29th September 2017
As I recently started back at University in a large city for my final year, I often find myself walking to most of the places I need to be, which makes me sweaty, out of breath, and anxious. I realised that when I was back at home I didn’t have this as much because I would most likely get the bus and I’d walk less. I wondered what could help, and I started to think about whether music could ease the anxiety for me. For a while I was against it – I didn’t like the idea of being less aware of my surroundings. However, I eventually thought that it would be worthit, if I made sure I made sure to not zone out too much as I walked!
Music is very powerful for me, as well as for many others. I like a range of genres, and what I’m in the mood for will often depend on how I’m feeling, and what I feel I need music for. So when does music help me and how does it aid my wellbeing?
- When I’m stressed and/or anxious.
When I feel this way, I need relaxing music. I need something that will ground me, and will keep me calm and enable me to escape to another world. I recently found an amazing playlist on Spotify called “The most beautiful songs in the world” , which includes a range of acoustic, piano, and slow and mellow songs. It’s such a great way to discover new artists that you’d never come across on the radio, or anywhere else for that matter. I’m using this playlist at the moment when I leave the house at Uni – it helps me to focus less on the feeling of other people around me watching me, and just helps me to feel a bit more grounded, even if only slightly. So tuning in to some music such as this can help ease any feelings of anxiety and/or stress, whether it’s about mental health, work, relationships.. whether given a diagnosis or not, we could all do with something to help us feel better about ourselves and our lives. So check that playlist out.
2. When I feel energetic and excited, or happy.
I don’t experience this very often, but when I do, I’m usually in the comfort of my own room and I want to let off some energetic steam without any pressures from the outside world. I have a certain coping mechanism for how I’m feeling when alone – I put my earphones in my room and pretend that I’m surrounded by imaginary friends, and I feel confident singing and dancing in front of them. I’m a very reserved person in real life, and so I feel the imaginary scenarios I process and the people I feel are with me when I listen to music is a reflection of some of the things I desire in life sometimes, and perhaps are things and people that I’d never otherwise experience and meet. So to compensate for that gap, I imagine they’re there with me, and it helps me to feel less alone. The kind of music I crave in this mood is more upbeat, modern music, which includes a house playlist on Spotify and my current favourite album – So Good, by Zara Larsson. I’m obssessing over her song TG4M at the moment – such feel good music and great to listen to when in a good mood!
Music can be really benefical for a wide variety of moods you may experience. These are two examples of when they’ve really benefited me, and I hope you’ve experienced this too, and if not, will do at some point. The one thing to remember about music, is that it’s always there for us. It’ll never leave us – all we have to do is connect with it, particularly when we most need it.