Indolent. Dreary. Monotonous.
That’s truly how I was feeling. Strong words, I know.
To put that in simple terms, sadness and disinterest were constantly in the back of my mind. It’s like running with 50-pound snow boots on your feet during a marathon, when the year before you were running with the perfect shoes and at the head of the pack. Such a juristic difference. What happened? You may be thinking. What added the extra 50-pound snow boots? Well, the answer is quite simple actually.
The absence of music.
Music improved my mental health. If you’ve ever felt like no one understands you, it may be hard to show how you’re feeling openly and without fear of judgement. I get it. Music gets it. These past couple months I’ve been listening to tons of songs. Combing through artist after artist, genre after genre. I’ve found my favorite is R&B and Soul. The oldies.
You might not be into that, and that’s okay. Even though R&B music is superior in my eyes, it might be absent or at the bottom of your playlist. You just have to find what works for you. What did you grow up listening to? Let’s start with that. How about you revisit some of those feel-good songs from your younger years, this is if you can remember the names. Maybe try playing one of those songs when you get ready in the morning, I know that helps me get that extra pep in my step.
What classes are you taking in school right now? Spanish? Try looking up some songs in Spanish. Selena and Bad Bunny are ones I suggest. Having trouble with language arts? Visit some of the lyrical geniuses of the music industry and try to identify the techniques, play on words, and figurative language in their lyrics. Trust me, there’s a lot of that. For that I suggest Tupac and J.Cole.
Feeling sad? Listen to some mellow music to help cope with those feelings. That helps me a lot. There are unlimited options. Just a song or two can make all the difference.
And don’t worry about having to sign up and pay for some premium music app. Use YouTube. It’s free.
So, will you try it? Please, please trust me on this. But, if you can’t trust me, trust Harvard. This website is all about the ways that music helps improve stress, mood, recovery, and not only the emotional benefits, but the physical ones as well.
Today, I challenge you to listen to at least one feel-good song, one nostalgic song, and one new song someone else recommends to you.
Will you R&B so great as to accept the challenge? Or will you remain out of tune?