Musical Regulation

Published in Personal / Mental Health - 2 mins to read

Life in London is stressful, and frequently borders on the overwhelming. On top of this, I appear to be subconsciously compelled to make my life, as Ted would say, “emotionally rich” - in other words I’m always at least a little bit of a mess. This has been as much the case recently as ever, and I’ve particularly struggled to get my brain to shut up for more than 30 seconds at a time.

I’ve adored listening to music ever since I was a preteen, and I have spent much of the last 15 years with something in my ears. I remember at school frequently feeding a headphone wire through from the inner pocket of my blazer through the sleeve, so I could lean my head on my hand and keep listening to A Day To Remember or Bring Me The Horizon. Recently I realised that a big part of why I listen to so much music is that it’s an emotional regulator for me, and seemingly the healthiest one I have. It’s just enough of a distraction to drown out the undercurrent of noise in my mind, but not so much that I can’t still work. It can lift me up or bring me back down to earth, it can calm me down or excite me, it can make me smile thinking of another time and place or it can provide the emotion I need for a cathartic cry.

I feel incredibly lucky to live in the age of streaming services, when it is so easy to reach for any song, album or playlist that might serve to keep my mood in check.