I’m slightly bias, as I am a musician by trade, but music has been one of the most powerful tools for connecting to myself.
There’s a strange story there, as I was born non-hearing and didn’t experience sound until I was four, after a surgery. The world of sound was scary to me, I was used to feeling sound physically and occasionally the fricative buzz of consonants. So when I heard things like planes and cars, it was overwhelming to the extreme – especially given I’m a sensitive person in general. One day I heard the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 14, and everything changed. Sound wasn’t scary anymore, and music became my language.
The inherent power of music can be utilised in two ways for me:
1) It allows me to tap in and feel my feelings, like getting a good cry out by listening to melancholic music or dancing around like crazy to joyful music when I have energy and want to express it.
2) It allows me to turn away from feelings that aren’t serving me, like listening to soothing music when I’m full of rage or listening to music that drives hard when I’m feeling sluggish.
Music contains a multitude of memories, positive and negative. I believe the positive can be harnessed, and the negative can serve its purpose as a time capsule (that sometimes needs to stay buried for a wee while).
I don’t listen to the songs I used to do a shit tonne of drugs to, and when I feel disconnected from the world at large, and like nothing will ever be ok again to the extent I want to pick up, I can put Enya on and experience something so beautiful that it might just be ok, if only until the end of the song.
How can you use music to affect your mood? How can you harness it as a tool for your sobriety?
Two tiny things:
- Make a playlist.
- Dance/feel/cry to your playlist.