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Music For Emotional Health

Started by SueC, July 28, 2019, 16:21:03

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SueC

Sometimes, and especially when I was growing up, I've really benefited from hearing people making a stand and not mincing words.  Three examples of such songs:



SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on September 03, 2019, 13:22:31Sometimes, and especially when I was growing up, I've really benefited from hearing people making a stand...

Yeah, I know the feeling. Years ago I re-listened to this song (I first heard when I was 21 or so) and realised how much the lyrics influenced my younger self:
Quote from: undefinedThis whole country is scared of failure.
My head keeps trying to sell me ambition.
But in my heart, I want self-respect.
There's a conflict.

You and I are not huge mainstream stars
But unlike them, we're really what we are

I don't want to dip myself in trash
I don't want to give myself for cash

Can't you see I try? Swimming the same deep water as you is hard...

SueC

Those are excellent lyrics for encouraging people not to sell out, @Ulrich!  And doesn't this guy have a great voice, especially those low notes.  His duet with Kate Pierson, those two different distinctive voices are like combining avocado with lemon juice, or raspberries with cream, or chocolate with chilli - they really bring each other out by the contrast. :-)

It takes a village to raise a child - just the village is looking a little different in modern society!
SueC is time travelling

SueC

I'm spring cleaning at the moment, and came across three pages I thought I'd throw on this thread. If you come from a family where healthy patterns of relating to other people are not taught by example, you have to try to learn that stuff from elsewhere - because otherwise you're likely to repeat many of the unhealthy family-of-origin patterns on autopilot - subconsciously, without thinking about it, because much of our social behaviour is programmed into us in childhood.

When I thought about what helped me to learn the things I didn't learn at home, there's role modelling by healthier adults I was exposed to - I had a superb Year 1/2 teacher, for instance, and people like that along the way (my Year 3/4 teacher was a dragon whose chief function for me was to give me yet another example of the sort of person I really didn't want to become).  There's books, both fiction and non-fiction, that exposed me to different ways of thinking and being; same with movies and music.

One other thing I found incredibly helpful was formal learning about human psychology and human relationships - in part through a post - B.Sc. qualification in education, and in part through services which exist to deliver exactly that, usually after the fact, when things come to grief in a family or a couple relationship, or when we're trying to unravel some of our own reactions when they strike us as really unhelpful.  These services also offer proactive learning, i.e. don't wait for disasters to happen in your relationships, actually go see how these things tend to work!

Like most people, I only sought help when I was already drowning - at the tail end of my first serious (and textbook dysfunctional) relationship, in my early 20s.  You can end up with very good help, or yet more not very useful experiences.  I was lucky because the people I went to actually did family of origin training - looking at what had shaped you from that perspective - and that's usually the main source of all those frustrating aspects of our own feeling, thinking and behaviour which we know aren't helpful, but we just can't seem to get rid of.  You can do a web search for "family of origin" and find all sorts of helpful materials on it, if you're unfamiliar with the concept.  Or, in Australia, both Anglicare's Kinway and Relationships Australia are examples of organisations running relationships education courses and counselling.  Formal learning about this sort of stuff is fascinating, and it's much more fun to do it proactively than when you're smack bang in the middle of difficulties.  Prevention is so much better than cure, with this, as well as physical health!

Really, this kind of stuff should be taught in schools - and there are some attempts by some schools to do it, as part of the Relationships Education section of Health Education, and I've seen bits of it as part of a Religious Education curriculum in Catholic schools - say what you like about religious organisations, but this is one thing that I thought was really well done in the Catholic system (and I'm not Catholic, I'm an onlooker) - students were trained to self-reflect, and learnt formal things about human relationships, emotional self-regulation etc.

Family of origin is only a part of all the stuff you can learn about humans and their behaviour, and how to evolve into the direction you want to, but it's a really good starting point.  Another really useful thing to do early on is to educate yourself about boundaries - how to be who you are, and let other people be who they are - without the interference.  Again, if you do a web search on "boundaries - psychology" you can get to a selection of useful resources.  If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, you were taught that love means people can mess with your boundaries, and that can get you into all sorts of trouble, until you recognise and then change this.

The three pages I scanned in to share here as sample formal material are on Emotional Intimacy.  This is not straightforward for many people, but it's very much possible to learn to develop that.  However, you've got to be able to see the forest for the trees - and also, in the words on the poster on the wall in that first place I formally learnt about family of origin:

If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.







