Whenever I'm having a bad day, or feeling super emotional, I turn on Radiohead and find something that matches my level of emotion. When I'm sad, I listen to "Glass House", or "How to Disappear Completely". When I'm mad, I listen to "Talk Show Host", or "Guess Again", or "Eraser." When I'm happy, I listen to something else entirely. A different band, generally, because I don't feel like I'm caught up in my own head and tripping over and stepping on my soul.
I've battled with depression for as long as I could remember and music always seems to help me communicate the things I can't say out loud. Depression is a funny monster. It makes you turn into and look at all of the things that twist up your guts, bathe yourself in self loathing and isolation, and then fills you with emotions so big, you don't feel like anyone else could handle them.
Isolation is what makes depression/anxiety/irrational thoughts, etc. so hard to deal with. We have these thoughts that our experiences are unique to only us, and that no one can possibly understand them. That's why I lean into music. Some of the stuff I listen to is macabre and miserable, but it resonates on the same level that I'm currently on and keeps me company. It helps me be less alone in my journey. And for me, Thom Yorke, finds a way to tap into those elements of the soul that other musicians just aren't able to reach. He's found that way to connect with the same emotional vibration, the same sense of loathing, of hatred, of being an outcast and the feelings of being unwanted... I take solace in my music, in certain songs, in certain moods, and I'm able to find some peace.
Monks chant together before meditation. The chanting and the vibrations that they create with their voices help soothe them and, they feel, prepare them for communicating with the spirit world. No, most "regular" people don't chant, and might even laugh it off as silly, but most of us do sing. We use our throats and our voices to hit certain notes to help us follow along with the melody.
Don't you have those moments when you're driving down the street, blasting a song and hitting all the notes? Do you feel your core engaged and your soul a bit more alive? Who's to say that's not the same experience? Music taps into our emotion, and in turn, makes us able to be more present in the moment, which is a basic Buddhist principle to being happier in life. So, even if it's a sad song, isn't music making us happier and healthier, by allowing us communication and connection?
Is music your meditation? Does it help soothe your soul? What artists help you free your soul and connect with your own spirit?
Let me know in the comments.
Here's the song that's soothing my soul this week.