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It’s Been A While

Great song by “Staind” by the way, “It’s Been A While” I believe they actually just started going back on tour, anyway I’ll drop the lyrics below:

It’s been awhile
Since I couldn’t
Hold my head up high
And it’s been awhile
Since I first saw you
And it’s been awhile
Since I could stand
On my own two feet again
And it’s been awhile
Since I could call you
And all the things I can’t remember
As fucked up as it all may seem
The consequences that are rendered
I stretch myself beyond my means
And it’s been awhile
Since I could say
That I wasn’t addicted
It’s been awhile
Since I could say
I loved myself as well
And it’s been awhile
Since I’ve gone and
Fucked things up
Just like I always do
And it’s been awhile
But all that shit
Seems to disappear
When I’m with you
And everything I can remember
As fucked up as it all may seem
The consequences that I’ve rendered
Have gone and fucked things up again
Why must I feel this way?
Just make this go away
Just one more peaceful day
It’s been awhile
Since I couldn’t
Look at myself straight
And it’s been awhile
Since I said, “I’m sorry”
And it’s been awhile
Since I’ve seen the way
The candles light your face
And it’s been awhile
But I can still remember
Just the way you taste
And everything I can remember
As fucked up
As it all may seem to be
I know it’s me
I cannot blame this on my father
He did the best he could for me
It’s been awhile
Since I couldn’t
Hold my head up high
And it’s been awhile
Since I said, “I’m sorry”

Here’s the link to the music video on YT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=araU0fZj6oQ

I like to give this song a listen when I’m feeling alright, because it really has been a while since last I’ve really f*cked things up in my life. It serves as a reminder to me, to make sure I keep on top of my stuff, gives me a little taste of what things used to be like. Just enough however that it doesnt send me into a dark place for the rest of the day. As I’ve mentioned many times before, music has such an interesting impact on the human brain. If you want to learn a little more about how music can be a wonderful tool in your journey through life, check out my earlier blog post on it -> here <-

What’s in your playlist?

What are your top three favorite songs right now?

Within the last week or so, I’ve become obsessed with a few “new” songs (new to me haha) and so I’ve gone through the ritual of replacing my go-to songs with some new “obsessions”.

Right now I’m listening to…
1. Idle Town by Conan Gray click here
Idle Town
2. Crush by Tessa Violet click here
crush
3. When The Party’s Over by Billie Ellish click here
When The Party's Over

Music & Emotions//Opening My Library

If you’ve read any of my previous posts you know i looove music. I love to listen to it, write it, record it, watch it, hear about it, and i absolutely love everything guitars. So with this post I want to open it up to all of you as a library, allow me to explain.

1.) Tell me how you’re feeling/times you’re feeling a certain way

2.) Tell me how you WANT to feel, OR if you’d like music to help feel said feelings all the way through

3.) Tell me what kind of music you currently enjoy/listen to OR a genre of music you’d like to explore farther

Now these three steps (in a responding post below) would be applicable if you’re looking for my recommendations on music and how it affects our emotions, HOWEVER I have a very broad taste and relatively extensive knowledge on a lot of music genres and sub-genres so if you’re looking to explore one farther or ask music related questions I have no opposition to that either!

Now, allow me to speak more on Music and their relationship with our emotions. Music is an international language. It is spoken through all races, sexes, communities, ages, etc. In many cultures it is described as the “language of emotions”, that’s also why when we watch films, for example, music typically accompanies specific moments or scenes to give the viewer a better sense of the emotional atmosphere and let us know how we should be viewing what’s going on. The experience of “Music” has the power to evoke emotions that is absolutely incomparable to any other sense. When our brain processes music, it can be related to a “collage” of sorts. There are different sounds in a specific structure, in which when combined in said sequence, create a piece of art that seems to make sense to us compared to it’s singular sounds alone. Music is primarily rooted in the primitive part of the brain’s structures that are tied to emotion, motivation, and reward. The response that our brain’s have our almost unconscious in a way, and musical artists themselves have the ability to manipulate our emotions and expectations whether they realize what they’re doing or not. According to psychcentral.com, “More than any other stimulus, music has the ability to conjure up images and feelings that need not necessarily be directly reflected in memory.”. If you sit back and just read that sentence over a time or two again, it really truly is amazing how Music can draw pictures in our heads and evoke such strong emotion, and yet, those things MAY not even be related to any past memories or experiences, providing you with a whole new experience through nothing more than sound. Our own preference even on the kind of music we’d like to listen to at some time has an effect on its perceived experience to the listener.

“It could be this heightened level of experience in certain people and musicians that allows them to imagine and create music that others simply cannot, painting their very own sonic image.”. – Malini Mohana on “Music & How It Impacts Your Brain, Emotions”

SO, with all of this being said, I open this up to you, as I encourage you to ask for any of those beautiful experiences through music that I may be able to share with you.