(Personally, meditating formally has never worked for me - journalling, reading, spending time in nature, and listening to music has - I think they can have similar roles - but that's just me; lots of people find formal meditation helpful.)

This just gives some idea of what these organisations offer, and educate people about. It's not lying on the sofa and talking endlessly about your childhood - but having said that, here's a re-post of a hilarious song on that.

SueC is time travelling

SueC

Sometimes, a song is such a fabulous way of telling a story that it becomes unforgettable.  Here's one that raises what you can and cannot live with, and how this can distance you from people in your own family.  The story is the same as covered in the Australian film Jindabyne, but I think the song conveys it much better.

SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

When thinking about former relationship(s), this new Waterboys song seems very nice and "healing" in a way:


"I look inside my heart and mind
to find a trace of you
and there's love
...
I think of all the hungry days and dreams
I shared with you
and there's love
in starblown old cafes and cabarets
and fairs with you
and there's love
from the proud heights of praise
to deep despair with you"
Can't you see I try? Swimming the same deep water as you is hard...

SueC

Hello, @Ulrich! :) Neither this video or any others of the song are available in our area...  Harumph!  I did manage to track down a full lyrics though.  Yes, he's putting the best possible face on it.  Since she's the one who left, she could have been the one who had more grievances, in which case it's probably easier looking back for the person who was left to see the relationship in a positive light, once they get over being dumped.  That's my theory, anyway...

It's not always possible for people to look back and feel this way, unfortunately, since in really dysfunctional relationships, it's not so much love as compulsion and/or bad programming.  And then, all you can do is look back and say, "OMG, is that what I thought love was?"  On the upside, you can potentially learn from that if you really put the effort in - or it can become a case of those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it.  Now, has anyone written a song about that?  ;)

Let's see - Sting wrote that spooky number Every Breath You Take which many people thought was so romantic, but it's actually obsessive and portrays stalking behaviour.  Later on, presumably wiser, he wrote If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, portraying a healthier take on love.

And Brownie points to Mike Scott to get over being dumped; it's a rather different response to this one:


:rofl
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on September 13, 2019, 14:24:47Hello, @Ulrich! :) Neither this video or any others of the song are available in our area...  Harumph! 

I'm really sorry about that.   :1f62a:

This here is one of the most beautiful albums ever (to my ears at least); 30 years old now (I think I finally managed to find it early in 1990; after months of looking out for it). I don't listen to it very often, but when I do, I like to think it has a good, emotional "healing" effect on me.
Can't you see I try? Swimming the same deep water as you is hard...

word_on_a_wing

Quote from: SueC on September 13, 2019, 14:24:47Sting wrote that spooky number Every Breath You Take which many people thought was so romantic, but it's actually obsessive and portrays stalking behaviour.

wow, so true 😂
Don't know how I never heard that before
"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

word_on_a_wing

I find the album Graceland by Paul Simon very helpful for emotional well-being, though I'm not sure how much is the album itself, and how much is how it reminds me of being at home as a child while my Mum was listening to it

This is one of my favourite tracks, and the "Owwweewww" part gets me every time !
"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

word_on_a_wing

And another song by The Magnetic Fields.  I find Stephin Merritt's voice strangely soothing, and love that beautiful Happy-Sad atmosphere he creates.

"And I'm so happy I could crryyyy,  ow baby"

"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

SueC

It's lovely to have so much music added to this thread! :heart-eyes

@word_on_a_wing, if you've got the Graceland album (and I've always liked the feel of that particular track you chose), I'd imagine you're already familiar with Ladysmith Black Mambazo?  :)  Here's one of my favourite songs of theirs - it's very calming and grounding:


And I actually like some of the early Simon & Garfunkel stuff too - like this one:


Something about the harmonising I think... have you ever sung in a choir?  That produces a similar effect, but far stronger when you're actually a part of it.  I used to go when I lived in town, and we did some fun stuff - it's a great feeling singing in a group (just don't ask me to solo... except in the shower ;)).  Automatic breathing exercises and lots of laughing, and it's a super experience to have a group of people synchronise like that. :cool  We did things like Summertime and It Ain't Necessarily So, but also had a shot at Mozart's Requiem Mass - which is fabulous just to attempt! :)  Choir is like a bath in endorphins - you go home smiling from ear to ear and all tingly.  Highly recommended!

