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Using Music as Emotional Support

It’s been well-documented that music can have a very emotional effect on us. Personally, I have not been through any sort of formal music therapy, but I know there are plenty of people who have. I have, however, seen first-hand how music can change the mood almost immediately. After my in-laws both passed away last year, the first sign that we were getting back to whatever our new normal was going to be, was coming home and hearing music playing on our Bluetooth speaker. It changed the atmosphere of our house immediately.

So, when I cam across this article earlier this week, I found a lot to explain how music impacts us that I agree with.

Music enters our brains through our ears and travels a neural pathway all the way through the thalamus to the hippocampus and limbic system, which is the center for our emotions. Music has a direct path to our emotional circuit board. That’s exactly why music is used so powerfully in movies to impact an audience. That’s also why so many people choose songs that define their relationships to incorporate into weddings and funerals, both highly emotional ceremonies.  It makes good sense that psychology would introduce music into a clinical setting for patients dealing with the emotional upheaval of grief and loss.

It’s true. music can have a direct impact on how we feel at any given moment in time. In these times of anxious news about the COVID-19 virus, I find myself playing more music in the background of my work day, just to try and change the mood. Maybe it’s just a distraction, and doesn’t change anything, but it makes me feel better, it helps me find some enjoyment in my day-to-day, and in the best cases, a song can inspire me to keep going.

This also serves as a good way to mention something I’ve started doing over on Instagram, sharing some of these songs that inspire me as stories, on “Music Monday”. I’m not going to promise that I’ll do one every Monday, or that I won’t run out of songs, but for now, it seems like finding some inspiring music to help us all get through the day can’t hurt anything.

For example, this past Monday, I shared a Frank Turner song titled “Get Better“:

I’m trying to get better because I haven’t been my best
She took a plain black marker, started writing on my chest
She drew a line across the middle of my broken heart
And said, come on now, let’s fix this mess
We could get better
Because we’re not dead yet

Feel free to follow, and if you have a song that inspires you, share it with the rest of us!


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