One thing that’s for certain

One chord that rings true

It’s a mighty world we live in

But the truth is, we’re only passin’ thru

-Johnny Cash

I’m not sure why it is, but every four years about this time I find myself wanting to hunker down and tune out the rancor coming from the world out there. Maybe it’s the political spittle or just the change of seasons, not to mention the vile coronacooties, but after a day’s work, I just want to go to the comfort zone.

Comfort food, comfort clothes, comfort music…or watch Casablanca for the umpteenth time. I’m talking about anything you can turn to that will help your brain pump out those feel-good endorphins. Pickin’ up good vibrations, as the song goes.

I remember running across an article on the Forbes website about a neuroscientist who used an algorithm to come up with a list of the top feel-good songs of all time. Now, I’m not saying one cannot bridge art with science, so why not give it a shot? Since music appreciation is highly personal and depends on social context and personal associations, factoring in all these personal aspects is next to impossible, particularly if you want to come up with a quantitative feel-good formula.

As for the top ten feel-good songs, Good Vibrations is on the list, along with Walking on Sunshine, Girls Want To Have Fun, I’m A Believer, Dancing Queen, Eye of the Tiger, Living on a Prayer, Uptown Girl, and Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.

I’m surprised Froggy Went-a Courtin’ did not make the cut, because that one made me feel good when my grandfather sang it to me when I was three years old.

Come to think of it, I still think “doo-wah-diddy-diddy-dum-diddy-oo” is as good feel-good music as any new songs coming out today.

Anyway, what that above-mentioned researcher did was “take the number of positive lyrical elements in a song, and divide that by how much the song deviates from 150 beats-per-minute and from the major key.” Think of it, an algorithm with rhythm.

Putting all that aside, I don’t think you need – or want – some formula or algorithm to know what makes you feel good, you just know it. Between you and me, when I want to drift away from the botherations of the day I put on Rhapsody in Blue, maybe Johnny Cash, or even The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and kick back with something like a fried egg and bacon sandwich or some other comfort food.

When it comes to the Comfort Zones of life, I doubt if there’s one person who can’t tell you what their go-to food is; from meatloaf and mashed potatoes to posolé to grilled brats.

Uh-oh, I got myself thinking about food again.

Question: What is that which everyone likes to have but wants to get rid of as soon as possible after they get it?

Answer: A good appetite.

Speaking of craved-for edibles, it’s not too late to partake in freshly roasted, peeled, and chopped green chile. For some, the phrase “fruit of the vine” refers to wine, but for me, it’s chile, because other than being the perfect ingredient to virtually any dish, green chile is packed with good things, all healthy. My pal, capsaicin.

Speaking of which, I’ve been reading some of the ubiquitous articles on eating right and watching the ol’ waistline and never, ever, ever, eat or do anything that’s not healthy. You can’t get away from the shows and clickbait articles on how to get healthy and stay healthy and live to a ripe old age. Wait, how do you know you are ripe?

And it’s not only current correct food that’s advertised, but all those herbal capsules and alternative medical cures, as well.

Apparently, this kind of marketing all goes way back to when little bottles of heroin were advertised in newspapers as a headache cure. And then along came the guy who had an epiphany one day to start putting cocaine in carbonated soda pop.

“Feel better fast” used to be the slogan for Bayer aspirin, but it could have been used by that original Coke. It was advertised as an intellectual beverage and temperance drink that contains “valuable tonic and nerve stimulant properties” and is “a valuable brain tonic and a cure for all nervous afflictions – headache, neuralgia, hysteria, melancholy, etc.”

I don’t know if Dr. Pepper used cocaine, but at first, it was recommended to drink it three times a day – 10, 2, and 4 – as if it were a doctor’s prescription.

Truth be told, we’re all looking for something a little extra to help feel healthy – along with being wealthy and wise – but all in all I keep being told to just eat a balanced diet.

And that includes some green chile on my bacon and egg sandwich.