I was in the car, stopped at a red light. Music blaring, windows up. Rage raced through my veins like a Nascar driver. I wanted to punch something, or someone. My heart racing, hands white knuckled on the steering wheel, my anger fully engulfed me.
And then I heard it. A song that I used to love, from a time when everything felt okay. Angel by Sarah McLachlan takes me back to a time when I had a blue 1989 Toyota Corolla, no air conditioning, and a radio with a cassette tape player.
A girl with a crush on one of my friends gave him a mix tape featuring several McLachlan songs. My job kept me driving about 1,000 miles a week, and much of my territory didn’t have good FM coverage, so the tape, the only one in the car, got played a lot.
Thinking back, my anger left me as quickly as it had come on, replaced by nostalgia. For a few minutes, I mourned the life I used to have as a stray tear strolled down my cheek. But the anger was gone.Download Your Copy
Music changes everything
It’s amazing how music can change everything. It can lift your mood in an instant, making you feel things you thought were long gone. The best tunes can make you laugh, or cry, or both. Powerful melodies can help you release anger, lift your mood, or bring on the tears.
Music is especially helpful for those of us with bipolar disorder. It can be a way to self-soothe when we’re feeling overwhelmed, be a distraction when we’re feeling depressed, and give us a way to connect with others who understand what we’re going through.
Sometimes you just need to feel something. After days of living in a bipolar blur or feeling numb, you may long to feel anything. Music is a safe way to get those emotions flowing again.
There are so many ways music can improve our mental health. If you’re struggling, I encourage you to try it. Put on your favorite album, or find a new artist to explore. See how the music makes you feel, and let it help you on your journey to recovery.
There are dozens of songs I turn to depending on what I’m feeling. I share 15 of them in this post and describe why each song matters to me.
Music has always been a part of my life. It’s the thing that has helped me through some of my darkest times in my battle with bipolar disorder. Music can be a form of self-care, and I’m grateful for it.
If you’re struggling with bipolar disorder, I encourage you to give music a try. It might just be the thing that helps you get through the tough times.
If music has helped you in your battle with bipolar disorder, please share your story in the comments below.
Until next time, keep fighting.