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Music and mood



Music is an important part of our family life. My husband has always been a collector/curator of interesting and eclectic music, and he passed his fascination on to the rest of us. Pretty much any time of day, any day of the week, you can hear something playing somewhere in the house – choral works, orchestral pieces, bluegrass, fusion, punk, Celtic, rock. We have great memories of the kids dancing and singing in the living room on rainy days to Western swing and rockabilly. We attended local band concerts in the park on summer Sunday evenings, with our three little ones parading around the scattered picnic blankets in time to Sousa marches.

All three kids have excelled in making music, as well. Our oldest as a pianist and violist, and the two younger kids in choral and solo singing; between them they treated us to seven straight years of excellent youth-produced music at our all-state music festivals, as well as recitals, shows, and impromptu concerts around our piano. With our youngest about to start college to work on a degree in choral music education, we’re looking forward to four more years of his concerts and productions ahead.

preparing for a duet for a school show

preparing for a duet for a school show

For these many years, the children’s music and the music we played at home played an important role in keeping my husband’s depression at bay. On rotten days, blasting some raucus Cajun music could keep him going. Looking forward to a school concert gave him something to focus on, to get through the day.

With my husband’s recent depression slump, music has again proven a lifeline. Here’s the deal: We know that walking for excercise and fresh air helps improve his mood. But lately, he hasn’t been able to get himself out the door, even though he knows it would make him feel better.

This week, though, quite by accident, he learned a tactic that makes a difference. Listening to new music while he walks – something that has no connotations or memories attached – allows him to simply walk and enjoy music without thinking. He says it was the thinking (which for him so often means obsessive, negative thoughts) that was spoiling exercise for him. He’s been out walking several mornings this week, and I’m starting to see some positive changes.

What a discovery. Music to the rescue!



4 Responses

  1. What a great discovery and insight! Hooray!

  2. […] Music and mood (Depression’s Collateral Damage) – an expression of gratitude for the role of music as a lifeline during depression. […]

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