Music Contest

Hey guys, check this out! If there are any musicians interested this is an awesome opportunity!

If you’re a musician between the ages of 14-18, you’re invited to submit an original piece of music that celebrates life above the influence or brings attention to the real-life consequences of substance abuse. 1st place winners receive tickets to the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards® and related events! Awards also include tickets to Vans Warped Tour, cash and other prizes!.

Check out the details here!

An Prologue to Insanity

Aside from the variety of things I plan to discuss as a part of my blog, allow me to introduce myself personally and in the context of Turning Point. My name’s Luca, I’m 17, and I’m a recovering addict. However in a sense to not let a term like that define me, Hi, I’m Luca, I’m 17, and I’m just another human being that so happens to have struggled (and manage) with Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Self-Harm, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the whole 9 yards. (I wonder where that expression came from? “the whole 9 wards”, nine yards of what?! whatever) Through a long and complicated journey I was able to make it out on top (sorta) and I can’t complain too much about my life today, I feel actually “grateful” for what I have now. And let’s get something straight here, I want to iron out a stereotype I had before now, I was under the assumption (in the heat of my emotions and addictions and what not) that people with psychiatric issues, and people who don’t drink or smoke, where lame as hell and a lot of the time very social awkward and weird to be around, I promise you the last thing I am is a weird kid, I might be a little f’d up but It’s my pleasure to announce that getting clean did not turn me into a nerd, or make more depressed, or any of that sh*t. Where were we? Ah, yes a proper introduction, well enough about what’s supposed to be important then, let me ease into who I identify as. My life revolves around music, I will drag that into every post and most likely label a few songs I’ve been listening to that day at the bottom of the post. I play guitar, bass, do vocals, write and record music, listen to all different genres (except pop, country, rap, pop-punk, emo/screamo sad kid bullsh*t and holiday tunes). So music has had a very significant relevance in my recovery, emotions, psychological well-being, development, and establishing myself as a person in my values and morals. I will be posting at the least one time a week, sometimes more, never less, about a variety of things, and am more than glad to post based on request and answer any questions anybody might have or would want to reach out to me for.

“Thanks A Lot” – Third Eye Blind
“Looking Down The Barrel of Today” – Hatebreed
“Overlord” – Black Label Society
“If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” AC/DC
“Bleed American” – Jimmy Eat World

Keeping the Rhythm You Gave Me

One of the most magical things about dancing is getting to feel the music in your body- truly feeling each note vibrating through your soul. I know that you don’t have to be a dancer to feel that way about music. Some of the Earth’s inhabitants can simply listen to a song and empathize with the emotion that the artist was feeling when they wrote it.

Those kinds of people are special.

Music has shaped and created my world in so many unique and wonderful ways. Sometimes, simply hearing the first few notes of a song allows me to travel through time and space and take on the emotions I was feeling the very first time that song resonated with me. My favorite memories are associated with music.

At 7-years-old, I was given the gift of the album that changed my life. M!zundaztood is the second studio album that P!nk released, and it’s the first studio album that made me feel. At 7, I was able to identify with things that P!nk, a 22-year old, was singing about. Not fitting in. Being misunderstood. Hating yourself. A broken family.

These incredibly heavy and heart-wrenching topics that an adult was singing about, I understood. I identified with. I finally felt like there was someone in the world who knew exactly how I felt in my most depressive state. M!zundaztood got me through my darkest hours. The more I learned about P!nk, the more understood and important I felt. At 27, she was writing things that made people listen. She didn’t care who she was pissing off. If she had something to say, she was going to say it. I needed someone to show me that speaking your mind is GOING to make you stand out, it’s GOING to piss people off, and it’s GOING to make a difference in this world. P!nk was (and still is) that someone.
For the next 7 years, I survived my darkest days by listening to M!sundaztood and I’m Not Dead tracks on repeat for 24 hours straight.

Her words made me trick myself into believing I was strong, until I actually became that strong person I was imagining. She was putting words out into the world that were encouraging girls (just like me) to embrace their differences and to stand up for what they believe in. I was so proud to sing at the top of my lungs,

“I’m so glad that I’ll never fit in. That will never be me. Outcasts and girls with ambition- that’s what I want to see.”

And then, in August of 2008, my beautiful idol gave me another gift.

She gave me So What?

“So What? What do I have to say about So What? Sooooo what??” she says about the track.
Insert image of a 14-year-old high school freshman just trying to survive. Oh, wait. I have that exact photograph. 

