What is the soundtrack of your life? What songs lift you up? Make you want to move? Make you laugh? Make you cry? What songs do you take with you when you’re going to the doctor’s office? Or, having surgery? Or, waiting for test results?
What songs bring out the best in you?
What songs touch you so deeply that you feel your spirit soar and your life brighten, in spite of your pain?
Over many years, I’ve followed scientific studies that are forming a body of research indicating that music can be a very powerful part of healing, that is, lifting mood and making us more resilient in the face of terrible health challenges. Seems that science is catching up with what many of us already know: Music helps!
But, often, we limit our “intake” of music, or forget to make use of it altogether. It might be on our MP3 players, but not in our minds. It might reside in a fine collection of CDs, but not in our hearts. Or, we might put ourselves at the mercy of whatever’s on the radio when we get in our cars. Perhaps you think you can’t sing a note (or those you sing are fit only to make dogs howl), so you’re afraid to burst into song. Or, perhaps you’ve been brought so low by pain and illness that your sense of melody and meter has been suppressed.
Music, however, is there!
I’ve found that, when I’m having a really bad day, I call upon one or more Gospel songs to lift me up. “Through It All,” by Andrae Crouch, is one of my favorites. “Thank You, Lord,” also by Crouch, is another. The traditional hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” makes me mindful of God’s power throughout the world and within everything therein. And, “Amazing Grace?” What a balm!
When I want to be motivated, I sometimes turn to good ol’ rock and roll. Percussion moves!
And when I want to calm frayed nerves or just mentally go to another, more soothing place, Hawaiian music, jazz, or Irish ballads can take me there.
Blessedly, I’ve kept these and other songs and styles of music in my heart so that, no matter where I am or what’s going on around me, the music is there. We don’t need MP3 players and radios when the songs are so close to us we can push the play button of our hearts.
The more we are mindful of our personal playlist, the more we can take advantage of music as part of our health regimen, part of what can help us live through the tough times and be more praiseful in the good.
Blessings for the day,