Years ago, I came across Adoratherapy products in my local Whole Foods here in the Northeast and started building a collection. I had been introduced to chakra energy centers through modern dance and was enjoying aromatherapy as part of a restorative yoga class at my YMCA.
I instantly understood the value of focusing on myself and my own physical/spiritual needs through the simple act of applying fragrance with intention. Since then, I have reached for a different Chakra Boost scent as I saw fit, giving them as gifts along the way.
That is how I connected to Laura. I had ordered a set for my son’s girlfriend and mentioned that her birthday was coming up soon, so any help expediting the order would be appreciated. My correspondence with Adoratherapy quickly became a full-on conversation as I explained how much I loved the products, and the company’s home Asheville, NC. (I had a blast covering the Moogfest music festival there for PopMatters from 2010 to 2012.)
"My favorite Chakra Boost is Motivation. I love the kick of citrus and the intention to become empowered in all my experiences”
Q: Tell us about you?
A: As a PR/Marketing professional, I offered my expertise to assist the brand but also to indulge my love of creating new music playlists. Over the past decade, I have worked as a consultant while handling writing assignments for PopMatters, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and my own website (nmmatters.com), where I post playlists as new releases appear. After all, music and arts of all kinds feed the soul and instantly boost the mood.
Q: What’s your process for creating playlists?
A: I’m always listening for my next favorite song or musical messages that resonate throughout the day. These days I collect new releases in a Spotify playlist before carefully ordering them and calling it cooked, moving on to the next playlist about every two months or so. I like to start with something up – tempo to pull the listener into a musical path that ends in a more meditative state after an hour or so. And you know how you hear a song you haven’t thought about in forever, but it’s exactly what you needed? I love coming across a song that informs my day via lyrics, vibe or taking you back to that time in your life when the song was new.
I’m married to a musician but I’m the music Fan. Before streaming, I created CD compilations of new music and before that, cassette mixtapes. I remember listening to New York City radio as a girl in the Connecticut suburbs (shout out to WPLJ in the 70s and WLIR in the 80s!) It was my constant companion and link to a much larger world, leading me to life in that wicked city – as my Southern grandmother would call it – after college before returning to raise a family. And now radio from all over is easily accessed online 24/7.
A good day for me begins withKEXP’s “John in the Morning” show (10 am to 1 pm EST), where John Richards plays a great mix of new music in Seattle for a far-flung community known as the Morning Faithful, sharing thoughts and requests.
Around noon I’ll switch over toKCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” (12 pm to 3 pm EST) where a new DJ duo of Anthony Valadez and Novena Carmél recently took the reins for this acclaimed new music show in L.A. I’ll also check in on KCRW’s Musical Director Anne Litt’s shows over the weekend. And I tune into local stationWFUV’s mix of old and new throughout the week (my go-to in the car), catching up on “The Alternate Side” in theWeekend Archives if I missed the Friday night show.
Plus, it's so easy to take all this music with me on the go with apps on my phone. And I can’t wait until these stations can feature live sessions again when things open up. I also keep tabs on favorite bands and record labels through social media and email lists. I follow artists on Bandcamp and Spotify, happily combing through new releases on Fridays.
Q: How did you come up with each Chakra Playlist?
A: For the Chakra Playlists, I decided to choose music from the last ten years to embrace the theme of discovery with newer music people might not know. I began by digging into my personal stash of ambient music, rereading the intentions for each scent for reference. Then I traveled back in time via my own new music playlists, finding beloved songs to complement each theme. I also kept my ears open per usual, with older songs and new artists presenting themselves as a perfect fit to complete that hour session for each chakra. After playing with sequence, I gave everything a full listen until I was ready to hand things over with pride: 102 artists/bands over eight hours without repeating one.
Q: What’s your favorite Chakra Boost?
A:I have to say my favorite Chakra Boost is Motivation. I love the kick of citrus and the intention to become “empowered in all my experiences” (even the ones I’d rather avoid!) But I take time to reflect on the status of all my chakras and choose the Chakra Boost that best serves the current situation.
Q: When & where do you boost?
A: I apply some fragrance into my palms, rub them together and take a deep breath before spreading the fragrance to my pulse points. I’ll apply it in the morning while repeating the intention, going back to it a few times a day.
Q: Do you have a practice of self love and if so please share it?
A: The only time I’m not listening to music during the day is during work meetings and a morning walk around my little coastal town – this moving meditation clears my mind as thoughts swirl. Then I end the day with a cocktail hour ritual. Heading to the town beach with friends for this makes things extra special, but even alone with a wine spritzer and something to munch on counts. I thoughtfully choose a pretty glass, fun bowl and party napkins. (I have a whole drawer of them!) It’s a great shut-off valve from the day.
I’m also a firm believer in dancing out your ya-yas. Whether to a song blasting in your home or on a dance floor with friends, I find such joy getting lost in movement – “Dance Yrself Clean,” as LCD Soundsystem calls it. (I love veteran indie bands –watch my vantage point during a LCD Soundsystem concert at Terminal 5!) I am known to break out into a dance solo whenever or wherever a song moves me. And as a performer before I even learned how to dance, I like to dance like EVERYONE is watching.
Q: Which is your favorite Chakra?
A: Can’t say I have a favorite Chakra, but I am very aware of energy centers spinning within and around me. I was always told I was too sensitive, which led me to believe I should try to become less so. Now there’s even a term for it – being labeled as an "Empath" has me embracing this heightened perception as a part of who I am. One thing I’ve learned during the pandemic is to let go of things I cannot change, cutting myself major slack to get through this health crisis. My collection of Mood Boosts has been such a source of support, signaling a personal check-in every day and providing that lift of scent on the body.