Music has always been a constant factor in my life. Using music as a form of therapy too. Early on, I recognised how focusing on music would calm me down when upset. I also acknowledged how music could change my mood and make me more energetic, much in the same way as our warm-ups with the theatre group I was in. Some of the songs I used for this kind of therapy have changed, but many have stayed the same. Once you make a certain connection, it’s hard to lose.
The earliest music I used for the purpose of therapy was by listening to a cassette tape with Mozart’s music. The one side held ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik‘, and the other side had the violin concert ‘K 216.’ I still remember the store where we bought it. It was a store with cheap bulk-bought items. I guess the tape was on discount for like one guilder. Unfortunately, I don’t have the original tape anymore, but my memories are forever tied to this music.
Listening to this music calms me down, and it transports me to a different realm. I am so familiar with the notes that they feel like home. Although none of the performances I can find nowadays is precisely like the one on my cassette. That’s quite annoying 😝
As an emotional person, I cry a lot. I actually feel bad if I haven’t cried for a week or longer. And sometimes I just know it would be good for me to cry, but it isn’t there. That’s when I listen to certain songs which trigger me.
When I’m close to tears, any song will be the trigger. But certain melodies always do the trick.
‘Hurt‘ by Christina Aguilera is one of those songs. It’s closely tied to my father’s passing with both the lyrics and the music. Even only writing these words brings tears to my eyes.
Other bombastic music will have the same effect. Certain songs by Heilung speak to me on a deep level and will lead to crying. ‘Fortuna‘ by Corvus Corax can also make me cry, just because it’s ‘so much.’
Waking up with the right music is also important to me. I don’t use music as an alarm clock. Nowadays, I wake up to the sounds of chirping birds as an alarm. But back in the day, when I needed to start work at 7 AM, I would listen to rousing music on the way over. I needed it to somewhat resemble a human at my arrival.
Only recently, in preparation for my interview with HL for the Tell Me About podcast, I used the same technique. At my specific request, we didn’t start early in the morning, but I still wanted to come across as energetic. Before the interview, I used a rousing jumping technique(like a jump squat), and I listened to this song while standing and dancing: ‘Auta Luonto’ by Omnia. The lyrics translate to ‘Help me nature, give me power, make my blood run strong and stronger.’
Today, I often forget to listen to music. And I always seem to be waiting for one package delivery or another. I sometimes listen to random classical playlists by Apple Music like ‘Songs without Words’ or ‘Morning Motivation’. Albums by the artist Danheim are also excellent background noise. Now and then, I put on music to stop my mind from ruminating. When the music begins, I feel muscles in my face relax I didn’t even know I was holding tight.
When I’m making dinner, and I’m alone downstairs, I’ll put on some loud music, often metal. It makes the chore of cooking slightly less boring.
So yes, music as a way of therapy is essential to me. I’ve been doing that long before I knew it could be used as therapy. I would lie on my bed, put on Mozart and let myself be drifted away. Slowly the tears would dry, and I would become calm again.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, I’ve also used music to make myself cry when needed or roused to wake up. I find it fascinating no one really knows what music does to us; I only know it often makes me better.