Cure for what ails ya

Let’s talk about the blues and some of the things you can do to deal with ’em. Because if you got ’em, and I mean really got ’em, to the point where you’re walking around feeling like Jimmy Stewart on the bridge in It’s a Wonderful Life, the one thing you wanna do is get rid of ’em. There are ways. There is hope.

The blues in our modern world come from a wide range of sources—money problems (a nice bumper crop of those goin’ around), romantic disasters (always in vogue), and health woes are three of the more popular. It doesn’t matter much from where your blues came. You just know they’ve taken up residence on your living room couch and aren’t showing much inclination to leave anytime soon.

Step one: Hit the gym. I’m tellin’ ya. When dealing with the blues, this is one of your most powerful allies. And when I say hit the gym, I mean, HIT the gym. POUND those weights. BURN UP that treadmill. BEAT yourself up in there. You’ll quite literally feel physically better as you head for home, and that’s the whole point, right?

Step two: Music. Don’t overlook the feel-good powers of your favorite music. Turn out the lights, turn off that damned idiot box, crank up the stereo, and get into it. Listening to music will remind you that you’re not alone. Many times, you’ll realize that the people writing and playing these songs were just as screwed up as you are right now. Somehow, that’s nice. By all means, dance. Play air drums. And yes, it may be a bit obvious, but go ahead and listen to some good blues. It couldn’t hurt!

Step three: Make damned sure you don’t make things any worse. For example, you go to a bar, get righteously faced, have a great time—and then you get nailed in a DUI checkpoint. Urk. Nothing exponentially compounds a case of the blues like a DUI. Feel like fighting? Avoid. Who wants to deal with the blues while nursing a broken nose? And paying for some cretin’s medical fees? Very blues-compounding strategy. Bottom line, damage control is important. Keep the lid on.

Step four: Use your “blues power” for good. If you’re currently in a state of bluesiness to where you’re getting by on one sandwich a day, use this. You’re gonna drop some pounds here, courtesy of the “blues diet,” which is quite effective. If your sleeping time has gone from eight to two hours a night, use this as well. Have some kind of all night film festival. Learn how to make Indian food. Dig up a stump. Paint little neon dots on the bathroom wall. The important thing here—have something to show for your insomnia.

And finally—there’s always Paxil.