This past week has been darker than most. My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine. It also goes out to the people of Russia who don’t want this war any more than the people of Ukraine do.
With all this pain in the world, it was hard for me to come up with an uplifting subject for my weekly post here. Then I thought, music! Music is so strong. It resonates with everyone. Music can be soothing, healing, calming or it can be passionate, thrilling, and forceful.
Music is also very personal. It has many genres, so there is something for everyone. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like music, do you? They might like one type of music over another but what ties us all together in this world is music.
Some of the benefits of listening to music:
- Help you rest better
- Lift your mood
- reduce stress
- Improve your overall health
Did you know there are professional Music Therapists? Yes, it’s true! These are people who are trained to help you find ways to use music for your mental health. This type of therapist learns how to use music-making and listening to help people understand and process their emotions.
But you don’t necessarily need a therapist. You can also use music on your own to improve your mental well-being. I think a lot of us do this already.
The best music for stress reduction is the kind that works for you. Find something with an upbeat rhythm, something like 60 beats per minute is recommended. Many people also find that Celtic, Native American, and Indian string or flute music tends to have a calming effect.
Again, it’s personal. Find what works for you! I think this is the best kind of research, try different genres, something you haven’t heard before, or something you thought you wouldn’t like. You might surprise yourself with what you find.
Create a mood playlist. If you’re feeling down, anxious, or upset, find a track that expresses how you feel. Feel those emotions and let the lyrics resonate with you. Then, gradually shift your listening choices so that the music takes you into a happier or calmer place. This is a popular technique used by music therapists.
Who hasn’t been hurt or angered and then listened to music that supports that feeling? I know I have. Just don’t let yourself linger in that dark mood. Slowly start introducing more uplifting and calming music to your rotation. Soon you feel better and happier and can look at a situation with fewer strong feelings clouding your judgment.
Just remember, music can be a powerful tool in your mental health toolbox but it’s not a replacement for a trained therapist if you have a deeper need. Never be ashamed to need mental health!
Have you used music to heal yourself?