I am very similar to a teenager. To know my mood, all you have to do is listen to the music I am playing. Linkin Park if I am angry. Lionel Richie if I am sad. 90s dance if I want to get motivated. Motown if I want to fall in love.
When I lost my babies I couldn’t listen to music. It was too painful. I didn’t feel there was a song on this earth that could match my emotion. It wasn’t a conscious descison though, much of my life after that was on auto-pilot, so it was in the car I first noticed it. I’d usually have my music blaring out loud singing along, but it was several months before I even turned on the radio. My grief felt so unique that no one could possibly understand it, let alone have written a song about it. I wrote poetry as my own outlet. It was about a year later when Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven was played while I was with a group of friends. I knew the story but this time the song spoke to me totally differently. I had to leave the room as sobs wracked my body and awful noises escaped from my heart through my lips. I have not heard it since. And I would never choose to listen to it.
Every significant moment in my life, music has played an integral part. Leaving an abusive relationship I listened to Maroon 5 She Will Be Loved over and over again. Ending my marriage, it was Hoobastank’s The Reason. In my current trials of unrequited love, it’s Lionel. Still. Hello. Tender Heart. He has enough to keep my heart sobbing for hours!
Music is the most powerful thing in the world. It helps me process my difficult emotions that lie below the surface desperate for acknowledgement and understanding. The deepest, darkest parts of me. But I have to balance it. When I am falling into a pit of despair, the temptation to listen to the saddest of songs on repeat is great. And it doesn’t always offer the best solution. I have a three song rule. Three sad songs and then I have to switch it up. I have to make myself listen to something more motivating.
By the end of the second or third switch song I start to feel ok about making a different choice. About playing a song that doesn’t match my mood. I am encouraging my mood to improve and match the song. By the fifth song it has started to work. By the sixth or seventh I might even be singing.
Bob Marley said “one good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain”. He’s part of the way there. The beautiful thing about music is it helps you feel your pain, process it, and return to the world ready to fight on …