Using Music to Cope

Coping with MusicOne of the hardest experiences is when you want to communicate how you feel to be able to get help or relate to others, but you just can’t manage to put how you feel into words. Therefore, attempting to incorporate the previously discussed writing to cope method can be both ineffective and frustrating. Sometimes, this can be impossible even though you would love to be able to share how you feel.

If writing is proving to be an ineffective method to use to cope, try instead looking into how others have shared their experiences dealing with a difficult time. A great way to explore this and feel understood is to listen to music. At first glance, it may seem that most songs today are about the overwhelming and gratifying feelings of being in love. However, there are many songs that not only describe the negative emotions tied to losing a significant other but also document the stage of accepting the situation and give advice.

A great way to apply this method to your life is to create a playlist with songs that will match your different emotions going through the process of grieving and help you feel that you are not struggling alone.  You can create an account on Pandora and search for playlists that match how you feel. Also look up music videos or playlists on YouTube, create a playlist if you have a YouTube account, or look through music you own and create playlists using iTunes.  Pandora and YouTube are both resources that do not cost anything to sign up for a basic account.

Should you decide to create a playlist yourself, one thing to keep in mind is that while you may think of putting together a playlist of sad songs, the truth is that just having sad songs may keep you in a sad mentality. You want to make sure that your playlist takes you through a bit of a journey, just as the grieving process will do. While it is normal to want to listen to sad songs that align with your feelings, it is important to include songs that talk about how things will get better and encourage you to look toward the future instead of only the past.

Both the writing to cope method and this method are great ways to connect to others.  If a song particularly speaks to you with the lyrics, you can share the songs you listen to that help you cope with those that want to understand how you feel or recommend them to others going through a similar situation.