Someone playing a bass guitar

loneliness and music

Simon

Simon is passionate about ensuring that the stigma and discrimination associated with mental ill health is a thing of the past.
Based in Milton Keynes, Simon started Thrive - a mental health and wellbeing company - in January 2020.

Only the lonely

(dum-dum-dum-dumdi-do-ah)

 

Know the way I feel tonight

(ooh-yay-yay-yay-yeah)

 

Only the lonely

(dum-dum-dum-dumdi-do-ah)

 

Know this feeling ain’t right

(dum-dum-dum-dumdi-do-ah)

 

Any fans of the wonderful Roy Orbison will immediately have started humming or singing this 1960’s classic.

 

In this month of Mental Health Awareness, the theme for 2022 is loneliness.

 

So we at the Health and Wellbeing Hub are writing about how loneliness affects us. We’re exploring how we can help to combat it, and what coping mechanisms we use to help ourselves when that overwhelming feeling of being alone hits us.

 

For this blog I want to talk about music. So many songs have been written over the years about being lonesome or lonely, that you would have thought that the writer’s permanent state is being on their own.

 

What I find ironic in all of this is that for me, music actually helps with loneliness. A good example is when I’m in a car on a long journey, or if I’m home alone – the first thing I do is crank up the tunes, and while away the time listening to my favourite artists. But then I know that I am not truly alone…..the car journey will end, or someone will come home and that feeling of isolation will evaporate the first moment someone shouts through the door.

 

So what of those people for which there are no ends to the journey, no loved one or friends popping round, what of their musical whims?

Music for a lot of people is a time machine whisking you away to the past, and to experiences that make you smile or laugh out loud. We closely associate certain songs with specific times in our lives, both good and bad. Perhaps to a time when loved ones were around, or to times of great sadness and significant mental struggles. These associations bring us joy, but they can also be overwhelming.

 

Music is a solace for a lot of people, but sadly we can’t avoid those associations with the more difficult parts of our lives. Luckily we do have a measure of control, if we’re aware of certain songs that we know will trigger strong feelings. Am I strong enough to listen to that song today? Or that artist? Are there songs that, irrelevant of the memory, will just lift my soul and fill my heart?

 

If you are truly alone, then music may be your only friend, but also your worst enemy. We have to work hard on finding those songs that make us smile even if the memories don’t, that have a beat we instinctively tap our feet to.

 

Here are a few songs that get me every time, no matter what time of the year or where they are played. I just have to turn them up:

 

  • Killers – Human
  • Kings of Leon – Sex on fire
  • James Blunt – 1973
  • Sigur Ross – Hoppipolla
  • Smith and Burrows – This ain’t New Jersey
  • The Beatles – Here comes the sun

What are your go-to happy songs ? What do you turn the radio up to when you hear the first few bars of music? What chases away your loneliness?

 

If you cant beat loneliness with music, please reach out to anyone and tell them you need someone to talk to.

 

Don’t be alone.

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