“I’ve found that no matter what life throws at me, music softens the blow.”
― Bryce Anderson
Whether you play multiple instruments and can read sheet music or just love to jam out to what’s on the radio, there is something incredibly cathartic about music and lyrics.
I grew up in a household where we put cassettes and CDs on in the car and in the house before we turned on the TV. Meals were dictated by what album we put on. I treasured the jewel case that held the lyrics for each track. At an early age I could be found listening to songs on repeat until I learned every single lyric. Words mattered. The meaning behind them mattered. That powerful sentiment has followed me into adulthood.
I use music as medicine.
When I was afraid of going to the dentist as a child, I strapped on my plastic headphones with my cassette player to drown out the sounds in the chair. I used to view my obsession over playlists and albums as a security blanket. A negative. Now, I realize it makes me who I am.
I speak in lyrics.
I feel in melody.
This is how I take care of myself.
I could do better with my balance with work. I work in a small department in Residence Life dealing with a lot of professional turnover. My sanctuary has been my headphones and my Spotify account. I may work too much. I may stay in the office too late. Yes. These things I need to work on. But what never fails me are my playlists, my go-to albums, and when the headphones are too limiting the live concerts bring life to my stressed mind.
I see music and my preferences as an extension of my personality.
You can learn a lot about people from who they listen to and how they listen to music. I love learning about new groups and songs and what people are craving. It brings me energy and it helps to cleanse my professional palate from a long day of conduct hearings, 1 on 1s with staff members and occupancy projections. Talk to me about “New Music Tuesday” and I’ll be smiling ear to ear.
I’ve come to realize that everyone takes care of themselves so differently. For so long I struggled with the idea of having a “hobby” to occupy my time out of work. What I was really doing, though, was suppressing my need to take time to decompress by drowning out the world and hearing my “Relax” playlist come over the speakers. Or maybe I’m more energized that day and I decide that “Can’t Stop, Need to Groove” is my my speed that day.
I have music playing at work at all times unless I’m in a formal meeting. Silence is uncomfortable. I take care of myself by surrounding myself with melody to fit my needs all day long.
I get to walk back and forth between buildings in downtown Boston every day with a personal soundtrack. It’s awesome and I wouldn’t give that up for anything.
It may be simple. It may not seem like much. But know that the power of music is palpable and so real.
If you’re interested, check out my public playlists on Spotify! And please send me suggestions!
Today I’m listening to Hamilton, Waitress, and Sia. Yesterday it was Twenty One Pilots and Songs in A Minor by Alicia Keys.
Who knows what I’ll hit play on tomorrow.
This post is part of our #SelfCareSA series, which explores unique self-care habits of #SApros. Whether it’s faith, crosswords, or video games, you’re bound to be inspired to carve out some “you-time.” For more info, please see Sabina’s intro post. Be sure to check out other posts in this series too!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Dave Kerpen on Authenticity/ Branding on Social Media