Happiness and Healing with Music

Tera vantage, wa

There were a period of months where I only listened to podcasts.  Literally.  That's all I listened to!  I got a bit of music if someone else put it on, or I was teaching yoga.


I had this silly mindset where it wasn't okay just to listen for no other reason than to enjoy.  I had to be learning something too.  If I watched something on Netflix it could only be a documentary.  Because again, I had to be learning.  If I wasn't, it was a waste of time...in my crazy mind.


I love podcasts, and documentaries.  Learning is probably one of my top 5 favorite activities.  (...is that an activity?)


BUT....sometimes even your brain needs a break.  Sometimes you have to turn down the logic and reasoning part of your brain and tap into the feeling part.


As a culture we value logic and reasoning (left brain) far more than feeling (right brain).  The thing is, they are equally important...


...because we aren't robots.  We are beings who feel, we feel a lot even if we try not too.  Those things called emotions, they are part of our existence.


During my music for fun ban, I was also in and out of some very dark places.  Who knows if the lack of tapping into this part of myself contributed to these feelings, but either way they were there.  Days of despair, hopelessness, crying, hatred, anger, sadness.


One day on my drive to work I was compelled to just turn on some music instead of my usual podcasts.  Don't know what told me to do this, but I got on Spotify and looked for a song that reminded me of travel, of where I feel the very happiest.  It ended up being Om Nashi Me by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros (check it out if you haven't, it's amazing).


For the first time in a long time I felt this smirk creep onto my lips.  I couldn't even control it.  Then the singing started.  I was in my car belting out this song, dancing, clapping, and all the while tears streaming down my face.  This time in joy and not despair.  Tears because I felt a little lighter, a little brighter.


Probably not the safest way to drive....and people probably thought I was a lunatic.


For awhile this became my anthem.  I listened to it on repeat everyday.  Because it was this one thing I knew would make me feel a little better...if only for the 6 minutes and 16 seconds that it lasted.


It was in this time that I began to recognize the importance of music in life, and letting yourself just feel and not think so much.


Music, dance, creative outlets, releasing emotion are critical to a healthy happy life.


You will be happy to hear I am much better at balancing my podcast listening with my music enjoyment.  Sometimes I dance by myself in my living room and am slowly (very slowly)  allowing myself to feel and express more.  Not easy for us left brain dominant folks.


Music can trigger a lot in our body and mind.  It can bring up memories.  Make us laugh.  Or cry.


When you are having one of those days, where the world feels heavy put on music that reminds you of how you want to feel.  It's tempting when we are sad or angry to listen to music that is also sad or angry, but this will only keep us in that place.  Turn on the song that makes you bring memories or feelings of joy, adventure, contentment, relaxation, love and happiness.


This could be a booty shaking song, some woo woo new age music, Taylor Swift or opera.  Whatever makes the corners of your mouth turn up!


Now, put on some music and just let your body feel it.  Avoid being critical about yourself, or over thinking anything.  Empty your mind of all logic and instead FEEL.  Maybe feel your body work hard while exercising, feel your body flowing in yoga, feel the beat in your chest...let me say it one more time.  Just feel.  Give up and give into it.


Happy listening!


[icon icon=icon-music size=14px color=#000 ] Tera [icon icon=icon-music size=14px color=#000 ]


PS: What song makes you smile?  Has music helped you get through tough times?  I want to know!  Let me know in the comments section below [icon icon=icon-arrow-down size=16px color=#000 ]