Thanks for the intro to The Magnetic Fields - I'd not heard of them!  Really nice voice (I like in-the-basement voices).

@Ulrich, thank you likewise for another introduction to a band I'd not heard of!  I've begun listening to that and the start is very much encouraging me to listen to the whole lot.  It's amazing how much stuff comes to me by recommendation these days, and I've been catching interesting things on this site - the strike rate is much higher than turning on the radio (we don't really have alternative radio here, although I suppose we could get that via the Internet these days).

I'm going to have to look up where that artist is from etc, and also this music reminds me of something - I'm not quite sure what.  Here's something from our part of the world with a similar feel though, also over 25 years old now, and it's suitably obscure for you to probably not have heard of it in Europe.


Shane Howard's best known song would probably be Solid Rock, which he did with Goanna - and you may have caught that 30 years ago?  @word_on_a_wing  will almost certainly know this song - it's one of the quintessential Australian anthems, unlike our idiotic official national anthem, which was written by a suit, not a musician, and he really had no idea about Australia.  Girt by sea, my backside; not to mention the complete lack of historical acknowledgement of indigenous people, and just this lobotomised propaganda version of white Australia... No truth and no soul, unlike this track:


It's so lovely to have real musicians singing truthfully about our country - also good for emotional health!  :)
SueC is time travelling

word_on_a_wing

Quote from: SueC on September 14, 2019, 11:02:39Shane Howard's best known song would probably be Solid Rock, which he did with Goanna - and you may have caught that 30 years ago?  @word_on_a_wing  will almost certainly know this song - it's one of the quintessential Australian anthems, unlike our idiotic official national anthem, which was written by a suit, not a musician, and he really had no idea about Australia.  Girt by sea, my backside; not to mention the complete lack of historical acknowledgement of indigenous people, and just this lobotomised propaganda version of white Australia... No truth and no soul, unlike this track:


It's so lovely to have real musicians singing truthfully about our country - also good for emotional health!  :)

Brilliant choice! This song always gives me chills, and I agree wholeheartedly to ditch the Australian anthem and put this in its place.

I have never heard any of their other music, or Shane's either but at your suggestion will Check it out.  👍
"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

SueC

Now that I'm warming to this subject: A few more contenders that make worthy Australian anthems, and are written by real people: Waltzing Matilda is already an unofficial Australian anthem... here is our Jenny Thomas doing a nice version. It's really about the low-ranked people versus the land aristocracy in colonial Australia. (For non-Aussies, translations for Australian jargon in this song are easy to find online!)


I first heard that version driving across the South Australian outback on the way back home from the Eastern States; my hair was standing on end (thankyou ABC Radio National!).  Jenny Thomas also did the violin for the Lord Of The Rings movies (soundtrack). This is far more Australian than that rubbish anthem that some toffee-nosed politician imposed on the Australian population.

This next song, by Icehouse, is also often used in lieu of our awful anthem. It really really conjures up Australia for me, and what I love about it. This version comes with gorgeous scenery...


And then there's this little number, originally written by the Warumpi band, a neat Aboriginal outfit who have some excellent songs. Nice clip too.


This was Christine Anu's version, which she performed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. This song is really important for giving voice to the original inhabitants' connection with this country. They were totally left out of that silly official anthem we have, and can't identify one bit with it. And the funny thing is, I'm a European immigrant, but I can so, so identify with these songs written by the Aboriginal Australians - because I so share their sense of place - because the Australian landscape, flora, fauna, light, heat, wind and rain have sunk into my very bones like nothing else has, and have made me Australian - although in terms of allegiance, I'm simply human. :)


And finally, another important Aboriginal anthem, about reconciliation, held in high esteem by many of us:


So now you all of you reading who aren't from Australia will know what our REAL anthems sound like over here! :cool
SueC is time travelling

SueC

...and speaking of Yothu Yindi, I just can't think of a better "feelgood" song than this one:


They make such great clips too.  :cool

Several remixes were done, and this was considered the "grooviest" by some people - it's also how I first heard it:


Another remix:


...I can't make up my mind which I like best - I love all of them!  :heart-eyes

Listening to this just has an extraordinary effect on mood and optimism, for me.  Always lifts me into the stratosphere!
SueC is time travelling