It doesn’t matter if you love metal, rock, pop or EDM, music can help your mood and help you cope with (or even take control of) tricky emotions.
The way music connects to our emotions is almost magical. Even if you do not live with a mental illness you can still understand this connection. After we face some sort of obstacle in our life, such as heartbreak, music suddenly becomes louder, more clear and you connect with your emotions on a deeper level. It is liberating. You gain hope that everything will be okay, you get excited by the visuals running through your head, and go to a place where you are free from whatever is happening on the outside.
The 19th-century Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen, wrote “Where words fail, music speaks.” Music has the power to conjure up every possible emotion. It can take us soaring to unimaginable heights, console us in our grief or loneliness, help us release our anger or frustration in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone, get our bodies moving, and bring peace and calm to our hearts. Music also has the power to improve our health and well-being, which simply increases its awesomeness. Music can:
- boost your immune system by increasing levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A,
- lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels,
- help decrease depression through targeted music therapy,
- lower pain levels in some people,
- help with certain neurological conditions by reactivating speech centers of the brain, and
- improve the memory of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Research suggests that background music, or music that is played while the listener is primarily focused on another activity, can improve performance on cognitive tasks in older adults.
I thought a lot about what brings me happiness, what I need to feel mentally balanced, and what is required for me to feel that my life has purpose and meaning. Music is one of the things that does that.
Since I was a child, music has played an essential role in my life. Every moment I could break away to be alone and listen to music, I would gladly take it. Especially when I was dealing with heavy emotions, prior to my diagnosis of bipolar disorder, listening to music allowed me to escape into my own little world. My imagination, emotions, and ideas all crashed into one another causing me to spend hours in my room alone dancing around like no one was watching.
Music is a safe place for those of us living with a mental illness to explore the sort of emotional wonderland that exists within our minds. It has helped me understand the beauty and power of my emotions that in society is seen as flawed.
In the words of German poet and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Maybe it wouldn’t be a mistake to you, but it certainly would be to me.
Music plays such a significant role in my life coping and managing bipolar disorder, and I think many people living with a mental illness feel the exact same way. It reveals the power of music.