Everyone goes through moments in their life when things get stressful and start to get overwhelming. It seems as though it is a lot more common to get these feelings at the moment as we all try to navigate how to deal with the stress of a pandemic. Although no one is the same and we will all have different ways to reduce our stress, one of my favourite ways to disconnect from the world for a while is through music. This can provide a great time to pause and relax a little, and ultimately help you through hard times one step at a time.
I find the most relaxing genres of music to be indie/indie-pop music. The songs tend to have a lighter tone which can be a fast track to lifting your mood. I do find that sometimes indie songs can have heavy topics or saddening lyrics; however, the bouncy fun feel of the song, in general, can help to reduce stress. This is especially when you just have music on in the background while you’re doing other tasks such as cleaning – it can help make these mundane tasks more enjoyable.
I also find that sometimes an indie song that may be labelled ‘depressing’ can be really helpful in the right situations. Sometimes it feels good to hear someone creatively describe real-life problems and it is much less saddening than when you listen to someone describe the same event in a podcast, for example. It can be helpful to listen to these songs as it can remind you that you are not the only person going through this feelings and you don’t have to feel so isolated.
My favourite way to escape through music is by sharing music with friends. When you have a friend who enjoys music as much as you, it can be great to create a playlist for the other one to listen to. I do this with one of my friends, and even though we have fairly different tastes, it can still be really fun to go through the depths of my music, trying to find something that she will like. You may even re-discover an old favourite that you haven’t heard in a long time. It is also great when you listen to the playlist that has been created for you, as you know that the other person has spent time working on it and was thinking about you throughout the process. Afterwards, you both have new songs and artists that you both love and can talk about in the future.
Sometimes all it takes is a classic cheesy pop song to put you in a better mood
Another great way music can reassure you is to listen to your favourite music from your childhood. Whether it’s songs that remind you of specific events or times in your life that make you smile or the first artist you listened to on your own, childhood music is perfect for escaping the present and lifting your mood. Even soundtracks from films that you loved when you were younger can be a great comfort. Similarly, sometimes all it takes is a classic cheesy pop song to put you in a better mood.
Finally, if you want to be completely wrapped up in an album, I would personally suggest you get stuck into a concept album – these are basically just an album revolving around a single theme. For example, J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only is the story of his life which, in the final song, it becomes apparent he is talking about the life of his best friend who was shot. Concept albums are great because you can get completely lost in a story, rather than just listening to a collection of songs.
Similarly, visual albums provide an even deeper level of immersion, as you watch the story unfold throughout the album, for example, Lemonade by Beyonce. They allow you to get lost in an album in a completely new way.
There are many different ways that music can help you if you’re not feeling your best, and finding the way that suits you most can be so helpful when you feel stressed. Although there are plenty of other great stress relievers, music is certainly a great outlet to express your emotions and can help you through a rough patch.