Most recently published stories in Beat.
In a Tizzy? Well, I’ve Got Some Tunes to Soothe You: Americana Edition
Pardon me, but I think it's a little unusual (rude) to leave Americana out of the conversation when we're talking about "zen" or soothing music. Personally, it's my go-to genre when I need any kind of comforting or encouragement. Whenever I find myself in a rut, I'll play one of my favorite Americana tunes and like magic, I find my way back to center with a renewed sense of purpose and steadfast motivation.
Brew Your Soul
Brew your soul, the same way it sounds. Music is life and is like blood pumping through. The language of music is complex yet simple. Rather it’s the intrinsic rap lyrics that leaves you studying the dictionary or jazz music with no words but the colorful notes.
Make You Feel
If you've been on the scene for a minute, then you know social media has been buzzing and raving about topics like 'manifestation', 'astrology', 'energy/tarot readings', and 'meditation'. A revolution has been going on in favor of people becoming more attuned to emotional intelligence and the concept of taking breaks and truly taking care of one's self. For this particular playlist, I curated about 37 songs that you can bump to when meditating, when you want to chill and catch a vibe all on your own, while having a good read, or when you want to mentally go to another dimension:
Musical Therapy to Reach Zen
We are all unique. We’re vastly different from our parents and siblings — our own kin. Various genetic and environmental factors come into play when shaping us which leads all of us to different interests and different ways to cope with the human condition. Music is a powerful gift that can revive our human spirit to help us through the hardships of life and bring us to Zen.
Nostalgia, Meet Zen
Track 1: The first kiss between my parents witnessed by my cognitive self was at a Neil Diamond concert. As an 8th grader, was the bottom tier of fashion, wearing a knock-off Panama Jack light blue long-sleeve t-shirt from Ventures with “jeans” in the flimsiest sense of the word, in that they were made with denim but missing a zipper and button, flared along the waist with full-on ruffles, and a built in belt, to ensure I was never invited to a sleepover.
To All The Songs I've Loved Before
I don’t believe I fit the definition of Zen. I hear the word Zen and picture someone swaying in the breeze while listening to the gentle clacking of wooden wind chimes.
Life From Inside the Womb
The most meditative time in our lives is before we're born. Before then, we know nothing of worry. We don't have fears. In the womb, we are dreaming. We are both awake and asleep at the same time, experiencing things secondhand through our mothers. Our eyes and ears are an echo of hers, and our experiences before birth form a gentle parallel to the sore, smiling woman that loves you so, so much.
Back to Center
When the intrusive thoughts enter, whether they're sad or anxious, a knee-jerk reaction is to want to get rid of them immediately. But just like our body needs time to heal, so does our mind. I think that's where music comes in. Instead of running from the thoughts, we can recognize they are there, slowly replace them with new ones and coax our mind back to center.
Breathe it all in
Often, we choose songs that seep into our hearts and speak their words for us, but seldom do we choose music for our lungs. My Zen has always been those moments that make you breath, and sometimes if you’re lucky they come attached to a song. Recently more than ever the impact of breathing on our health (body and mind) has been taking off. From reduced inflammation, to calming anxiety, breathing is not only our life force but medication and it’s something I try to do daily.
Ocean Spray Vibes
There is a delicate balance between nostalgia and wanderlust that, if struck correctly, creates a lucid strain of peace inside of me. This is how I learned meditation is not an act, but a feeling—one that, like all feelings, can be elicited, refined…curated, like a mixtape. And being the music-lover I am, this analogy makes perfect sense to me; from a young age, I’ve associated specific songs with specific feelings, foods, or even friends.
My Beethoven Zen
Music has always been a way for me to express myself. From a young age, I had each of my parents’ taste in music and then my older brothers’. When I was eight years old, I started piano and theory lessons, followed by the trumpet at age 11. I developed my piano playing under the Royal Conservatory of Music and my focus was classical. I enjoyed radio music and what others listened to, but classical music has always allowed my emotions to flow and for me to find calm and balance.
Music To Get You Through Your Day
So much of what happens in our day is out of our control that it can honestly feel so frustrating. Our environments, the people around us and the events that occur can all cumulate in a massive implosion of suppressed emotion at the end of the day - something we definitely don't want. However, music can be the force that grounds us, allowing us to keep track of your emotions as we stride through life.