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“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Berthold Auerbach, German Poet and Author.

Wellness Tip:

Beat Stress With Music

Berthold Auerbach, quoted above, was right. Music is a powerful stress-buster (though, he put it far more poetically). 

In studies, relaxing music has been shown to:

  • Help people fall asleep faster
  • Reduce anxiety and lower heart rate in students giving oral presentations
  • Decrease pain and anxiety during dental and medical appointments
  • Enhance creativity
  • …and more!

On the other hand, upbeat music is great if you want to boost your mood or get pumped for the gym.

The speed and rhythm of the music are important: if it’s relaxation you’re going for, stick to around 60 BPM (beats per minute). 

Do you have a favorite relaxing track or stress-busting playlist? Share it with us!

Productivity Tip:

Eat a Frog

You can put down your fork – it’s a proverbial frog. 😅

“Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long,” says author Brian Tracy in his book Eat That Frog!.

Your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task – the one you’re most likely to procrastinate on. Gulp it down, and the rest of your day will be easier. You’ll gain momentum, a sense of accomplishment… You’ll feel good!

How do you know which ‘frog’ to eat? That’s what the Priorities section of your Panda Planner is for. Note down your most important tasks – then tackle the top one first.

Even if you do nothing else all day, you’ll have made progress on what matters most!

Routine Breakdown

Hoda Kotb, Author & T.V. Personality


As co-host of NBC’s “Today” show, Hoda Kotb has to rise early. Like, really early. She:

  • Wakes up at 3 a.m. to make her first Today shift at 7.
  • Lights a fresh linen–scented candle and journals. “I write three things I’m grateful for and one great thing that happened in the past day,” Kotb says. 
  • Listens to a playlist of “happy morning tunes” while she writes.
  • Shares a quote on Instagram. “Seeing people’s comments on the post always makes me feel connected to the world. It makes you realize we’re all often going through the same things.”


Why it works:

  • Some surveys credit early risers as being more productive. (Do what works for you though: that’s the most important thing.)
  • The ‘three good things’ gratitude practice has science-backed benefits. As Hoda says: “It level-sets me so I’m not starting off the day thinking about everything I need to do. It fills my head with goodness.”
  • See above!
  • Social connection is key to wellbeing. In our current situation, connecting with others online can be a valuable substitute for in-person connection.


Hoda’s comments about Instagram highlight the dual nature of social media. It can be bad for us. But it can be good, too. It really comes down to using it in a mindful and healthy way. 

Here are some tips for building a healthy relationship with social media. If you think yours could be better, why not give some of them a try today?

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