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Music, the Inspiration for Emotional Health

Updated on June 6, 2018
denise.w.anderson profile image

An Education Specialist, Denise teaches the principles of Emotional Health for the establishment and maintenance of high quality families.

No matter what language we speak, music touches our lives in profound ways.
No matter what language we speak, music touches our lives in profound ways.

How frequently does music affect you?

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We don't just hear music, we experience it! The beat pulses through our veins, the melody sings to our senses, and the words wrap around our hearts in ways that are virtually unexplained. Music has the power to soothe us into a gentle slumber or motivate us to militant action.

Media experts know this important phenomena, and use it to their advantage. Music has become an integral part of everything we do, and it influences our lives in profound ways.

Knowing this, we can use music as a tool to help us establish and maintain our emotional health. In order to do so, however, we need to understand just what music does to us personally, and then become aware of the opportunities available to us on a daily basis to use it for our benefit. The paragraphs below address the following questions:

  1. How does music affect our moods?
  2. When can music be used to change our emotions?
  3. What is the benefit of using music as a tool?
  4. Why does inspiration through music increase our emotional health?

“Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can't.”

— Johnny Depp

How does music affect our moods?

Most of us choose music to match how we are feeling at the time. We listen to mournful melodies that allow us to cry out our sadness. When our hearts are broken, we choose songs that speak of betrayal, infidelity, and broken dreams. If we feel like dancing, we play music that will bring us to our feet.

Music is used in public places to influence our consumer purchasing choices. We enter the department store and the music is different depending upon the time of day, who frequents the store, and how long the store owners want them to remain there. Music that speaks to a certain generation is played when those people are most likely in the store ready to buy.

Soft, relaxing music keeps people calm and in an amiable mood in doctors offices and elevators. We are much more willing to wait when we feel relaxed and comfortable. Athletic events are coupled with rock music to engender a sense of excitement and keep the crowd on the edge of their seats.

All around us, the sounds and words we hear have an effect on who we are and what we do. The more aware we are of these forces and how we respond to them, the more we are able to make those choices that establish and maintain our emotional health.

Everything we hear makes a difference in how we act.
Everything we hear makes a difference in how we act.

When can music be used to change our emotions?

As a young mother, I struggled with Sunday mornings. Trying to get seven children ready for church and out the door was a nightmare. I got to the point where I hated Sundays! By the time our entire family was seated in the church for services, I was certainly not feeling the Spirit!

I remembered an address given by one of our church leaders on the importance of choosing uplifting music as a way to keep our moral and spiritual purity. I decided that if music could be used to keep us morally clean, I could use it to help us with our Sunday morning rush. I started playing music with a soothing melody and uplifting lyrics while getting ready for the day. An interesting thing happened in our home.

The music brought a spirit of peace and serenity. Rather than hurrying around and shouting at the children, I was able to remain calm, and they did as well. Together, we prepared ourselves to attend our Sunday meetings with a much better attitude. When we arrived, we enjoyed our Sabbath day for a change. We have continued this practice throughout the years.

To this day, I use music to help me determine my mood. I use Christian Rock music to uplift and motivate me during physical workouts and housecleaning tasks. The positive lyrics feed my soul, and the rock beat keeps me moving at a brisk pace. I like Jazz music in the evenings. It helps me to unwind after a long day. Classical music gives me a sense of order when things are chaotic.

Each song inspires different emotions within us, depending upon the beat, melody, harmony, and lyrics. Music is one of the most power tools we have at our disposal to change how we are thinking and feeling.

I have come to know that thoughts, like water, will stay on course if we make a place for them to go. Otherwise, our thoughts follow the course of least resistance, always seeking the lower levels. Probably the greatest challenge and the most difficult thing you will face in mortal life is to learn to control your thoughts.

— Boyd K. Packer

What is the benefit of using music as a tool?

Our thoughts, feelings, actions, and desires all affect each other, with our belief system at the central core. Our emotional health is the sum total of all these factors combined.

Emotional health is established and maintained when an individual develops the ability to change how they feel by changing some aspect of the "I Am Wheel." Since music is an all-encompassing experience, we increase our emotional health when we choose music that uplifts and strengthens our feelings of self-worth.

Inspirational music does to our emotional health what a blood transfusion does to the body. It infuses our souls with high quality fuel that rejuvenates our personal power. Like drinking liquid affirmations, inspirational music brings into our minds the critical truths that give us personal strength. As a result, we are able to make choices that ultimately bring us peace and happiness.

The "I Am Wheel" gives us a visual reminder of where our thoughts come from.
The "I Am Wheel" gives us a visual reminder of where our thoughts come from. | Source

Why does inspiration through music increase our emotional health?

Music channels our thoughts and emotions. We act out that which we live through music. It becomes a part of our subconscious mind, and plays back like a video from our memory when we least expect it.

Jim Rohn, success guru, once said that negative is automatic. The weeds in a garden come up without any effort on our part. Our thoughts work the same way. When we don't do anything to provide structure and meaning to them, we default to a lower level of habitual living. A concerted effort is required to turn things around.

Inspirational music provides an avenue for self-improvement. It fills our lives with truths that uplift and edify. We turn our hearts and actions upward toward God, and look to him in our thoughts. Our efforts to improve expand exponentially as we realize that he wants to be with and help us. We connect with him in our minds and hearts and in turn, he blesses us with a recognition of his unconditional love.

