Posted in art and healing

Sing…Sing a Song

Welcome to Art and Healing Wednesday!!

I love music.  I can’t imagine my life without music.  I rely on music for entertainment, but I also rely on music for emotional expression.  I listen to certain types of music when I’m in a certain mood or engaged in a particular activity.  I find that it soothes my soul and no I’m not a savage beast.  When I need it to, music energizes me so I can continue a project I’m trying to complete (I listen to disco in my studio…the beat keeps me moving).

There has been a lot of research on how music impacts healing.  Think of books written by Don Campbell like The Mozart Effect.  Oliver Saks wrote a book titled Musicophilia, reflecting on the impact of music on the brain.  That’s on the clinical level and I’m referring to music as a reflection of your personal story.  There are times when songwriters capture a phrase or an emotion that I couldn’t verbalize but feel deep in my soul and I need to express.

It makes me think about the comedian Tracy Ulllman.  Ullman had a short stint on the television show Ally McBeal.  She played McBeal’s therapist.  During one of the therapy sessions Ullman’s character encouraged McBeal to come up with a theme song.  The idea was that the song would be something that would reflect how she’s experiencing the world.  As I consider this idea I think about why do television shows have theme songs.  The concept is to get the viewer to begin having a particular experience before the show even begins.  It sets the stage and puts the viewer in a certain frame of mind.

How would it work if you had a theme song?  It would be something that would reflect your state-of-mind, or a characteristic you want the world to know about.  If you’re considering a theme song don’t limit yourself to just one.  Consider how you might create different moods or messages with different theme songs.  These theme songs are great for reinforcing a belief or a goal.  It can reflect a sense of purpose or be the soap box upon which you stand.

Following the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness, having the capacity to express yourself authentically and openly is good for your health.  Doing it musically is often less threatening and who knows; you may even get others to sing along!


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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