Hans Christian Andersen once said that “when words fail, music speaks.” This couldn’t be more true. The basic human emotions come out with the lyrics of a song, your body starts moving to the beat, you are transported away to a distant memory. You can’t help but sing along to the songs that come on the radio or your playlist. Music has a way of knowing the things your heart wishes you could say but your brain tells you not to.
Feeling the emotions behind a song isn’t a hard thing to do, just listen to the lyrics and you can find yourself wandering to a place, a person, a moment. You can get lost and you can forget what is happening around you and just become one with the song. Or, at least I do. I find this happening all the time, music is my escape. It allows me to go to a happier place, a sad place, a person that I no longer talk to or have the ability to see, a moment in time that has passed. Music allows for so much healing, so much finding yourself in thought. Music can help you get over a hurt. Music can help you fall in love.
Music brings out a part of me that I never thought possible. It has allowed me to write for hours, endlessly, because I am transported away back to feelings or places that I thought I had lost. Music allows me to connect with people in a way that I can’t, you see, not every writer is eloquent in speech. Music will always be that one outlet for me, the one where you lose yourself and have no care in the world. Where the endless hours compiled in your thoughts can be realized.
Music goes deeper than that, deep into the synapses in our brain. You never really know how impacted your brain and body is from just simply listening to music until you do the research. In university it was the topic of one of my research papers, I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and I was fascinated by the affects of music. In the image below it’ll give a few details on how music affects the brain: how the connections between the hemispheres is impacted, where our emotional response changes to happy or sad music, where we store lyrics or notes into our memory, tactile responses, and so on.
Now I won’t get into the nitty-gritty details of it all, maybe one day, but it is fascinating. Music can impact everything in our bodies making us more alert, more creative, more generous, happier. Finding that one song can make or break your mood just like picking out a bad apple. Music heals and music teaches. Never question it, it can only let you down if you let it.
“Without music, life would be a mistake,” Friedrich Nietzsche said, without the expression of yourself or being tuned into your emotions, is it really living? No, but we aren’t really there 100% of the time, we can’t always be in tune with our feelings of happiness when we are sad or feelings of love when our hearts are breaking. Music can help bring us to that point again, where lyrics meet feelings and feelings string up emotions that are absent. Where life becomes something a little bit better, even for an instant. Where the pressures of reality can be let go of, where the expression of your self can be put out there. Where society is telling you to conform to the ‘norms’ and you just want to break free.
Music allows you to connect with your inner workings: your heart, your mind, your body. Feel the music and let it feel you in return. Share those songs that hit you right in the feels with others, maybe they will feel it too. Maybe it will allow them to understand you a little better, maybe it will bring you closer. Music is powerful. Music is healing.