In the five years since I started this blog, there’s something that I haven’t written much about: music. It’s difficult for me to explain — succinctly, at least — but music plays a huge role in my mental wellness. While I dabbled in singing and playing musical instruments as a kid, I never had much talent in that area. But even so, I love listening to music. I’ve grown in my taste and the types of genres I enjoy, but the relationship I’ve developed with music over the years if one I’ve come to cherish.
There are many different genres of music I love, and each of them play a specific role in my life. There are go-to songs I want to play when I’m excited, when I’m anxious, when I’m sad and when I’m depressed. Music has been beneficial for my mental health for a long time and today, I want to share the benefits it can have for everyone’s mental health.
For this post, I decided to do a little research. There’s logic behind the value of music and why/how it can make us feel good, but I wanted to go beyond that. Beyond being a hobby or a profession, music shows up in the mental health space. Music therapy gives people a chance to write, play or listen to music as a way of understanding themselves. There are also psychological benefits, such as reducing stress and improving cognitive performance.
Music can be a therapeutic tool, and that doesn’t have to be in an official capacity. It could be listening to our favorite song after a long day. Putting on soothing music when we’re wound up, or playing pump-up music when we exercise. Many of us use music therapeutically and don’t even know it.
There is also the way people use music as a form of expression. People make music about every single emotion under the sun. They write music, lyrics, they sing and dance. Writing is one of my favorite things in the world, but I don’t always have the right words to express how I feel.
Beyond myself, I get immense joy from seeing other people use music to express themselves. Through music, we see people work their way through the ups and downs of life. We see them deal with things like grief and trauma, but also with joy and happiness. We see them being human.
Music has a ton of benefits when it comes to our mental health, and it’s the versatility of it that I love so much. In my next post, I’ll explore more of my own relationship with music and it’s impact on my mental health. Until then, go listen to some music!