Last Thursday, I was so stressed I thought my veins would explode. I headed straight away to my closet, picked my jacket, headphones from the bedside table, plugged them into my phone, and I went to the balcony. I played an old playlist, hummed along, and 20 minutes later I was recharged. The combination of music and walk works every single time for me. I submit to the tunes and lyrics – shut off the world – and somehow the problems disappear.
It’s not only about the stress. There are days I have no energy. I get up and as I work from home, I feel confined. There is no gentle nudge to push me in the right direction. Even the deadlines aren’t motivation enough to complete the pending assignment. In those baffling moments, I swipe left on my laptop. I play my favorite tracks in the background and voila, I feel energized. Same is the case when I’m sick, angry, nervous, or sad – music always comes to my rescue. So last weekend I googled to check – whether music is a therapy? Does it actually help the sick, depressed, and angry? Numerous articles on the internet vouched by scientific research say – oh yes, it does!
Music helps us relax, it pumps up our adrenaline on the treadmill, it also suppresses the fish-market type of noise in an overcrowded restaurant. We all have witnessed that. There is no denying fact to it. But more than music, the choice of music is important. Can you run on ‘Tum to thehre pardesi?‘ No, right? For that, we need a peppy number that sets the body in motion. A Yo Yo Honey Singh’s song would probably do that. The choice is the underlying factor in determining how effective music is for us. I love Coke Studio but my husband doesn’t. I can walk for hours on Adele’s song but for running I prefer Bollywood item numbers. Ghazals make me nostalgic. Sonu Nigam’s voice makes me emotional. And all of the above brings me joy.
Does it actually help the sick, depressed, and angry? Numerous articles on the internet vouched by scientific research say – oh yes, it does!
For this very reason, I spend time in creating playlists on my phone, iPad and on Youtube. Sorry, invest. I invest time in an activity that works better than prescribed medicines and therapy. Because when I want to use music as a therapy, I need the right songs at my fingertips. I name my playlists on mood and music type, but never as an album. To relieve stress, I know a selection of Coke Studio songs would do wonders. For long drives, I need a combination of soulful, romantic, and slow numbers. For every problem – stress, sadness, anxiety, sickness, loneliness – we need a different type of music, just like we need different medicines for different ailments.
Next time if you are at loss and unable to put words to your feelings – listen to music. Don’t watch a music video. Just listen. And when you are feeling better, invest your time in creating your favorite playlists. Choose your favorite songs and sort them according to your feelings and moods. Then turn on any of these playlists as and when you need an escape. I’m sure; it would take half of your anxiety away.
Our choice of music tells a lot about our personality too. Our favorite songs are the ones with which we have an emotional connect – mostly a happy memory is attached to it. The biggest fact – the music we listen as teenagers and as college students remains our favorite lifelong. Whatever is your song of choice – whatever makes you happy – use that song to help you through tough times.
(Written by Saru Singhal.)