the power of music to lift your mood

I’ve been struggling with finding something to write this week.  I’m brimming with ideas, but have no motivation to come up with the words.  I’ve toyed with just giving up this blog completely, as the stress of finding time for it isn’t really helping my mood.  And that slumpiness goes beyond my blog, in to my real life.  My house is a hovel, I’ve not exercised since Wednesday and I’ve been avoiding people.  Thank god I read What My Fridge Says’ brilliant post about the power of music for lifting your mood and helping you to fake it ’til you make it.

the power of music

Whether it’s part of depression or just a part of my personality I don’t know, but I can be sucked into what I think of as blank space.  It’s a place where everything seems grey, too much effort, not worth it, pointless. My energy seeps out of me and I find it very hard to even move.  Everything feels heavy and aching, it even hurts to keep my eyes open.  I don’t call it a black hole, because a tiny part of me keeps me anchored to my responsibilities – I still get up, get the kids to school, go to work, put the dinner on the table.  I go through the motions, but I don’t engage.  I’m here, but in body only.  My spirit…just isn’t.

Blank space is where I’ve found myself this week.  It probably is depression, as I’m not surprised that I’ve found myself here when I’ve forgotten to take my medication for a couple of days.  Why oh why have they not developed a mental health version of the contraceptive implant or patch, for people like me who suck at taking pills? But that’s a thought for another day.

 

my mood lifters

Today’s thought is about the power of music to change your mood.  I love how Lucy describes music as being sweets for the brain.  Music has always played such a big part in my life, and I’m instantly transported to a different place, time or frame of mind by the right song.  I thought I would share some of my favourite mood lifters…before I go and stick them on Spotify to try and shake myself out of this blankness.

 

Two Doors Down, Mystery Jets 

The poppy sound of this just fills me with joy, I love the 80’s vibe.  And the lyrics are just too cute.

 

Hounds of Love, The Futureheads

I can’t find the official video, but a live version is better.  A great cover of an already great song.  This brings back some lovely memories, seeing them at the Benicassim festival in Spain back in 2006.  Drunk on sangria, yelling my head off in a sea of other people doing the same thing.

 

The Sound, The 1975

I love this band.  This is another one with a great pop vibe, and I love the lyrics of the chorus.  Although it’s about a dysfunctional relationship, I love the idea of loving and knowing someone so much that you know them by the sound of their heart.

 

Real Gone Kid, Deacon Blue

Are you even Scottish if you don’t know all the words to this (or Dignity)?  And there’s a reason – singing this at the top of your lungs and spinning around to the music can shake even the worst of Scottish-winter blues.

 

Little of Your Love, Haim

I’m a little bit obsessed with these girls. Their songs are great to sing along to, and they can really bring it when it comes to a funky wee tune.

 

There’s Nothing Holding Me Back, Shawn Mendes

From indie pop to all out cheese.  I bloody love this, I can’t help but sing along…it’s infectious!

 

believe in the power of music

I could go all day with this!  Looking up the videos here has already lifted my mood from when I sat down to write.  That’s the power of music.  Whether a tune lifts you up because of the lyrics or the melody, the tempo or the memories you associate with it, it can be an incredible mental health booster.

Not everyone agrees with that though (apparently blast Mmmbop at a grumpy person wont make them happy…), and I suppose some of that change has to come from yourself.  The power of music is only as strong as you let it be.  So make the conscious decision to get happy, and whack on the tunes!

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little loves [ haim, 13 reasons why + the handmaid’s tale ]

It’s been way too long since I last did a Little Loves post, Fridays come around so soon and I seem to keep missing the boat.  Time is flying by now I’m on maternity leave, I hope it slows down once baby boy arrives as I want the chance to enjoy every second of his babyhood.  And I’m hoping that by next Friday, if I miss linking up my excuse will be because I’m too busy cuddling my newborn!

I’m all-consumed by waiting for his birth, so this is actually a nice chance to reflect on things away from that and talk about something other than pregnancy.

 

Read

Not much to report book-wise, as I spent weeks struggling through Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being.  It just left me cold…hardly a little love!

I spent some time yesterday reading this week’s Stylist though.  I don’t really read any magazines, but I love this free one – it was the highlight of my commuting week and I’m so glad that Hubs remembers to grab me a copy now I’m on maternity leave.  I’m also loving their website, especially this article about an argument that happened on Love Island (which I am proud to say I’ve never seen!) about feminism and paying on dates.

 

Watched

We finally caught up with the world and watched 13 Reasons Why.  We ploughed through it, couldn’t stop watching it – I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was.  The cast, the soundtrack and of course the difficult but very real and relevant issues it tackled were all incredibly well selected and woven into a compelling story with a genius hook.  And as for glamourising suicide, which is a critisism I’ve seen levelled at the show, I don’t agree at all.  If anything I think it did the opposite, because as a viewer you can see all the good that Hannah misses out on by cutting her life short and of the support networks she could have accessed.  Like anyone who saw it, *the* scene in the final episode tore me apart.  A lot of that came down to the fact that I am a mother and saw it from that perspective (to the point of hyperventilation and uncontrollable crying), but I doubt it left any viewer with the opinion that suicide is an easy option, or one without repercussions for those who love you most.  And in general, when you see how self absorbed those who hurt Hannah still were even after hearing how they made her feel, I don’t agree that the series tries to paint suicide as a good way of getting revenge on people either.  It was a great series which tackled an issue which needs more awareness…you can’t get much better than that.

 
We’re now watching The Handmaid’s Tale, which I was so glad Channel 4 picked up.  After reading about it for so long during it’s production I am made up that it’s living up to my expectations.  The book is one of my favourites, and I think it’s an important story to be raising the profile of right now as a lot of the issues in it (reproductive rights, right-wing politics, religious power struggles, feminism and human rights) are so relevant.  If you’ve missed the first few episodes, you should definitely watch it on catch-up and get up to speed for some great Sunday night drama.

 

Heard

I’m quite excited that Haim are due to release a new album this summer, and so when my friend shared this video with me a few weeks back I nearly peed my pants…

I’ve also managed to wrestle the kitchen radio off the teen and discovered Radio X, which replaced my old indie/rock love XFM.  Don’t be put off by the fact Chris Moyles and Johnny Vaughn are on the pay roll – just listen to the choons!  Though I have just Googled and am sad to see they don’t have a single female DJ, which has turned me off a bit…

 

Wore

I’m down to one pair of maternity jeans right now, so I have nothing exciting to put here.  But I did recently get the chance to wear again the maternity evening dress I bought for a wedding.  Our friends’ daughter was christened recently, so I got to dress up for that.  It made me feel a bit more human again, to do my hair and look nice for a while.  No heels, mind you!

 

Made

I actually have something to put here!  I made scones at the weekend, and despite being on the small side (though I’m certain that was the recipe as they rose really well) they were actually pretty good.  And before that I made flapjacks, which were lush.  I’d convinced myself years ago that I couldn’t bake, but I think the problem was that in my healthy quest I was trying to do diet or “clean” baking…which is just crap.  Turns out I can bake pretty well as long as I use real flour, real butter and real (sorry) sugar.  I’m definitely going to embrace real cake from now on.  The healthy part will just be having it in moderation.  I can see baking being a regular thing during my maternity leave!

 

…& finally

My four year old “graduates” from nursery tomorrow.  He’ll still be attending over the summer, but tomorrow is a celebration of them moving on to primary school and this part of their little lives coming to an end.  Provided I don’t go into labour overnight and miss the whole thing, I predict I will be a big blubbering mess!

 

 

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
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