There I am. Age 14. Trying to fit into a world in which I was meant to stand out. I spent many of my 14-year-old days alone, in my room, imagining a version of myself that was impossible to maintain. I was angry. Sad. Alone. Scared of what I was going to become as I entered (and lived through) the high school phase of my life. I was intimidated by everything and everyone. I was bullied by kids I thought were my closest friends. It was hard to get out of bed most of my high school days.
But I always had P!nk with me.

If there were ever a time in my life when I needed to pick a theme song for myself, it would be So What?
14-year-old me lived and breathed So What? (In her defense, 23-year-old me still lives and breathes So What?)
I am eternally grateful that P!nk gave me (the whole world really, but I know it was just meant for me specifically) that song and the attitude that so fittingly goes along with it. There’s just something about So What? that can cure any kind of bad day/ailment/chronic pain that I will ever suffer. So What? is exactly that. So what your day sucked? So what someone was mean to you? So what you didn’t finish your to-do list? So what that mean girl in your class made a nasty comment towards you?

SO WHAT.

For Alecia Moore, more affectionately known as P!nk,
thank you for encouraging me to find the strength I had so deeply hidden inside of me. Thank you for giving me someone to look up to, someone who doesn’t care what the press or the rest of the world thinks of her. Thank you for explaining how terrified you were to be a mother, since your mother always wished you a daughter just like you. Thank you for teaching your daughter, “We don’t say mean things and we don’t say things we don’t mean”. Thank you for all of the good you have done for this world. Thank you for putting into words the thoughts that I couldn’t. Thank you for understanding.

"Sonder"

Music has a way of helping us to understand how we feel. There are also words that may often times offer a credible description. In my the next few posts I want to match these emotions very closely with music that is quite relatable.

Starting with Sonder, which according to the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness…

Simply put, realizing that you are not alone, everyone lives through their own ordeal.

1. “Breathe Me” — Sia

2. “Shake It Out” — Florence + The Machine

3. “Migrane” — Twenty One Pilots

4. “Save Myself” by Ed Sheeran

5. Coldplay, “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall”

6. Avicii, “Wake Me Up”

7. Demi Lovato Warrior Lyrics

8. “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers

9. “Walk On” by U2

10. Shaggy–Keep’n It Real

10 Songs about Character Development

1. David Bowie – Heroes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tgcc5V9Hu3g

2. Empre State Of Mind – Alicia Keys
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPeOkzadr5g

3. Save The Children – Marvin Gaye
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHpj_1BJT0Q

4. Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong

5. Bigger Than My Body — John Mayer

6. Breakaway — Kelly Clarkson

7. Little Big Town – Better Man

8. Bruce Springsteen – My City of Ruins

9. Foreigner – Jukebox Hero

10. Masterpiece- Andy Grammer

10 ‘3:00 A.M’ songs: Morning, Music, Motivation

Getting up early in the morning [before daylight] with a roaming mind is the best time for me to get my best work done. I’m sure many people can relate to waking up early and just wanting to feel productive by daylight.

Welsh Coder Dylan is a self-publishing writer who looked up to Stephen King. He recently [just a few days ago] surpassed King, as the top author on Amazon. He said,

“Whatever you are passionate about, do it first thing in the morning before the daily task gets in the way.”

But of course, if you are not a morning person or, if you just want to wake up to a cup of coffee (and listening to the tweeting birds that hang from the tree branch by your window), either way, music works. Here are some good songs to beat to as you come awake:

1. The Lion King – The Circle Of Life

2. Alicia Keys – New Day

3. Kanye West – Good Morning

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Kanye+West+%E2%80%93+Good+Morning

4. Bill Withers – Lovely Day

5. Coldplay – Viva La Vida

6. Can’t Sleep Love – Pentatonix

7. Demi Lovato – Confident

8. Sam Smith – Money On My Mind

9. Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine

10. Felix Jaehn – Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better) ft. Jasmine Thompson

5 Power Songs

Last weekend I spoke with a few people about the kind of songs they listen to when they need motivation to carry on with their day. Some people shared more than one song and I was happy to get their recommendations, I have been listening to each of them.

