Dysfunction Breaking Playlist

If you have read my blog before, you might know that Executive Dysfunction is a huge problem for me. Some of it stems from stress, some of it is about my ADHD, then there’s depression, but mostly, it is triggered by environmental dysregulation.


Now, a little clutter I can handle. But once things start to overlap, or perhaps, I can’t finish cleaning because the world is in a pandemic and my son and husband never leave, because I want them to stay safe, but I also kind of want them to lock themselves into a room so I clean the rest of the house to my specifications…

That seemed kind of specific didn’t it?

So, I have been having to learn how to deal with my Executive Dysfunction and environmental dysregulation- quarantine style. Which is apparently, a later adderall time and some very loud music.

The adderall thing has to do with timing. And the fact that my son will often have minor panic moments when I start to clean up his toys, because he had them “just so” even if it looks like madness to me. And then because he wants them back at “just so” he will take them away and throw them back all over the living room. He doesn’t mind them being cleaned up when he’s not looking, in fact he loves to take them all out again. Or just enjoy the empty space. He just can’t watch the sausage being made, essentially.

So if i take my adderall at a later time I can stay focused longer, especially after he goes to sleep for the night.

That’s part one. Changing my dose and activity schedule to when my son is asleep.

Now, two, there is a lot I have to do when my son is awake or I will wake him up. Like dishes. Something about that activity will wake him out of his light sleep, even with the fans and the white noise. So, dishes, have to be done during the day. They are also the hardest thing for me to start. I have written about this before. Basically, the dishes are one of the hardest things I do because of sensory issues.

And today, the usual was just not enough. Audiobooks, candles, my usual dish gloves. I just couldn’t handle it.

So I had to find a way to break myself out of it. That means I upped the intensity. Instead of my usual audiobook, I switched to music (more on that in a second.) Instead of candles, I sprayed the room with a favorite fragrance. And instead of my usual dish gloves, I used disposable nitrile gloves. (The industrial blue gloves that you are probably seeing a lot of these days. I know that people are buying them because they are sold out everywhere I usually get them.)

Anyway, it worked! Well, sort of. I got the first load done. Pretty much every dish in my home was dirty, so I have several more loads and handwashing to do, but with my handy dandy “Executive Dysfunction Breaking Playlist” I think I can do it!

Was that a good segue? It felt a little forced…

SO… The playlist! My taste in music is eclectic, it’s true. Everything from indie hipster to global to retro to classical. Basically, it has to evoke some kind of feeling in me. Usually, that’s my only requirement. But when it comes to breaking me out of dysfunction, it has to have a good beat or some kind of crescendo.

And these songs are in no particular order, in my usual fashion, because the actual curation of playlists is something I am still working on.

Rilo Kiley, “Better Son/Daughter”

This song does so much for me. Obviously, the lyrics touch home. It reminds me of Nanette, by Hannah Gadsby, as it was the closing song. It was also introduced to me by my high school best friend who had excellent taste in music.

April Smith and the Great Picture Show, Songs for a Sinking Ship

This whole album does it for me. She’s a great flame singer and there’s interesting instruments like kazoos and accordions. I also really love a good waltz, the beat is familiar and makes me feel at ease. They have the best waltz in the song “Stop Wondering.”

Lizzo, “Water Me”

I know everyone loves “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell” but “Water Me” is my favorite. Legit, Lizzo is really one of my favorites. She’s a great source of courage and positive “fuck it” attitude. I also love anytime she busts out the flute. That’s some magic shit right there.

Post Modern Jukebox, “Cover of Lizzo’s Juice, Gatsby 1920’s Style”

I love almost every cover that Post Modern Jukebox does. They do modern songs but with a big band, vintage kind of flair. It’s wonderful because it’s familiar but also different. I love a good contradiction.

I just love how damn catchy this is, and here’s a bonus tap dancing Super Mario Brothers Medley below.

Tilly and the Wall, Bottoms of Barrels

Speaking of tap dancing, Tilly and the Wall do all their percussion through tap dancing. I am not kidding. It’s the Best. Thing. Ever. It’s also a bit of a nostalgia thing for me as it’s an album from my misused youth.

She & Him, “In the Sun”

Yes, that is Zooey Deschanel with her ex-husband Ben Gibbard. That’s probably enough said. Really anything She & Him will do it for me.

And if you just want the chills- She & Him on Conan doing a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins “I Put a Spell on You”

Crap, I got distracted, where was I?

Robyn “Call Your Girlfriend”

I also love this music video. It might be because someone who I thought was really cool, said they loved it at a party, and so then I had to go watch it. But I think it staid in my heart because it really is cool. Sometimes masking just gets you awesome music instead of burnout. Sometimes… This is also EXACTLY how I dance. It’s probably why I love Robyn so much, that blue streak of recognition. I get that intense when I do the electric slide too. Not gonna lie. I love the electric slide. (I also have a thing for talented blonde women with androgynous haircuts, but that’s a whole other post.)

Ingrid Michaelson & AJR, “The Lotto”

I love everything Ingrid Michaelson does but I am a real sucker for a handclapping beat like in “The Lotto.”

And finally…

Sia, “Cheap Thrills”

Speaking of how I dance. This performance kind of sums it up. Truth is, I love modern and lyrical dance, it’s one of my favorite things. Because of my sister, I grew up seeing every kind of style of dance, from classic ballet to modern flex-footed dance. While I have an appreciation for all dance, tap dancing and modern dance will probably always be my favorite.

That’s it! These are the beats that broke through my Executive Dysfunction and got me dancing around the house. Yes, I scared my son a little and my husband said that I was talking VERY LOUD, when I spoke to him. BUT the dishes have been started, laundry folded and put away…

Progress was made. And sometimes that’s all you can ask for.