Grief: Music can help you heal

music fills my empty and makes my hollow float

You can write it, perform it, listen to it but there is no denying that music can heal a battered soul.

It turns out music is connected to the pleasure center of our brains and is a great coping tool because it allows us to release feel-good neurotransmitters without resorting to booze, pints of ice cream, or shopping till we drop.

When grief renders words inadequate, music gives a voice to overwhelming visceral emotion.

Sad songs make us feel less alone, happy songs elevate our mood. My son, Charles, used writing and performing rap to help him through his mental illness and thoughts of suicide. And if the addiction had not complicated his depression, I do believe that strategy would have carried him through as it had for many years.  

Writing and performing music is a way of expressing yourself creatively that can help you work through the pain of loss. Judy Collins’ “Wings Of Angels,” is a song she wrote as a tribute to her son Clark, who died by suicide in 1992. “Tears in Heaven” is a ballad written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings about the pain Clapton felt following the death of his four-year-old son, Conor, who fell from a window of the 53rd-floor New York apartment in 1991.

We add music to our funerals and to serenade our sadness. Sometimes it celebrates our beloved dead, offering comfort for the grief-stricken; sometimes it confronts us with the anguish of mortality and loss or reflects the painful, complex and laborious task of mourning.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

2 thoughts on “Grief: Music can help you heal”

    1. I didn’t know you sang. My vocal cord paralysis has made it hard to sing but I’m listtening more. Better than 24/7 news which I won’t allow in my house all day long. That has to go off!

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