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By Kiana Smith

Music. The only medicine that has side effects I enjoy. I believe listening to a variety of music (different genres) that suits your mood in the moment, is a healthy way to express emotions. One of the joys about music is that somebody, somewhere has experienced the blues, pain, and heartbreak; somebody somewhere has experienced falling/being in love, happiness, and moments when they just want to get up and dance. And the joy in all of this is that, somebody somewhere decided to use their creativity to express how they were feeling or what others may feel and put it into a song; so that everybody can enjoy it and find a way to connect with it.

Almost every morning, I get up and listen to music before, during and after I do my morning ritual of self-care. And now with the shelter-in-place in order, I listen to music while I do my work from home. From soft and smooth jazz like Brian Culbertson and Paul Hardcastle to old school like Maze featuring Frankie Beverly or Earth Wind and Fire; I find music that can either match or uplift my mood and helps me focus on the tasks at hand.

As I’ve gotten older, I’m learning to enjoy music from other cultural backgrounds – not just from old school music or Hip-Hop created by African Americans. For example, I enjoy songs called, Tanga.Rumba-Afro-Cubana by Mambo All Stars; Europa by Ken Navarro; Who We Are by Imagine Dragons; Beautiful Day by U2; and Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve.

For me, music is very healing, which is why it is one of my wellness tools from my Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®). Each week I try to pick music that soothes my soul and can help me work on feeling and being better. One of the things that helps me feel better is washing dishes, while listening to music that is on loud speakers on my phone, and staring out of the kitchen window that’s facing the backyard. Sometimes even sitting on the front porch of my house on a sunny and mildly warm day and just letting the music play – it makes me feel like I’m at my own private concert. 

So please check out the tunes or artist that I mentioned, or share some tunes that you’re listening to. I said it once before and I’ll say it again, music is medicine that I believe we all deserve a daily dose of.

What music helps support your wellness? Share it with us in the comments below!