There’s an old song by Glen Campbell that goes:
“Music is love and love is music if you know what I mean
People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen
So clap your hands and stomp your feet and shake those tambourines
Lift your voices to the sky tell me what you see.”
I talk a lot about living with some silence in this loud, overstimulating world, but listening to music with a purpose or an intention is completely different. Research has shown that different types of music can have a distinct effect on our mood. Music can help improve our overall well-being, as it can create a healing environment that can alter us both physically and emotionally. Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga that guides us to live by making health conscious choices, teaches the Five Gateways to the Inner Pharmacy. These gateways are what we see, hear, touch, eat, and smell, and they all play into our overall wellness.
Sound is a gateway and music is the tool. Whether we listen to classical, grunge, pop, singer/songwriter, alternative, rock, bluegrass, country, or folk, the music we’re listening to affects our mind, body, and spirit in substantial ways. Therefore, choosing music that aligns with our intention is powerful. Whether we’re feeling somber, reflective, angry, or joyful, we have the ability to either further amplify those feelings or metabolize the emotion by what types of music we choose to listen to.
For example, if I just had a stressful day at work, took a loud train, and came home to a water burst, choosing heavy metal to listen to probably would not be the best choice. Or, if I perhaps was up all night with a sick child and now have to be attentive and present for my day, lullabies probably would not be my best choice.
Music has been proven to help us think about who we are, who we would like to be, and how to design our own path. The next time you’re in a space where you’re feeling disconnected from yourself and crave direction, try turning on your favorite artist and see where your mind takes you. Let the music inform your thoughts and trust that what comes up is what you need to hear. Journal your thoughts if that feels authentic to you.
Music is a universal language. It has the unique ability to communicate with us and connect us to the Universe in ways we can’t find elsewhere. When we find ourselves in a stressful situation, where we’re having difficulty handling what life has presented, it's healing to find music that encourages and calms us. Even better, we can create a unique playlist that we find particularly calming and enjoyable, and keep it on our phone so we can have a listen whenever those stressful feelings first begin to creep in—to prevent heightened responses to life’s inevitable stressors.
Since I am more of an album girl, I asked my friend Jenni Molinaro, who is a playlist curator queen, to put together a playlist she would use for self-care. She chose songs like "Let it Go" by Chaos and the Calm, "Hello" by Adele, "I’m Yours" by Jason Mraz and my favorite, "Rise Up" by Andra Day. All inspiring and motivating songs. Remember, music is love and love is music, you know what I mean? ;)
Jenni's Self-Care/Self-Love Playlist.