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Healing Power of Music

Healing Power of Music

Whether a song can give you a little "pick me up" or make a tragic situation just a bit more bearable, many look to music in times of trouble. These days many people are concerned about the immediate future and some have been isolated, so turning to music is a good way to not only pass the time but improve your mood. For a personal crisis, a health concern or even in the face of imminent death there is solace in listening to your favorite music. I have quite a bit of personal experience with this so I will give just two examples you may be able to relate too. My mother while in palliative care enjoyed listening to music, albeit just for a song or two at a time, it would bring a smile to her face and mine as well, especially when she would gently let me know "that's too loud". Funny the little exchanges we remember at times like that. My brother in-law passed away more recently and we shared many a chat about music, being a musician and former DJ he'd slay me on music trivia. The last song I played for him was, "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor. My sister was trying to get her tablet to play some songs and was unsuccessful, the hospital wifi was not very strong and eventually I could only get that one tune to play on my phone, turns out it was his favorite song. I sincerely hope it brought him some peace in his final moments as it did to those around him. The day of his Celebration of Life my wife and I got into the car, I started it and "Fire and Rain" was playing on the radio. So yes, I believe in the healing power of music.

If you need to forget your troubles, destress yourself or just unwind from a tough day, music can be your best friend. Maybe you need to just cry it out and there are plenty of songs that will help you do that as well. I have read many stories and have seen hundreds of comments on YouTube videos about the positive effects of song. Recording artists are constantly being told how their music has changed their fans lives or gotten them through a rough patch. Maybe you have a "go to" song depending on your mood or perhaps it's a new favorite. So if it's Baroque, Beatles or Bieber to Yanni, Yes or Young Lyric that you enjoy it does not matter. What does is if you have a song, a playlist, album or even just a line or two that you can relate to. Maybe you are working on your own daily soundtrack or you have found one of the many lists out there already relating to this topic. Well, here are some songs and performances that perhaps are not on many 'healing' lists and a few that several of us have looked to for peace of mind, inspiration or at the very least a good distraction.

Hope and faith;

"Oh Happy Day" from the The Edwin Hawkins Singers  cover by Aretha Franklin and the amazing Mavis Staples (1987) with a somewhat different arrangement.
Kanye West with"Jesus Walks", cover by NYU's 'Mass Transit' "Kanye Medley"

Love and Peace; 

K'naan, "Wavin' Flag", cover by 'Young Artists For Haiti'
"All You Need is Love" The Beatles, cover by Elvis Costello
Brinsley Schwarz "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding". covered by Elvis Costello

Uplifting songs;

"Three Little Birds" from Bob Marley, covered by I-Three
"Juice" by Lizzo, covered by Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox feat. Mario Jose


"Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & The Waves, cover by The Dollyrots
"Le Freak" by Chic, cover medley "Ain't No Stoppin / Le Freak" by Wet Wet Wet
Mark Ronson "Uptown Funk" ft. Bruno Mars, this is the original melody "I Don't Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops!)" by The Gap Band

Rock it out;

Blind Melon "No Rain" cover by Meiko
Sheryl Crow  "If It Makes You Happy", cover by Scary Pockets feat. Rachael Price
Queen "Don't Stop Me Now", covered by The Vandals 

Sing it out;

Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" covered by Bad News
"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" The Beatles, cover from No Doubt

Hold on to Love;

"Like I'm Gonna Lose You" Meghan Trainor , ft. John Legend, cover Jasmine Thompson
Amy Winehouse "Valerie", original by the Zutons
"Happy" by Leona Lewis, cover by Gaby Borromeo

Git your Country on;

Brad Paisley  When I Get Where I'm Going ft. Dolly Parton cover by Justin Ryan
"Girl" by Maren Morris covered by Maddie Wilson
Taylor Swift -"Everything Has Changed"  ft. Ed Sheeran, covered by Hannah Trigwell

Changes in life;

Carole King "So Far Away" cover by Rod Stewart
David Bowie "Changes" covered by The Muffs

Mellow out;

"Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett, cover from Sammy Hagar
Astrud Gilberto With Stan Getz  "Girl From Ipanema", covered by Diana Krall (Boy from Ipanema)

Happy Songs; there are likely thousands of songs that have the word happy or a derivative in the title or in the lyrics themselves. Not all are always on the positive side of the Happy equation but these ones are;

"Happy" Pharrell Williams cover by Maroon 5
"Don't Worry be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin, covered by George Ezra
And from my own playlist the Boss, the Man, Bruce Springsteen from 1998 "Happy"

Spotify Playlist; MMC Blog Healing Power of Music


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