Blogging · nonfiction · strength

The Strength of Music

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.

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

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.

Photo by FPVmat A on Unsplash

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.

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

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?

5 thoughts on “The Strength of Music

  1. Jackie, music soothes my soul. I’ve really been into music lately. I found a Canadian guy – Bahamas – who I put on when I want a really good cry. You know, the kind that purges crap from your soul. But mostly, I listen to music that brings me peace and/or happiness. Good topic!!

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    1. Maddie!!! I understand what you are saying. Music soothes my soul also. I also have songs I play if I just need a good cry. I always find it fascinating that music can bring forth such strong emotions. We all need some music in our lives.

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  2. I’ve had running play lists for years that have always helped me through. so many tough times. I found listening to music on YouTube helped me find new kinds of music that I didn’t even know about or that I could like. My tastes are very eclectic. Some music is for when I need to concentrate, some for moving faster when I work or walk and some just to calm myself when life gets too overwhelming. I listen to some continuous music to help with sleep or meditation. I keep a happy music list that pulls me out of the well or keeps me from going near it. Music was something I didn’t grow up with and had very little time for prior to my first marriage. I’ve been in discovery mode ever since. Each person around us can introduce us to something new. I wondered sometimes if I would miss my vision more than my hearing but finally realized a life without music feels pointless. At least after you have heard it.

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    1. I almost did lose all my hearing. As of right now, I’m deaf in my right ear. So yeah, I’ve always loved music and would miss it if I couldn’t hear it. Even if you are blind, you can at least hear a book being read. I have different songs I listen to depending on my mood. I’ve never really been one for playlists and I’m not sure why.

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  3. You tube just keeps a record of those I like and keeps playing them for me. Makes it real easy. I found Hand pan music and it’s so mellow, I can listen while concentrating. Hang Massive is a favorite.

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