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7 Great Ways to Commemorate Steve Jobs

When Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died on October 5 after a seven-year battle withpancreatic cancer, America’s reaction was anything but “nano” or “mini” — in fact, the emotional outpouring was pretty enormous.

From President Obama to Ashton Kutcher, it seemed like everyone dropped what they were doing to tweet, post on Facebook, or chat — many using their Apple devices — about their admiration for a great American innovator.

Now that you’ve paid your respects, what else can you do to celebrate Jobs’ life? During a graduation speech at Stanford University in 2005, he said: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” So why not look to the man himself for inspiration to live a healthier, happier life?

This week, follow your heart — and do something Jobs would do:

1. Create something insanely great. Despite being a college dropout, Jobs was a consummate innovator. From his parents’ garage, he co-founded a company that would later develop “insanely great” devices — from iPods to iPhones to iPads — used by millions worldwide every day. “Considered the Thomas Edison of his generation, Jobs has been involved in more than 300 computer-related U.S. patents,” states hisobituary on International Business Times.

So here’s your task: Get in touch with your creative side and make something new! Doesn’t matter if it’s a photograph, a kick-butt dinner, a cross-stitching masterpiece, or your very own Web site, creativity is a no-fail way to boost your health. Why? It stimulates the brain, reduces stress, helps build self-confidence — and, hey, it’s fun.

2. Turn up the tunes. Jobs’ contribution to music is considered by many to be revolutionary. That’s because iTunes and the iPod basically sent CDs into retirement, changing the way we listen to music. But it doesn’t matter which device you choose, cranking up your favorite tunes is good for your health. Music has not only been shown to fight stress, ease anxiety, and set off happiness triggers in your brain, it may also help reduce pain and protect the heart. (In a small study performed at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, participants’ blood got flowing when listening to joyful music in a way similar to what happens during aerobic exercise.) So put on those headphones and jam out. (And if you want to be even more Jobsian, listen to Bob Dylan — rumor has it that the crooner was Jobs’ all-time favorite musician.)

3. Forgo meat. Jobs was a pescetarian — which means he eliminated meat and chicken from his diet, but he indulged in fish and seafood. In fact, in 2006 the health-conscious CEO (who also headed Pixar Animation Studios), cut ties with McDonald’s, which promoted Pixar films’ characters in its Happy Meals, because he wasn’t keen on the health implications of the meat-happy fast food chain.

Ditching meat (at least every once in a while) could benefit you, too — especially if you have a few pounds to drop. In a scientific review published in Nutritional Reviews, researchers found that vegetarian diets not promote weight loss, they also decrease risks of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

4. Indulge in ice cream. After his cancer treatment, the Apple co-founder turned to his favorite frozen treat when he wanted to gain weight after cancer treatment. “I’m eating like crazy,” he told a New York Times reporter. What was his guilty pleasure? “A lot of ice cream.”

So go ahead and indulge, but first check out this list of The Best and Worst Frozen Desserts.

5. Forgive and forget. After a very public ousting from Apple in 1985, following internal power struggles and disappointing sales, Jobs set out on his own. He accomplished several projects in his “off” time — including buying the company that would become Pixar, starting NeXT computer company, and attracting several loyal investors. But when Apple announced in 1996 that it would buy NeXT, he returned to Apple. Now, it’s difficult to imagine what the tech world would be like if Jobs hadn’t patched things up with Apple.

If Jobs’ monumental revival of Apple isn’t enough to motivate you to reconcile your differences with someone, consider the health benefits of forgiveness: Research shows that it lessens stress and lowers blood pressure, and even helps prevent depression.

6. Book a vacation. After dropping out of Reed College in 1972, Jobs embarked on a trip to India to visit the Neem Karoli Baba, a Hindu guru. He sought spiritual enlightenment and, by all accounts, found it in the form of Zen Buddhism. He counted the “countercultural” and spiritual roots he found there as major influences on all his creative endeavors. It’s no surprise that this trip inspired him to do great things: Travel has long been known to be a serious stimulus for creativity and life changes. So go on — take that trip, whether it’s to India, Idaho, or just the little island off the coast of town. You’ll never know how it might change you.

7. Recycle your electronics. In 2005, Jobs responded to criticism of Apple’s poor recycling programs by announcing the company would take back iPods for free. Later, he expanded the program to include most Apple products. Apple now includes free shipping and environmentally friendly disposal of old systems. But he wasn’t always popular with environmentalists — in fact, he lashed out against his green critics at Apple’s annual meeting in Cupertino that year — but he listened, and eventually changed his tune.

Developing a green thumb can serve you well, too. Studies have shown that gardening and other environmental measures can dramatically improve your mental health, and “greenifying” your home is a surefire way to help protect against dangerous toxins.