You can join totally for free. If you’d like to discuss adding their plug and play remote patient monitoring for 2023 so you can reimburse the new CPT codes, schedule a time to talk with Eric, their CEO, at pop.noble.health. Again, that’s pop, pop.noble.health.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and your brain. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music.
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