Do you have a favorite song that as soon as you hear it you can’t help but smile, no matter what kind of day you’re having? Aside from having a great melody, the lyrics of a song can help one feel understood and supported through life’s various experiences.
Research shows that music can have a calming effect on the mood. However, this can greatly depend on the type of music you choose to listen to and, often, people have a difficult time listening to positive songs when they’re feeling sad or angry. It just doesn’t feel right to listen to a “happy” or “carefree” song when feeling upset because it is the opposite of what one would normally do. The idea behind this exercise is to provide a temporary relief from your distress, to decrease negative emotions, and improve your ability to think more clearly. Making the decision to listen to a favorite tune can be a small choice that can snowball into big change over time.
Think back to the song that came to mind at the beginning of this post that makes you smile. What if listening to that song can help motivate you to make it through to the next moment versus listening to something melancholy that may continue to perpetuate your feelings of anger or sadness? I encourage you to take some time and think about what can be on your coping playlist.
Over the next several months I’ll be exploring some of my favorite songs/lyrics that send a message about mental health and encourage positive change.