Music is absolutely one of my favorite parts of being alive, of being human and here right now.
I sing (a lot — sorry, kids). I listen. I break the “play” and “replay” buttons on new albums that delight my ears and old favorites, as comfortable as my favorite shirt but as familiarly exciting as the holidays rolling around.
I’m a pretty upbeat person, but like anyone else, I have those insidious thoughts or moods or days that just dump muck all over my spirit and weigh me down. Even without anything in particular happening, we just kind of accumulate a layer of grit and grime inside over time from the daily grind wearing us thin.
When I notice that happening, one of the best things I can do for myself (aside from a long shower where I don’t have to do anything but stand under the water and breathe, not hearing or dealing with anything but the water and that single moment) is to put on the song.
I don’t necessarily mean my favorite song — I have a few of those, and it depends on the context/situation/etc. as to which one is on top at a given moment. I mean the song that resonates so deeply in your soul that you can’t do anything except listen when it’s on. The song that makes you drop what you’re doing (or thinking), the one that strips the chains and the dirt from your spirit like none of it was ever there and leaves you feeling renewed.
And maybe, on a really bad day, you play it four times in a row. But eventually, you can really breathe for the first time in days, and you realize somewhere in there, you exhaled the toxicity, the soul-dirt that was squashing your bright, fantastic you-ness.
My soul-clearing song is Snow Patrol’s “Dark Roman Wine.” I put my headphones on and crank it until I can’t hear anything else, and I know things will get better.