Establishing and maintaining emotional health is not an easy task, but with the inspiration of good music on our side, we find ourselves able to do things we could not do previously. Our feelings of self-worth increase and we recognize the negative for what it really is, the efforts of the adversary to pull us downward.

© 2016 Denise W Anderson

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    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      18 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You are right, Marsha! Music allows us to change how we feel and think without invasive side affects that come from drugs, whether prescription or otherwise. We will not have withdrawal symptoms after listening to music, and we can listen as often as we like or need to help us deal with the difficulties of our lives. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your comments!

    • MGWriter profile image

      Marsha Caldwell 

      18 months ago from Western Washington State

      Denise, This is great. You have captured the real concept of music for most people. Especially those experiencing mental health issues. Whether this is a short lived episodic or ruling all aspects of life, music is the one constant way to help without drugs, withdrawal or ignoring the pain is there.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      18 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks, Claire. Music has had a major impact in my life, and even more so since I have been dealing with anxiety and depression. Music can quickly transport me into another time and place, ease my burdens, and relax my body so that I can rest. With music, I can change how I feel. It is one of the most important tools that I have. I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

    • Claire-louise profile image

      Claire Raymond 

      18 months ago from UK

      Excellent article, you are right, music is so powerful

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      21 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Music is a big part of our lives. My husband and I are both musicians, and our children have followed suit. Every time we get together, we enjoy playing and singing music. It has become an important tradition in our family.

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 

      22 months ago from Alabama, USA

      I love music, especially gospel and jazz. Oh, you did an awesome job on this hub. Thank you for sharing because music does have it's role.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You are welcome, Chitrangada. Music is a big part of my life as well. I am with you in that I would much rather listen to than watch it! I appreciate your comments!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I completely agree with you that music plays an important role in our lives and has special significance as far as emotional health is concerned.

      I still love to listen to music rather than than watch the visuals. For me that has a greater impact because one pays more attention to lyrics.

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub!

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      That is so true, Devika! Everyone responds differently to music. What may be a joyful melody to one can be a sad story to another. It all depends upon our experiences we are having at the time in our lives. I appreciate your comments!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Music is beautiful! I listen to music daily and the effects of music affects people in different ways.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      That is a great idea, Dora! Turn off the TV and have fun with music! Our children loved to dance to a wide variety of tunes when they were small, and to this day, we use music to increase our energy level during housecleaning tasks. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks, Marsha. Although my name is Denise rather than Diane. I have been called Diane many times, as I had a good friend when I was young with that name, and we looked so much alike that people confused our names. I have a sister-in-law named Diane now, and since both of our last names are Anderson, I frequently get her e-mails and phone calls!

      You are right in that we don't often think about what is happening and why we feel out of sorts. Music can help us get back on track, and be more conscious of the choices that we make. I appreciate your comments!

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks for sharing how you use music in your life, Janis, it just is one more example of how we can be strengthened in our emotional health through the use of music. I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      "It infuses our souls with high quality fuel that rejuvenates our personal power." I vouch for this and all the other credits you give to music. When my children were young, we turned off the television and played music when we had lots of chores to do. The difference in our energy level was amazing. Thanks for this article so well written.

    • MGWriter profile image

      Marsha Caldwell 

      2 years ago from Western Washington State

      Wonderful Diane! You have captured the essence of music and matched it with our everyday lives. Thank you for bringing this message to us. Sometimes it is easy to know but truly not thought of. We just move through our lives and don't take the time to decompress. You have brought back to many the idea of music and the important place it has in our lives.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Excellent article, Denise. This is so informative and well done. Music is so therapeutic in its ability to move, soothe, or calm us down. I love gospel on Sunday mornings while getting ready for church. I love classical in the car to help slow me down when I'm rushing. And I love urban contemporary or hip-hop when I feel like dancing. Thanks for celebrating the many uses of music.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks, Bill! It sounds like music is a big part of your life. Writers are highly creative people, and music, especially inspirational music, enhances the creative process. I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Music is a great way to relax, Glenn, and it is good to hear that others use it like I do to help them in their every day life. I appreciate you sharing the example of how music was used at your place of business. We don't realize how much music affects us until something happens and it isn't there any more, or if the music doesn't match the goal we are trying to accomplish. Our ability to make conscious choices with our music will be a great asset to us. Thanks for your timely comments!

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I appreciate the complement, Eric! Emotional health is my passion, that is for sure! I have been through many difficulties in my life. It always comes back to the things I do to be emotionally healthy, and music is one of them. Being a musician, I am very sensitive to how music affects me, and use it often to help me change my thoughts and feelings. Thanks for your comments!

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      That is great, Diane! Music can really help us when we are dealing with the death of a loved one. It helps to soothe the sharp edges of our grief and gives us some comfort. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My favorite show on television...The Voice! I love music. I've written several articles about the importance of music in my lifetime and how it has influenced me. This article is right on!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      You covered the benefits of listening to music very well, Denise. I remember when I used to work in a programming department of a major brokerage, they had mellow music playing all the time. I realize how that helped keep calmness, especially during hectic times.

      I also like to play relaxation music when I'm working around the house, exercising, and even while driving. It definitely sets the mood.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great read. You bring a lot of both passion and information to your writing, and I appreciate that very much. I stopped and put on a favorite song to lift my spirits.

    • profile image

      Diane Eileen 

      2 years ago

      Yes,you are so right Denise. Music is wonderful for emotional health. I have a lot of clients who are working through grief. I always suggest music as a way to help them through the trauma. :)

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