Can Music Save Your Life? – Part 1

“I cannot tell you how many times in the 6 year period of severe depression I felt hopeless and that there was nothing to live for in this world. I thought about killing myself numerous times, sad to say. But the one thing that always stopped me from wanting to die was music. I knew that I’d always have it and that if I left this world I would not be able to listen to the beauty of it anymore and that is how music saved my life.”- Anonymous

Music always helps, no matter what you’re going through. Whether you’re going through a really bad break-up or just miss someone so much it hurts, there is always something out there that will get you through it. Therefore it is always a good thing when we find some kind of music that helps us through those particular moments in our life.

A recent online survey proved this theory, where 80% of you who took part agreed that music got you through life events and even changed or saved some of your lives. The thing about music is that it doesn’t care what age you are or what background you come from, it will always be there to help and inspire if you let it. The other 20% were unsure that it had the power to save but believe it can change their mood instantly.

There is something powerful within the melodies and lyrics in a song that can do something to your emotions. It is almost like we as humans cannot help but be moved by rhythm and beats of the music we listen to. Notice that even your feet cannot help but tap to the beat of just about every melodic moment. Look out for it; your feet will be dancing away without you even noticing. It is amazing how musicians and the music they create can tug on our heartstrings, everyone reacts differently and we all have that one song that may remind us of someone special or of a big change we went through in our lives. So, why do we respond the way we do to music?

Rachel Verney the Director of Music at Nordoff Robbins said: “We are hardwired to respond to music. It can affect our feelings, make our bodies move, change the way we think and – when we make music with others – offer a way of communicating and connecting with people in a way that doesn’t rely on words, but which can be very powerful.”

We can’t help it, as humans it is in our blood. This is why music is used just about everywhere, people know it can affect your attitude and mood making you feel inspired or uplifted. We hear music when we are doing our shopping, or when we go out for a meal at our favourite restaurant. Even flicking on the TV you are guaranteed some sort of music throughout every show whether it’s the opening theme credits or songs during scenes, it is always present. It stirs emotions within our hearts so that we can empathise with the situation on screen.

A show that has used music as a tool to connect with viewers is One Tree Hill. I am sure quite a few of you girls have watched this and are hooked. The hit series is on its 9th and final season and through-out the show it has had many musicians take part, making the show a success. Mark Schwahn the creator of the show has a close connection with music and the titles of the episodes are mostly from songs, bands or albums.

Some of the bands who featured on the show included My Chemical Romance, Wakey Wakey, Angels and Airwaves and Fall Out Boy. One anonymous fan wrote on “I was suicidal in 8th grade and just really depressed. Then I watched the school shooting episode of One Tree Hill. The music featured literally saved my life.”

Stay tuned for the second part of Jennifer Campbell’s exploration of music and mood which will be out next week on 31 January.

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About Jennifer Campbell

Growing up on the West coast of Scotland, Jennifer Campbell has always been keen to get out, see the world and experience new cultures and cities. Currently studying music journalism in London, Jennifer uses writing as a way to express her thoughts. Having travelled to many places and lived in America for a short period as a teenager, she has many experiences to bring to the table when sharing her thoughts with others. A real risk taker (skydiving for charity) and an optimist, Jennifer believes you should live your life to the full. Her favourite quote: ‘You only get one today so go out and enjoy it’. Jennifer is just your typical Scottish girl trying to find her place in the world.
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