Self Care

Self-Care Mondays #5: Music As Therapy

I want to be clear in this post that I am not a music therapist nor do I have background in music therapy. What I am describing in this post is not considered clinical music therapy. I have utilized music much in my practice for therapeutic purposes but it is important to know that music therapists use music as therapy (versus in therapy) and have a diverse array of interventions for engage clients in musical activities that are therapeutic. For more information about music therapy you can visit  www.musictherapy.org

Self-Care Mondays #5- Music as Therapy and My List of Therapeutic Songs

When I worked with adolescents music was a lifeline to getting to share their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes lyrics to a song can describe how we feel even better than we can articulate ourselves. When I posed questions to my clients such as “Create a soundtrack to your life,” or “Choose a song that best represents you” songs immediately came to their mind and we could use it as a starting point to uncover their thoughts and feelings.

We all have songs that have deep meaning in our lives whether it was a song that played at a special event or a song that takes us back to period in our lives. Music reminds us of a feeling, a time, a person, or a place. When we apply meaning to music we channel a part of ourselves when we listen to it that can provide therapeutic benefits such as recalling memories, expressing thoughts or feelings, or connecting

I find it helpful to have several healing songs in my playlist that I can play when I am struggling with different emotions. For days where I feel sad or run down I like to play “Breathe Me” by Sia. For me this song is cathartic and a helps me release my emotions not only because of the lyrics but also because of the music itself, the song even without the singing conveys strong emotions. When I listen to it I let myself sit with my feelings and be sad or lonely. When the song finishes I feel a sense of closure and an ability to start to move on from my mood and take action. That is when I when I search for songs that are more upbeat and empowering.

Here are some songs from my therapeutic playlist to play when you need to release sadness, need empowerment and hope, and some songs about parenting and motherhood that can be healing as well and remind you of how amazing it is to be a parent.

Sadness/Despair

Breathe Me- Sia

She Used to Be Mine- Sara Bareilles

Invisible-Skylar Grey

After All- Dar Williams

Pavement Cracks- Annie Lennox

Summer, Highland Falls- Billy Joel

Clare De Lune- Claude DeBussy

Empowerment/Hope

Change Gonna Come- Otis Redding

Dog Days Are Over- Florence and the Machine

That I would Be Good-Alanis Morrisette

Float On- Modest Mouse

Fix You Up- Tegan and Sara

Brave- Sara Bareilles

I’ve Got A Name- Jim Croce

I Am Mine- Pearl Jam

Can’t Keep It In- Cat Stevens

The Pretender- Foo Fighters

Fix You-Coldplay

Motherhood/Parenting

The Things We’ve Handed Down- Marc Cohn

Slow Down- Nichole Nordeman

The Best Day of My Life- American Authors (reminds me of the day my son was born)

Blessed-Elton John

Danny’s Song- Kenny Loggins

Baby Mine- Bette Midler

Love of My Life- Carly Simon

Watch Them Grow-Zach Gill

Although I’m not a Country music fan myself I also recommend the song Turn on the Lights by Wade Bowen which is a beautiful song written about the singer’s wife’s struggle with postpartum depression.

So I hope you can find some songs that you connect with this week and make them readily available to you. When you have a moment to yourself listen to them and allow yourself to be washed over with the emotions the music conveys. Let the emotions out, reflect on how you relate to it, and allow the music to heal you.

What are some songs that you find therapeutic?

 

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4 thoughts on “Self-Care Mondays #5: Music As Therapy”

    1. I just listened to it, I love it! Its kind of sad/slow but also uplifting with the drums and the trumpet. When I saw his name I immediately thought “Is this Cat Steven’s son?!” Haha, nope.

      Like

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