How many times have we turned to music to distract ourselves from our lives?
I know that I have a time or two. There is a playlist for sad times and happy times, working tunes and mellows songs. Every genre is covered and it’s awesome that there are so many vices for each and every emotion that can come across our minds and our stereos.
Normally, I refrain from bringing my iPod into the office, but this week I have relied on the melodies to keep me grounded when I can no longer bear the reality that presents itself before me. It is difficult to ignore the facts, but I have found my refuge. There have been sad songs and happy songs, songs that I can sing along to and songs that I can dance to. But most importantly, each of these songs allow me to escape the truth for the duration of the tune.
And I know I’m not the only one who needs this escape.
There are so many times in life that people turn to music to make sense of their feelings, to comfort their sorrows, or to distract them when they do things they don’t want to. I know it’s much easier to clean the apartment when I’m rocking out to “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot or swaying my way through dusting to “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra. But if I’m feeling blue, I want to hear slow melodies like REM’s “Everybody Hurts” or “Breathe” by Taylor Swift. That’s just what floats my boat.
Music allows us to flee whatever is going on in our lives for the sake of a great rhythm and awesome lyrics. Music helps to validate and make sense of our emotions.
I know that I would have never gotten through the devastation of the end of my relationship with Ares if it hadn’t been for Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” or “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette. My master’s thesis could not have been written without “Vienna” by Billy Joel, which gave me the encouragement I needed in those long days spent in libraries reading case studies when my friends were out enjoying their lives. Those songs will forever remind me of troubled times that I was able to overcome. They are what got me through hard patches and now when I hear them, they do not remind me of sorrow or stress, but of strength and perseverance.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, music plays a profound impact on our lives. It is there through celebratory times and hours of heartbreak. There is a connection that is formed when a song enters our mind at the precise moment we feel a particular emotion.
Think about it.
When you recall happy or sad or stressful or anxious moments, I bet you remember a tune that convened those exact feelings when you felt them. It’s as simple as recalling the “YMCA” dance made popular by the Village People or Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” playing in Wayne’s World. Songs remind you of moments you never want to forget.
Music is a gift. It is there to encourage you, to sympathize with your pain, and to radiate your happiness. The effect it has on humans is really kind of amazing.
When you need that emotional release, let the music take you there. Put on some calm tunes and just breathe in and out. There is no one there to rush you or make you feel silly for wanting a moment or two to yourself. Savor the beats, the lyrics, the harmonies.
Lose yourself in the music.