Over the past few years I have been listening to A LOT more music. I have been to see live bands once again, I have bought newly released records on vinyl (for which I blame my partner entirely), and I have listened to hours and days of music online. After a less musical decade in my thirties, my forties have seen my passion re-ignited.
I have learnt a lot about how I can best foster my mental wellbeing over the past five years and when I am feeling particularly anxious or stressed, I find silence or white noise most restful and reassuring. In order to enjoy music I have to have some emotional capacity. When I do, music can be a wonderful escape into other moods, and a distraction from stress.
Background beats can are a wonderful way to lighten the long, dark home-working days of winter and help relax or find a flow state of concentration.
Music helps me connect with who I am and what I feel, and it contributes to my mental wellbeing in many ways.
Over the past few years I have discovered a lot of new artists who are releasing new music now. It gives me such hope to listen to and buy albums by contemporary artists and bands. I LOVE listening to music from now, rather than bygone decades.
Growing up all the music I felt passionate about was from the past, from the 60s or the 70s or the 80s even. I would tell someone about my favourite bands or a song I had just discovered, only to find out that their ‘best’ gigs, the best moments were in the past. I had missed them at their peak, their authentic best moment. The singer was long dead, or ‘worse’ had sold out.
I still love music from those decades of course, but nowadays most of what I listen to is new. Released this year, last year… it’s being made right now on this planet, sometimes in this country, or even this city. Last weekend I discovered a new band that is local to where I live. I am SUPER excited about seeing them live. Listening to their songs from… right here!
In this post-pandemic, cost of living crisis, strikes, bad weather, climate catastrophe reality, new music gives me hope. Hope for creativity, hope for the future.
Seeing a band live last year I felt the music in my whole body. Even my feet were vibrating even though I was standing still. Joy is a wonderful part of seeing a concert live, of experiencing the music, the rhythm, the dancing… or in my case the bobbing along happily on the spot.
It gives me great joy to experience music, and to see the artwork, read the lyrics, discover new things about the artists and bands I like. Some of my music listening happens entirely on my phone, some happens live, some happens on record players. I don’t collate it, count it, track it or set goals. It’s something I simply do because I enjoy it.