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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Music as self-care

Music+as+self-care

The benefits of quiet time and tunes

One of the things most closely associated with  our generation is the notion of “self-care,” of doing activities or engaging in behaviors that are beneficial to your overall well being: mental, physical, emotional, etc.

Self-care is supposed to help you de-stress in any number of ways, providing you with a new, calmer  and more centered version of yourself.

The notion of self-care is wrapped around a number of facets of millennial life, but maybe none more so than music.

Lorde, often singled out as the voice of a particular subsection of  our generation, even sings about it in her breakup song “Hard Feelings/Loveless:” “I care about myself the way I used to care about you.” Focusing on oneself, rather than the other people in your life, is a freeing feeling, but the emphasis in that lyric is the word “care.” Not only is Lorde putting herself first, she’s caring about herself.

I will freely admit that I have struggled with my mental health over the years. I have visited CAPS on campus and gone to therapy privately at home. Self-care is something that I don’t have a penchant for as a person struggling with depression. It is not always easy to think about caring for yourself as a proactive activity instead of  something done out of necessity to repair the damage of a depressive episode.

A lot of self-care activities are often out of reach for me and others, both financially and in other ways. Personally, I cannot afford to spend $30 on new face scrub and a relaxing bath bomb. I cannot lose myself in a trip to the Bahamas or other vacation spots. What I can do, and what I’ve found to be most helpful for me, is to listen to music.

Listening to music might not sound very therapeutic or within the vein of self-care, but for me, there is no better feeling than sitting in my bedroom alone and playing an album all the way through. I put down my phone, plug in my headphones, and I am able to get lost in a world outside of my own. Maybe I’m in a self-reflective mood and I’ll listen to Lorde’s “Melodrama,” or I know I need to get a good cry out and I’ll listen to Death Cab for Cutie’s “Plans.” There are a million different albums for a million different moods and sitting down and listening to each one of them can be so helpful for me.

Being able to sit back, shut off my brain, and envelop myself in one of my favorite albums is, to me, the epitome of self-care. I am doing something that I love, something that I know will make me feel good, and something that does not stress me out exponentially. Plus, with the hyper-availability of music now, it’s even more accessible as a form of self-care.

So whether it’s Pitbull, Bob Dylan or Nirvana, I recommend closing your eyes and listening to music. It’s not the be-all end-all of self-care, but it can be a start. I know it is for me.

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