Have you ever stopped to think about how powerful music is? Think about it.
- Has been around since the Prehistoric Era
- Crosses every culture & genre
- Is used in everything we do from tv, movies, driving, waiting in elevators, even walking through stores
Even more incredible is the fact that music can improve your mental & physical wellness.
For years, studies have been conducted on how music can help people including people with brain injuries, depression, & Alzheimer’s. And the results keep getting better.
It’s why organizations like the Grand Rapids Symphony, are making an effort to bring music into healthcare settings.
I will never say that you can use music to heal your grief. Mainly because I don’t think you ever truly heal from your grief you simply learn to live the new normal.
How You Can Cope Through Music
Let me start by saying that I’m not telling you to go to Julliard & take the best music classes in the world.
I’m telling you that you can learn a new skill/hobby or enhance a skill you already have in order to reshape how you’re handling your grief.
This is pretty much music therapy which studies have been proving for years has a positive impact on both the physical & mental wellness of patients. Except this has more of a practical spin to it.
Using music is a creative coping technique that helps you:
- release emotions
- reduce stress
- have a positive outlet
Especially those that you may not even realize that you have bottled up.
Now before you jump ahead..
Take a moment & decide how you want to cope. You can take a creative approach to grief, you can talk to a therapist, or you can journal.
The key to that is finding what works for YOU. Rome wasn’t built in a day & grief won’t be conquered in a day.
Related: Using Scrapbooking To Cope
Learn An Instrument
Have you ever thought of learning to play an instrument? Or maybe you know how but could improve?
Now is the time to try it.
Channel all of those emotions that you’re feeling right now into something else.
You can try to find classes in your area to teach you how to play an instrument, but you don’t have to. Of course everything is online these days.
Youtube is a great free resource for finding videos on how to play certain instruments.
There are several mobile apps that you can find that will either teach you or help you practice techniques.
Then there’s the usual methods of books, DVD’s & courses.
Throughout history many musicians have coped with grief, loss, & life through their music.
Ed Sheeran wrote “Supermarket Flowers” about the loss of his grandmother.
Jamie Foxx wrote “I wish you were here” about missing his grandmother who raised him.
Christina Aguilera has a couple of songs including “Oh Mother” & “hurt” that tell the story of her childhood abuse.
“Fire & Rain” by James Taylor was written to express his feelings over a friend’s death being hidden from him.
Try seeing what singing can do for you.
- Sing along to a song
- Practice singing to yourself while you’re doing everyday tasks like washing dishes
- Try karaoke
- You could even try to take a singing class from a local performing arts group
Have you ever seen the movie “Save The Last Dance”?
If you haven’t, it’s about a teen who looses (& also happens to be a dancer) her mother in a tragic accident. She then has to move to the inner city.
Later meets several other teens who are also going through life challenges. They teach her how to channel her love of dance & their love of hip hop dance to empower herself.
Although the movie was a early 2000’s teen movie it brought up 3 valid points.
First. You can easily lose your love of something while grieving. It happens & that’s okay. You can work on getting it back.
Second. Dance is incredibly freeing. You don’t have to do a choreographed dance or fancy ballet. Just dancing in your living room is dancing. And who can dance to “Thriller” & not smile.
Third. Just trying something new, especially something as active as dance, can change everything.
Allow yourself to open up & experience again.
Yes, you’re experiencing loss & it’s devastating but it doesn’t have to destroy you.
Write A Song
I met someone a few weeks ago who was suffering the loss of her dog of 12 years.
Let’s call her Mary.
Mary told me that this Christmas would be especially hard because her dog loved Christmas carols.
I suggested she turn a Carol into a song for a dog. She laughed it off thinking it was a joke.
Then just a bit later I ran into Mary again & she thanked me. She somehow turned jingle bells into a hilarious memory song about her dog.
In the end, Mary cried, she laughed, & now she has a happy new association for Christmas & her dog.
This is what writing a song can do for you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Remix one of your favorite songs into something else.
Or write a poem & set it to music.
Listen To Music
There are several ways that you can listen to music. The most obvious being through pre-recorded music from popular artists.
Turn on the music & listen to songs like:
- “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood
- “Let It Be” by The Beatles
- “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross
- “Anchor Me” by The Tenors
- “I’ll Be Missing You” by P. Diddy & Faith Evans
- “Dancing In The Sky” by Dani & Lizzy
But I suggest stepping outside of the box.
- Go to a jazz bar & listen to the music.
- Enjoy a open mic night
- Go to a concert of a music genre you’ve never heard before
- How does the music make me feel?
- Can I relate to the lyrics?
- Is there anything that I can take away from this song?
Try listening to music while you’re driving or instead of watching TV turn on the radio.
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