If you’re like me you listen to music to guide you through hard moments—to celebrate to, dance out your hurt to or to dance deeply into your passion. Music is like another sense. I think about music like I think about the way my olfactory functions link to memory. It can bring me back to a moment in my life just as fast as a smell can. Like a flash I can see the moment, just like I’m there. It may not be as vivid for you, but chances are music helps your brain associate moments in your memory, delivering different emotions from your past into the here and now.
The way we experience music is almost liquid. Washing over us, coating us, the music alters our mood, our energy, it can shift our vulnerability, or evoke outrage. If you attend a community function like a church or go to a store, you’ll hear music regularly to help manage mass experience and individual emotional investment.
Music is a powerful tool.
Here are some ways to take advantage of the way music touches the soul and helps connect us with our emotions.
- Make a playlist. Once you figure out what kinds of music makes you feel happy, helps you grieve when you need to cry or need space to just ache, makes you energized, or calms you down, you can begin making playlists. This is a great way to build easy, push-of-a-button type defenses. If you don’t enjoy making playlists yourself, most music listening applications have premade mixes. Just search for something as easy as “sad playlist” or “party playlist” and you’ll be met with a myriad of options to choose from.
- When you come back from rehab treatment for alcohol addiction or a drug detox facility, you may feel disconnected from yourself. A great way to reconnect with the parts of you that you love most is to listen to your favorite songs. Music is usually something that people get excited about, get inspired by. Revisiting your favorite music can connect you to the parts of yourself that you revel in and that perhaps, you thought were lost due to years of drug abuse or alcohol abuse.
- When you’re overwhelmed, use music as a way to desensitize. Put your headphones on with some white noise, or some chill music, and let everything else fall away. Let yourself be comforted by closing your eyes and allowing your only landscape to be the notes coming through the speakers.