Sunday, January 13, 2019

Mental Music Therapy & Health

Just a few months ago, I wrote that I was back after a year of silence. That comeback starts in 2019. This blog used to be a place for a rant of random opinions on some far-fetched ideas. Will it continue to be like this? I don't know. This blog will continue to be a stream of consciousness and basically a digital free-writing session each month.

The end of the year is meant for reflection, time to spend with family and friends and for the stereotypical new year resolutions.

Most people have the generic ones: get healthy, be more active, etc. Most are dealing with body image and a person's health, which I'm not knocking at all. This past year has also been a focus on mental health across the nation, many of these people being of the "millennial" age range
(which can we stop using this as a negative connotation? that's a new discussion meant for another post).

2019 will be a focus on mental health for me as well. However, it's not going to be through therapy, meditation, church or any third party. It's through writing (go figure, a journalist using writing) and music.

For those who are unaware, I used to DJ in college. I have a musical background, not with talent but with just my family. I'm very aware I can't sing; that still won't stop me from belting Ella Mai or Chris Brown in the car or the shower. I'm a music junkie, trying to find new artists and vibes on a regular basis. I even had a music blog for a while that I killed to focus on other areas of interest for me.

Lyrics and rhythm are a form of poetry that I truly love. In my mind, you can reach more people mentally and spiritually through music than any other platform. I have the stance on sports that I do on music:

Sports is the only thing that can unify the entire world for a short amount of time and forget about all the conflict and hardship. It's the only thing that can bring people from all races, genders, incomes, religions, ethnicities, ages, and neighborhoods to cheer someone on. What else can do that? can. People of all backgrounds will shell out money to see a game and to see an artist perform. So, for me, how will I use music to better my mental health? No, it's not by listening to chanting monks or "yoga music" (yes, that's apparently a thing). 

I'm going to deconstruct music, studying the lyrics and why an artist decided to use a certain beat rhythm or instrumental. Obviously, this can't apply to all types of music, e.g. dubstep. For me, I'm a huge hip-hop/rap/r&b/blues/soul fan. With the trends happening in those genres, I've been vibing more so with that style lately.

I recommend this for people. To understand why you like a song outside of it just being catchy, you have to listen to what's being said. Those words can help you understand why you vibe with it. It could be related to something happening in your real life or a dream of yours. It's helped me thoroughly through the first few weeks of 2019. 

By listening to the words (and beats, because I'm that weird), I've realized that there are better ways for me to handle a certain situation or problem. It's been beyond therapeutic for me. I recommend it.

I'm still old school and haven't hopped on the Spotify train. I still own an iPod (go ahead and judge. I don't care). However, I continue to tweet constant music recommendations. If you'd like to know what's playing in my headphones, head here.