A couple of years ago I wrote a post introducing my Spotify playlists. I have a weird jumble of music tastes from Taylor Swift to BritPop to film soundtracks. In it I mentioned that music can be both a great up-lifter and helps my mental health when it kicks in.
Out of all the things I’ve used over the years to help me, music has definitely been the top pick. It has a certain magic to bring back forgotten emotions, turn you into a child and motivate you to work harder. I’ve used it to push me through deadlines, to forget I’m sweating on a treadmill and ignore noisy neighbours. I even studied music for a GCSE at school (and passed! Haha!).
I thought I’d chat about why I think it’s a great way to boost your mental health! Let me know in the comments if any of these connect with you!
Music literally makes you feel happier
We all know that chocolate makes us happy (mmm…), but according to scientists, listening to your favourite artist/song releases dopamine (the happy hormone in your brain). I have a happy playlist to listen to whenever I need to smile or want to think better thoughts.
What’s on it?
A lot of Taylor Swift songs and nearly all three of the Chronicle of Narnia soundtracks.
I know what I like and these are what I like! Haha!
Music tends to mean fun
Whenever you think of music it usually means dancing, listening to live music or maybe even filming a TikTok. I’m one of those unique people who never went clubbing or regularly listened to music at person. On the few occasions that I did, I was at my local arena watching my favourite bands:
Not many but I did see them multiple times which was amazing!
I do remember dancing to Steps and Spice Girls when I was a kid and amazed that I still remember a lot of them. I guess that was what bands did. Made easy dances for you to do! I even got my mum to do a couple of dances which was hilarious.
When your mental health takes over your life, it’s easy to forget what fun is. If music gives you that back (even a little bit), then don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself!
Music allows you to escape
Just like reading, music lets you escape from a bad day or from the hustle and bustle of a packed train. Listening to Taylor on the early morning commutes to university made things so much easier. I do love mornings but it takes me a long time to wake my brain up.
Anyone can wake themselves up to Shake It Off!
Sometimes my thoughts can’t handle the here and now and want to take me back to when life was less complicated. As I’m writing this post I’m listening to Boyzone’s version of She Moves Through The Fair. I constantly rewinded my Walkman to hear this song over and over on trips up to Scotland. It’s so relaxing and haunting! Perfect for an Irish band!
These days I have a lot of those older songs on my Spotify and it’s just nice to look back fondly.
Music helps you to connect
No matter what mental health condition you have (whether it be depression, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia…), it can be hard to connect with other people. You might have been bullied/harrassed in response to it or scared to be judged for it because of stigma. Believe me, I’m right there with you. To this day I haven’t told many of my IRL friends about my depression or anxiety.
Maybe they’ll stumble on my blog one day and make life easier for me…
It’s amazing how easy connecting with other people is when it comes to music. You might have shown love for a recent song/band over social media and mutuals have contacted you to show the same love! I’ve done that a few times for Taylor Swift and have friends go ‘OMG YES!! ME TOO!’. Got to love when that happens!
Fingers crossed that 2021 allows us to go back to concerts!
What are your thoughts on music boosting your mental health?