Navigating our Difficult Emotions with Music
How music can help us navigate our difficult emotions such as love and hate.
My second music post was fairly “easy” for me to write; so I thought I should give myself a bit of a challenge and touch on stronger feelings and emotions that are sometimes harder for us to handle – Love, Hatred, and Pain.
Ah, that sweet feeling of being in love.
The excitement of butterflies in your tummy when you are going to see that special someone and the sounds of birds tweeting in the air. (Does everyone have a visual of Snow White?). Oh my gosh, but this particular scene is much funnier!
Wouldn’t it be great to stay there every moment of every day?!? But that isn’t how real life works, is it?
Navigating the more difficult emotions such as hatred and pain is no easy task. For everyone, it is going to be different and for every situation even more so.
As a family, we especially dislike the word “hate” and really only use it in conversation when looking to make a BIG impact.
But, unfortunately, there are times that hatred will cross our path.
Similar to the emotions that we discussed last, sadness and happiness; love and hate are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but do you think that is really true? I don’t …
“Love and hate are intimately linked within the human brain, according to a study that has discovered the biological basis for the two most intense emotions.”
Steve Connor, Science Journalist
And I absolutely believe this statement without a doubt.
How else can a couple be in this massive fight throwing words around to see who can be more hurtful and then within moments be hugging and apologizing to each other with immense sorrow, or so they should!
Life is too short, don’t go to bed angry.
We have heard these two statements time and time again. But are we listening? These words should ring true in our hearts as we are not promised tomorrow, heck we aren’t even promised the next minute!
Why, then, would you waste one moment an opportunity to say, I’m sorry, I love you, please forgive me?
Now you are probably asking—what if the fight wasn’t my fault? What if the pain I have is too strong and the hurt too deep?
Compassion, because we need to have compassion for others…
My "Love Everyone, then Everyone Wins" post.
When we show compassion for our partners, friends, family, and even strangers—it swiftly defuses the situation. When in a calm state of mind, we can take the opportunity to see the other person’s perspective.
These words are often easier said than done.
So, how do we get there, how can we move out of the pain and get to the other side where love awaits?
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
There are a variety of tools that we can try out. Exercise, go for a run or a walk around the block. Clear your head and step away from the argument. Meditation, step into another room and take 10 minutes to find your breath and center yourself. OR … drum roll, please …
I am definitely getting me one of these!
Listening to music can help us navigate through our difficult emotions.
Maybe a situation or encounter has made you so frustrated and so mad that you just want to scream! Step away, get in your car and listen to some great rock tunes, that can definitely help!
Another idea when you are in the middle of an argument, play the song from your first dance (or your special song) instead of saying another hurtful word.
Our first dance was this version of Crazy Love by Van Morrison and Ray Charles.
We had decided to take dance lessons for our “first dance”. And just before the first lesson began, I took the opportunity of being the customer, and vividly described my vision to the instructor. I explained that I would like our dance to look very similar to the scene from Dirty Dancing. In case you were curious, I received a quick and resounding NO! Oh well, thought I’d give it a go!!
This particular version of Crazy Love has a beautiful orchestra playing with a large horn section; allowing for fun twists and turns and a romantic dip! Our dance was fabulous even without “the lift”!
When hubby and I fight (which thankfully isn’t very often), I am sometimes lucky enough to remember my own advice and ask Alexa to play “our song” and although it won’t bring us to instant forgiveness, it certainly will bring down our guard.
When you take the same opportunity, you can actually feel that release can’t you? The tightness is freed from your chest and your shoulders drop.
Similar to the playlist for when we are sad, we want to use music to work through our pain and hatred for release. What songs can help release your pain?
Here are some suggestions in no particular order:
- Hurt by Christina Aguilera
- Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
- Her Diamonds by Rob Thomas
- Whom Shall I Fear feat.: Chris Tomlin
- Someone Like You by Adele
Now that we have had a good cry – let’s go back to the drum video above and release those feelings, allowing us to transition to love. Can you now see how love and hatred are intertwined?
Sometimes it feels that Love songs are a dime a dozen, but I hope you enjoy the ones that I have selected for you!
- Your Song by Elton John
- L.O.V.E. by Frank Sinatra
- You & Me by the Dave Mathews Band
- Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
- That’s Amore by Dean Martin
I wasn’t kidding when I said that this would be a challenging post and I appreciate you taking the time to read my words. With any luck, you also have a few more tools in your toolbox!
Until next time … Peace and Blessings, Friends!