Music and Mental Health

Author: Karen Copeland

For the month of April, I am participating in a writing challenge. Today’s Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?


Growing up, I sang. A lot. All kinds of music. Pop, rock, country, choir, church. Give me a good melody or rhythm and I am on board. I remember retreating to the basement with my sister to just sing. My dad said it sounded like cats dying down there, I would like to think maybe he was kidding, although sometimes it probably did sound that way.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped singing. Started listening to talk radio because I couldn’t handle the static from the music stations. Every once in awhile I will pop my ipod on and give myself permission to dust off my rusty voice and sing a few tunes. I don’t know why I would be surprised, but every time I do this I feel better. I feel calmer. Sometimes I get amped up, sometimes I feel comforted. This connection between music and mental health is an important one. There is nothing like having lyrics resonate with you so completely, that you know longer feel alone. Or perhaps just a beat that makes you want to get up and move, not caring about the words being sung.

Sometimes, I need to remind myself that I am FUN. That there is more to me than being a mom and wife. I was once a girl who loved to sing, dance and be carefree. Not long ago I was going through my playlist and I came across this song. I let loose and danced around my kitchen, not caring who might walk in or who might be watching through the window. I thought to myself, sometimes you just need to listen to a little It’s So Easy by Guns N Roses and whip your hair around a bit.

“I see you standing there. You think you’re so cool. So why don’t you just … “


My next song is Daisy a Day by Jud Strunk. A simple song about love. Growing up, when we would go to visit my grandparents, my uncle would play this song on the piano and my sister and I would serenade whoever was in the room to listen. I picture my grandparents and their life together when I hear this song. How their love for each other shaped the way I viewed relationships and marriage.

“I’ll give you a daisy a day. I’ll love you until the rivers run still; and the four winds we know blow away”.


When my children were younger, we watched Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron, which is where I found this song that has become my anthem for whenever I need to remind myself that I am strong. Sound the Bugle by Bryan Adams

“Then from on high, somewhere in the distance. There’s a voice that calls Remember who you are. If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow. So be strong tonight. Remember who you are.”


Kind of an eclectic mix of music, but that’s me.

I am definitely going to be more intentional about adding music to my daily self care practice. I’ve missed it. Now pardon me while I go turn on my ipod and start singing and dancing again.

What are your favorite songs?

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