This isn’t a serious question or a fully relevant blog title to be fair, but I am going to talk about music. It’s just the song that happened to be playing when I sat down to write this.
Yes, really. I have an 80’s play list on my iTunes and I am less ashamed to admit that, than I was to admit I had a mental illness. Go figure.
Mental illness and music – many people think if I am having a bad day I sit here, wallowing in sadness listening to some melancholy dirge. Not actually the case for most people with mental illness, or anyone really. I have a massive array of music, hugely varied and covering many genres and decades. Some days I listen to Jim Reeves and have a little cry because it reminds me of my granddad, Sometimes I just want background noise, and sometimes I just want to sing along to cheesy 80’s play lists and chair dance my way through an afternoon, okay? Good.
*I just want to tell you how I’m feeling, Gotta make you understand…* Erm, Yes Rick Astley knows where it’s at.
Music and musical preferences are all very personal, much like mental illness. You may like the same genre of music as someone and still have different favourites. I am popped in that little box of ‘people with mental illness’ – like we are all the same, we’re not. I don’t like it, too much of our lives these days is governed by what box we fit in, whether we are this type of person or that type or person. Enough with the boxes. If I happen to like you, if we have a connection then I couldn’t give a toss if you hate 80’s music, if your favourite colour is my least favourite or you’re a vegetarian. That’s your life and your choices, who am I to judge you based on that. If you’re a good person with an open heart and an open mind, then come on over – well maybe not, but let’s hang out.
In our own houses.
Music is a great tool for helping with mental illness. It can help focus your mind elsewhere and distract you from the fears and thoughts that are bringing you down. I have a couple of play lists that I find useful. One is more upbeat – things I can sing along or dance to, the other is one I like to just close my eyes and melt into. Find a comfy corner, pop in my headphones and let go. It doesn’t help every time, but it does help and is a useful tool in the arsenal for coping with mental illness. Take some time to make up playlists, pick your favourite songs, or justba bunch of silly ones you know will help make you chuckle and lift the mood a little.