With listening to music, it can take many forms. There’s streaming services, MP3’s downloaded to your phone, CD’s and vinyl, among others. We listen alone, with friends and family, at restaurants and bars, and at concerts. All have different impacts on how we feel in that moment.
In addition to the type of music and how we listen, there’s also the specific songs and what they mean to us. Discovering a random song on a streaming service can be exciting and lead to exploring a new artist or genre of music. Listening to a song that is meaningful to us, like a wedding or prom song, can bring back joyful memories. Both of these will improve your mood.
Other than family and friends, music has been the most important thing in my life for as long as I can remember. From listening to my parents’ Beatles records as a child, to my grunge era (which I seem to be stuck in), to the past few years making a point to explore music that’s new to me so I don’t just stay in my comfort zone with the same bands mixed in a playlist over and over again.
There’s also creating music. Playing a favorite song with an instrument can bring satisfaction and joy in our lives. Composing and recording music can be incredibly fulfilling. By the way - That intro music you heard? It’s me playing guitar.
It’s never too late to learn an instrument. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t think you have any musical talent. Although I played guitar a bit when in middle school with a neighbor on his dad’s guitar, I didn’t get serious about learning until I was an adult. The point isn’t necessarily to become an expert, it’s to enjoy the process of learning, and playing and making music. I highly recommend you give it a try.
Singing can be a great coping skill to let out some negative emotion. And of course it can be fun as well. Listen to a song that makes you smile and bust out some vocals. Singing is a physical process and this release of emotions and energy can help when you’re stressed. It doesn't matter if you feel you’re a terrible singer. Do it while you’re in the car driving alone. If you haven’t done it, give it a try. You may be surprised how much you like it.
So ... Is music an important part your life? If so, harness it and push your experience further. If not, there’s a world of opportunity for you. Music will be a coping skill to utilize in all times of your life. It can lead to an improved mood and lasting happiness.