By Sammie Stewart, Contributing Writer
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I have been listening to music for as long as I can remember. Now, there is not a single day that goes by that I don’t listen to music. Music is fun to listen to, however, there is something scientists have been studying for years: does music affect mental health in any way?
In my personal experiences, I can answer this question easily that yes, music does affect mental health, and it does so in a positive way.
Back in high school, I was not at the same state mentally that I am in today. I was very depressed, and I didn’t know if I would live to graduate with my class. I can thank a musician and a band for helping me through all of those hard times: Hoodie Allen and Panic! At the Disco.
But what exactly have these guys done to help me? First up, Hoodie Allen. I remember when I bought one of his albums back in 2014, my mom and I listened to it on the way home. She instantly loved it, and Hoodie was the musical artist we would always listen to together.
In fact, my mom and I saw Hoodie a total of three times together. We really bonded through his music, and seeing him without her for the first time on Nov. 17 was definitely a weird feeling.
There is one song in particular of Hoodie’s that stands out to me: “King to Me.” Even though it has only been out for a year and a half, this song has had the biggest impact on my life by far. There are lyrics in the song that say, “When you get down, I’m gon’ lift you up right now,” and those lyrics really resonate with me.
Just like the lyrics say, this song lifted me up when I was feeling down. “King to Me” is definitely one of my favorite songs of all time for this reason.
Next up is my favorite band: Panic! At the Disco. They’re my favorite band, so obviously, they have the have helped me in some way right? Panic! is a band that I started listening to when I was really depressed, just like Hoodie. While there isn’t one specific song that has helped me, that does not mean they helped me any less. For Panic, it was pretty much all of their songs that helped me. Their music just has always made me happy and feel good about myself.
When people meet me, they tend to notice the “P” tattoo on my wrist. This is a tattoo I had been wanting to get since I started listening to the band about four years ago, and I finally got it over the summer. In fact, music has had such a positive effect on my life that I plan on getting more music related tattoos.
Music means a lot to many people around the world. This includes people on our own campus. Walker Polivka is one of these people. Polivka is the general manager at our on-campus radio station, 91.5 WGLZ.
“There are a lot of moving parts and challenges that you get to experience on a day-to-day basis. I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” said Polivka. “Getting the opportunity each day to work with music from big name musicians and unsigned artists is an unbelievable experience. Music has definitely helped my mind stay calm during very stressful times.”
Polivka agrees that music has a positive effect on mental health. “Music has such effect on mental health that it is unbelievable. Music is a very beneficial form of therapy. If you want to get pumped up, put on an upbeat song. If you’re sad, put on a slow ballad. If you’re happy, put on a song that makes you smile. Music is so beautiful because you can express yourself in so many ways, whether through singing, making your own music, or just listening to music. Everyone loves music because it strikes a chord inside of them. It is something they can relate with,” said Polivka.
Music affects all of our lives, whether we realize it or not. Some people listen to music on a daily basis, and that alone can help shape the day we will have. We do, however, have to be careful about the genres we listen to.
Certain genres or songs can make us feel really happy, while others can put us in a bad mood.
The more we listen to upbeat and happy songs, the better we will feel this attraction.
Photo Credit: Sammie Stewart