The Power of Music in Healing.
Updated: Mar 31
I know these are tough times. It’s a huge understatement. It's hard to process it all. I try to keep it out of my mind and attempt to avoid the waves of bad news and stress of the current times but the pressure is too much for many. When trying to find ways to manage stress and fear, there is always some hope in a little button and speaker of any size.
I like to turn to music. It’s something I’ve always done, especially when life is extra stressful and feels out of control. In every season, but especially in the summer months, my tunes are on all through the day especially being outside a lot. Music is always there at your fingertips, you can rely on it. Music really never lets you down. It’s a source of hope that never fades or perishes. It’s a steady stream of beats, sounds and real life.
Music is so powerful, that is obvious, even more important in the harshness of the troubled times we face. Music can also be mysterious, affecting us in different ways, many of which are hard to articulate.
It is also a great source of escape and distraction. Being able to get away from everything when we need to, it can guide our attention from our over-active minds and toward something else, letting us, if only for a while, set aside our worries and stress.
At the same time, music isn’t simply an escape. Music doesn’t stop us thinking, instead, it gets us to reflect; about other places, other things, other times, other experiences, it transports us to other moments. It might get us reflecting on our own lives and our own pasts, but it can also open up thinking about alternatives or push us towards different ways of seeing things. When we escape into music, we can escape to new places and new horizons, giving us new perspective on old problems with a power that can last beyond the end of the song. It can often take us away from one mindset, to something completely new and refreshing.
Music isn’t just about lyrics or even sounds, and it isn’t just about the memories we associate with certain songs. Those things are all very important, but we can also get lost in the rhythm itself. It’s like getting wrapped up and drawn into the sound waves and their repetition.
It allows us to truly escape, enabling us to be enveloped by the sounds. Sometimes music can protect us from the world around us like a soft blanket or cool breeze. It can also open up possibilities and fresh ideas. Music both gives us what we need at times and filters what we don't need.
Mostly though, music is an emotional thing. It can so easily shape the way we feel and trigger emotional responses with such a huge attachment to our surroundings. Feelings that we can be inspired by and which can impact and shape how we feel. Sadness, anger, perseverance, disappointment, positivity, whatever it might be, it is packaged up in the music. We can use it to reflect how we feel, unwittingly or not, to make us feel so many different ways. We just need to be careful not to let us stay in the darker places for too long. Feelings matter, but let them serve you well, not overcome you.
It can’t solve all your problems, but music might just help us to cope a little better. It might give us a sense of there being a better world out there, even if we can’t experience it right now, the incredible melodies and rhythms and keys of life continuing through songs, waiting for a corner to be turned. Here are some other amazing things that music can do:
lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels,
help decrease depression through targeted music therapy,
lower pain levels in some people,
help with certain neurological conditions by reactivating speech centers of the brain
improve the memory of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Music is such an incredible gift, so make a playlist, ask your friends to share some of their favorite songs to check out and then... turn it on and turn it up!