Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve developed a variety of ways to deal with stress. Whether cleaning a certain area in my home, baking, or even doing my makeup (just to end up not leaving my house), I realized that I tend to do all of these things while listening to music. It then occurred to me that listening to music not only made the time go by while completing these tasks, but it relieved my stress too, even more than what I originally intended to do to relieve it.
I never paid much attention to how much I personally depended on music to help me get through any kind of situation, bad or even good but now I view it in a completely different light. Music is an extremely important part of me, and I’ve recently discovered that I’m not the only person who feels that way.
“Music has always been a part of my life growing up because of my dad and his love for music, so naturally I was around music too. I can’t exactly pinpoint when it started, because it’s always been there in my life. Music played a big way in relieving my stress by helping to calm me down. It’s something that grounds me back into reality whenever I tend to have mental breakdowns. Or even if I don’t, the music still keeps me sane,” says senior Jessica Kalloo.
In many ways, music is largely beneficial when it comes to one’s mental state and it can be used in various ways; from assisting those who experience anxiety, to helping people who have trouble falling asleep or focusing. It can even be used to boost someone’s already good mood. In regards to relieving stress, studies done at McGill University by psychologist Daniel J. Levitin, show that music lowers our heart rate and levels of cortisol, which in short is our “stress hormone.” Overall, it can change your mood considerably for the better, or enhance the good mood that you may already be in.
With music having such versatile meanings, sounds and genres, it could be easy to pinpoint what a song is trying to get across when it comes to the emotion that song is projecting. This emotion could amplify the way a person portrays themself in either a positive or negative aspect ( hence people not being able to listen to certain songs, as they could potentially trigger those negative aspects). As far as the positive ones go, music could help strengthen that positive feeling or completely change a negative mindset into a positive one.
“Around last year or even the year before I started making playlists for different genres of music, then over time it branched out to different emotions. for example – it started with the basics: happy music, sad music, angry music, hyped music, calm music, etc. I now have playlists for all different kinds of emotions and feelings and seasons and I listen to whatever I’m feeling in the moment” Jessica says.
Aside from the scientific aspects of how listening to music genuinely benefits in healing us physically for the better, music can be extremely helpful to teens who mostly have stress from school. I listen to music whenever I have the available time during school, as it gets me through the school day and has become a major part of the days that I do attend school. Daily walks in the hallway made me notice that I wasn’t the only one who practiced this, regularly seeing students with headphones placed casually in their ears. With music being such a universal interest, it also shows that many people incorporate music into their everyday lives during times and possible places that can cause some levels of stress.
“Listening to music helps me cope in ways other coping mechanisms simply cannot. Whether I’m happy or sad or angry or empty, music always finds a way to help me through it,” Jessica says.
Like Jessica, I think we can all agree that even when we feel lost, music can always help us find ourselves.
“It’s the most comforting thing I have and I know the same could be said for others too.”