Earlier today (Wednesday) as I drowned my sorrows in Death by Chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup, my husband said, “Who needs Prozac when you have chocolate, right?” Funny dear.
He was trying to cheer me, and often his joking is helpful, but today the chocolate was better. I realize eating is not the healthiest form of coping though, either mentally or physically. I am working on other forms of coping. I use mediation, art therapy, journaling and blogging. In fact, I wrote a very raw blog post before I ate the ice cream, but I decided not to post that one (you’re welcome).
Today I would like to talk about music as a coping tool. I don’t know if what I am thinking of would technically be called music therapy, but hey, we’re not technical here, right? A wonderful blog post I just read inspired this. Author Jane Kirkpatrick was responding to a question about whether her background in mental health played a part in her historical novels. She said it did and she also said:
“I worked for 17 years on an Indian reservation and I know that some of the healers there said that when they went in to meet with someone ill they asked three questions. The answers determined how far from health the person had fallen. The three questions: When was the last time you sang; when was the last time you danced; and when was the last time your told your story.” Mental Health and Historical Novels by Jane Kirkpatrick
This version of “music therapy” intrigued me. It is true, I remember singing in the shower one morning, and realizing that I had not done that in a long time. As the healers said, it was a sign that my depression had lifted.
In addition to singing, I have found listening to music very helpful. I have different music for different moods. I imagine you do as well. Just a couple of my favorites:
Spiritual: My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee
Comfort Josh Groban‘s You Are Loved
One night, a friend of mine created a list of suicide songs, which I contributed to (we were both in a very dark place), but I’m not going to share any of those, because it would not be very therapeutic. The point is there is music for every mood!
Jane Kirkpatrick’s post made me think, what other ways could I use music for coping?
Dancing? Hmmm, I wonder if Just Dance (WII) with the kids count?
Or how about playing an instrument? I wish I could play the piano. I don’t have time to learn right now, but I do have a tin whistle and instruction book that I bought for my husband. I wonder. . .
I’ll have to give these things a try and report back. In the meantime, have you used music therapy? What songs do you listen to? Do you dance? Or play an instrument?
And just in case you need it–Top 100 Songs About Chocolate— ahh, the best of both worlds!