Everyone has their own methods of self-healing. For some this takes the form of exercise; running, jogging, swimming, weights, aerobics, cycling, etc. For some it is expressed in literature–either losing themselves in the written word, or creating it. Still others retreat to silence, whether of modern reality, as is found in remote woodland, or from all sound, as is found when plugging one’s ears. For me, and many others, the retreat is music.
Music is effective largely due to its emotive qualities. Eliciting an emotional and/or psychological response in an individual alters brain chemistry, potentially causing a release of serotonin and epinephrin into the bloodstream. These are considered “uppers” when studying hormone attributes. Consequently, more or less, anyone listening to music is potentially applying a self-treatment.
Consider this: when in certain moods, do you listen to certain, musical genres? Do you have go-to feel-good music? Do you feel happy or sad after listening to certain songs? These chosen songs differ among the general populace, just as most other attributes.
For some, heavy metal is the only thing they can relax to. Others use rap as a lullaby. For some, the “traditional” stress-relievers are horrid, as with my Mum’s classical-induced headaches. I play Mozart, Beethoven, or Chopin and she has to leave the room. My personal default is Pagan. I need to be able to dance to whatever I play, as that is part of my process, but the that is secondary.
Certain Pop and Rock artists, like P!nk, Lily Allen, and others routinely feature on my playlists, but it is the songs of trees, legend, and the connection between humanity and the old ways that draws me back. Though I have not been long familiar with his work, Damh the Bard is truly amazing. His Spirit of Avalon (this is the Hetalia version, because I think it’s well-illustrated) is phenomenal and never ceases to get me out of a funk. Under a Beltane Sun is catchy and evokes beautiful imagery (the version selected has a small narrative in the middle). Isis Unveiled uses Egyptian imagery and The Dreaming showcases the beauty of Aboriginal Australian tradition (also with a short narrative). Then there is the traditional stand-by of Hal an Tow or Patapan. I’ve heard many over the years, but this is a favorite.
While there are other artists who I listen to and who evoke similar effect, I have been listening to Damh for the last few months. He’s also based in Brighton, so I’m supporting a local musician, which is always nice. 🙂
If anyone has suggestions for further listening, feel free to post in the comments, song titles, artists, or links. Let me know if you’d like some more information on the subject too, as it’s one of the areas I’ve done research on in the past. If nothing else, I might be able to provide direction.
Peace and Love,