Music Speaks to My Soul
Whether it’s playing or listening to music, many of us find solace in song. Music connects us. I like to find out what my clients listen to on a day to day basis. What’s their favorite genre? Do they follow any particular musician? When we drive in the TherapyontheFly® van, my clients connect their phones and we listen to their playlists. We explore the impact of music on our moods. Many of us can recall stages in our lives when we listened to certain bands or artists. I can think of several songs that connect me with my loved ones. When I hear different songs, I float back in time and recall great memories from past seasons of life. The same holds true when I hear songs that remind me of sad times in my life. Some songs haunt me and I can’t listen to them to this day. Does that happen to you? Sounds, like smells, evoke strong emotions. We can access sounds and smells to improve our moods.
What are you listening to these days? Do you have a positive playlist? That’s what we call a series of songs that lift our spirits. When I am scared or feeling insecure, I go to my positive playlist. It motivates me to question my thinking errors, get back to the present moment, and keep on keeping on.
Mike and his band, Hoi Ann, use music and intricate lyrics to illustrate scenes and emotions of everyday life. In their debut album, Cowboy, Hoi Ann investigates the presence of vices and how they weave themselves into habits and daily motivations. Mike explains:
We use a lot of imagery and metaphors to get our ideas across. For example, in the single, Edelweiss, we compare the edelweiss flower (from the Sound of Music classic) with an always present Idle Vice. As people listen, we want to invoke some thought. We want people to think about the vices in their life. Are there any in yours?
Listen to Edelweiss here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqScyqo9Sjo
Beyond the songs, I find a lot of relief and meditation in the process of creating music. When life get’s hectic, and it always does, there is always a safe haven to retreat to. Some people find this in meditation, journaling, or prayer. When I can fully dive into a project and really analyze all the beats, notes, sequences, edits, etc. I find my worries have subsided, if only for a moment. It’s great. I think I work out a lot of problems as well. I write lyrics with the goal of finding clever ways to say difficult things. It helps me and I think it helps other people too.
Josie, Trailtalk’s summer marketing intern writes:
Music is different for everyone, but one thing we can agree on is that music is powerful. Music has the ability to pull back memories you haven’t seen in years, it has the ability to alter your mood, and it has the ability to bring people together. Music often provides answers to the questions we didn’t even know we had. Often whatever feeling you are feeling is described in a song, and sometimes the realization that you’re not alone in this feeling is enough to generate the strength to face it. Personally, I have found that it isn’t always the lyrics in music that elicit something in me, sometimes it is just the mood or tune of the music. The song “Are You Even Real?” by James Blake is a perfect example of this. I recently discovered this song and have been obsessed with listening to it. I think this is often the case with many people when they discover new songs, we may not know why we like it but we know it elicits some sort of joy when listening to it.
Listen to the song, Are You Even Real? here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL_-bakSRlc
A Tip from the Trail
During this season of unpredictability, consider your current music choices. Sounds of any sort affect our moods. Background TV noise, sound machines, outside noises from sirens to construction is called disorganized sounds. I find myself agitated when I hear a cacophony of disconnected sounds. That’s when I grab my sound-canceling headphones or turn on a song that I know calms my mood.
We can learn a lot about ourselves and others based on our music choices. Let’s connect. Tell us what brings comfort to your soul? Share your favorite songs with us. Thank you and happy trails.
Here’s one of Allison’s favorite songs by Ben Howard. Listen here.
Read more here about how music therapy changes our brains.
Happy trails until we meet again!