Music & Art: My Favorite Therapy

Some days, I wake up with anxiety and need a little help to gain clarity. Music and art have a way of soothing my nerves and clearing the mess in my mind when I can’t quite do it myself. Whether it’s listening to my favorite songs or playing my violin, I get the same feeling of comfort and relaxation from that musical therapy. And whether I go to an art exhibit or create a new piece of jewelry using healing stones, I feel the same satisfaction and gratitude after experiencing the art. Exercise is also a major outlet for me when I need to de-stress; I admit to being a full-blown spin addict, and it’s no coincidence that my favorite instructors are the ones with the best playlists. I probably Shazam at least one song every time I go to class. 🙂

Today, I wanted to share some of my favorites with you… When I turn to music, I tend to jump around from genre to genre. But last week, I had a total reggae day, and it was so fulfilling. I probably listened to every Bob Marley song in existence that day, and the lyrics of two songs in particular are always important reminders for me: Redemption Song and Three Little Birds. In Three Little Birds, he repeats “don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing is gonna be alright” – so simple, yet so very true! No matter what happens, or what doesn’t happen, we find our way along our winding path through life and we work it out. Think about roadblocks you hit 5 years ago, and how much you worried about the outcome. Not only did you survive, but you evolved, and you’ve had many days since that have brought you happiness and made you feel lucky to be alive. It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s always going to be OK. Even when it feels like it’s not; in time, everything will be the way it’s intended to be and every little thing is gonna be alright.

Redemption Song is a reminder that many people endure horrible suffering, at the hands of other humans, so power-hungry and ego-driven that they inflict brutality on others. No one human on this Earth is better than another. We all deserve joy, love, and peace. Unfortunately, you can’t control the actions of those who are blind to that fact. The lyrics in Redemption Song, “emancipate yourself from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds” are quite possibly my favorite of all Bob Marley song lyrics. It’s such a reminder that no matter what others do to hurt us or what circumstances are beyond our control, no one else can control our peace of mind; only we hold that power. I made that one into a bracelet. If you have a favorite quote or song lyrics you want engraved on a piece of jewelry, let me know! I’d love to create it for you.

I also have days when a good solo dance party is the antidode for crippling anxiety. And I mean hair up, sports bra on, shirt off, volume up, straight sweat session dance party. I love anything with powerful beats, stimulating electronic effects, or a good song I can belt out to, one that gives me chills because of how much I can feel their emotion through the music; a reminder that we’re all in this together. I’ve had so much to say about music that I’ll have to dive into art another day. But before I go, here are some of my favorite tunes if you need some suggestions for your next solo dance party 🙂

Amenamy by Purity Ring – just super pleasing to the senses
You Are What You Love by Jenny Lewis – love to sing this one, and the lyrics “to you I’m a symbol or a monument, your rite of passage to fulfillment, but I’m not yours for the taking” were just what I needed to hear during times when I’d been mistreated and hurt. When someone doesn’t appreciate you and takes you for granted, it’s easy to doubt your self-worth, but always remember that no one is entitled to you and if they don’t deserve you and make you feel good, you should move on.
What You Need by Flume – mucho relaxation 🙂
Ambitionz Az A Ridah by Tupac – I dare you to try and sit still with that beat
Only a Shadow by Small Black
Haul feat. Mohna by Christian Loffler
Swedish House Mafia’s The Wave (Thomas Gold Remix) by Miike Snow – just close your eyes and dance around to this one
Warm Thoughts by Flume
For Us by Odesza – all Odesza songs are pretty mesmerizing
Apogee by Tycho
Genghis Khan by Miike Snow
Space Cadet by Flume – ok so I love my Flume. I am also a space cadet.
Alive by Sia – because you’re still breathing! 🙂
Electric Love by BORNS – how mi amor makes me feel
Happy Idiot by TV on the Radio – just dance around like a happy idiot, ok?!
The Less I Know The Better by Tame Impala
Maiden by MO
Dance Yrself Clean by LCD Soundsystem – minute 3 is when you’ll really start to shake it
All of Me by Billie Holiday – sing it!
Natural Mystic by Bob Marley – feel it
Year of Silence, Vietnam, and Frail by Crystal Castles – three good ones if you’re angry. Dance with weights in your hand for added therapy
The entire Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album – belt it out and get down
Die Young by Sylvan Esso – go see them live!
My 1st Song and Holy Grail by Jay Z
Show Me Love feat. Kimberly Anne Remix by Sam Feldt – super fun to dance to
Pretend by Seinabo Sey
Little Numbers by BOY
Hazey by Glass Animals – makes ya feel goood
Here’s To Us by Ellie Goulding – sing it with your bestie 🙂
Neon Dove by Gardens & Villa
Garde le Pour Toi by Paradis
Automatic by ZHU x AlunaGeorge
Tangerine Sky by Blackbird Blackbird
iT by Christine and the Queens
My Only Friend and The Day You Died by Phantogram – sing ’em loud
Bury Us Alive by STRFKR
Nowhere to Run by Stegosaurus Rex
Meet Me In The Woods and Lonesome Dreams by Lord Huron – honestly, every Lord Huron song is beautiful to me, so just listen to them all!
Water and a Flame feat. Adele by Daniel Merriweather – warning, if you’ve ever had your heart broken, this one will get ya…