1. “Muse” – Uprising

“Reminds me that I am not alone in my struggle…,” Max

2. “Rise” -Origa

“Its sung in different languages and is from on of my favorite movies, called Ghost In the Shell,” Shelby

3. “Don’t stop believing” – Glee

“I chose the Glee edition because the two singers are in the glee club but one is also a honor student and gets made fun of everyday at school and the other is a quarterback and living a double life. Both people resonate with me because I used to be all four people: trying to be an honor student, got made fun of, was on a sports team and also wanted to be a singer.” Claire

4. Yellowman – “Love Letter”

“Workout songs…,” Kent

5. Busta Rhymes – “Woo Hah!!” – Kent

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiVpSSkwPU4

10 ‘Classic’ "I Miss You" Songs

Knowing how it feels to miss someone, is probably all of us. Life changes, we lose things and we move on, but memories stick with us. I looked up some emotionally touching songs that closely puts into words, what it means to miss someone or to deal with grief:

1. Tina Turner – Simply The Best

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNU3aIJs88g&feature=youtu.be

2. Eminem ft.Nate Ruess Headlights lyrics clean

3. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

4. Ordinary People – John Legend

5. Everybody Knows – John Legend

6. Steve Early – Someday

7. Counting Crows – Palisades Park

8. Sam Smith – Leave Your Lover

9. Lady Gaga – Million Reasons

10. Rihanna – Stay ft. Mikky Ekko

10 Songs to UP your self-esteem and empower self-love

1. Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

2. Fly by Nicki Minaj featuring Rihanna

3. Born this Way by Lady Gaga

4. Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

5 Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

6. Flawless by Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj

7. Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé

8. Superwoman by Alicia Keys

9. Secrets by Mary Lambert

10. “You Learn” by Alanis Morissette

Recovery Playlist: 10 Songs to Keep You on Track

Some of these songs are unconventional recovery songs, particularly the first three. But people listen to whatever song gets them up and going. Whether recovery from substance abuse or health challenges, I believe in you, these songs send very powerful messages. Listen; hear what people are saying.

1. Labrinth – Beneath Your Beautiful ft. Emeli Sandé

“My boy loved this song miss you so much rip taylon xx…’ Dawn. 

2. P!nk – Try

“Wow. I love this song… Very powerful.”

3. Back To Black “Fifty Shades Darker”. Cover by Beyonce Knowles. While I personally love Amy, I couldn’t stop playing this version recently done by Beyonce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DJSmZbYay8

4. Eminem – Beautiful Pain (Music Video) ft. Sia

“I love this. Been there. Wow he really hits home with his lyrics.” Robin

5. Eminem – Beautiful Pain (Music Video) ft. Sia – I have written many poems while listening to this song. I have walked in the cold listening to this song. I have cried listening to this song. Perhaps Eminem’s greatest!

6. MACKLEMORE – DRUG DEALER (FEAT. ARIANA DEBOO) OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO.

On average, I think I listen to this song 14 times each week (that’s 7 days per week, at least twice each day) – my new favorite song. I still think Macklemore is one of the most underrated artist.

7. Macklemore – Otherside Ft. Fences (Official Music Video)

“I love this song i cry when i hear it” Ana

8. Staind – It’s Been Awhile (Video)

“crazy how walking away is harder than standing still!” Eby

9. Train – Drops of Jupiter (Official Video)

“Omg……why am I crying????”

10. James Blunt – Same Mistake (video)

“I absolutely love your voice !!!” Cheryl

10 Songs that Knows What loneliness feels Like

Hey Guys, Valentines Day is coming but who said we can’t be lonely?

1) “The Outside” Taylor Swift (2006)

2) All By Myself – Celine Dion

3) Another Lonely Night – Adam Lambert

4) Drowning Showers – Sam Smith

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5qBdppqOAc

5) Solo (Reprise) – Frank Ocean

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9N-BwLL0CQ

6. Stranger In Moscow – Michael Jackson

7. Someone Like You – Adele

8. Message In a Bottle – The Police

9. LL Cool J – I Need Love

10. Michael Jackson – She’s Out Of My Life

Great Playlist to help face FEAR, PANIC and ANXIETY

1) Weightless by Marconi Union

2) Final Countdown – Europe:

3) We Are The Champions – Queen

4) Gonna Fly Now – Rocky Theme:

5) Unwritten – Natasha Bedenfield:

6) People Help the People- Birdy

7) Details in the Fabric by Jason Mraz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdIw6tEjyEg

9) Car Radio by Twenty One Pilots

10) We Fall Down – Donnie McClurkin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A5s2feN6Yk

10 Great Songs to help empower you through depression

I am hoping to make this into a weekly post and also create a final draft of a feature that we can all use. Going forward I will be doing some research on some great songs that keeps us motivated and gets us through difficult times. I will ask random people what songs they listen to, or would recommend, say for anxiety and I will also use the internet and music publications as backup. I have some songs in mind and I know they may not always work for everyone and of course, I am not an expert on all forms of mental illness but I will do my best to gather the best information that I can.
So this week I just want to explore depression a little, maybe next week we can maybe look at anxiety:

1. Warrior – Demi Lovato

2. Human – Christina Perri

3. Elastic Heart – Sia

4. The Climb – Miley Cyrus

5. I Know You Care – Ellie Goulding

6. Who You Are – Jessie J

7. Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine

8. “Demons” by Imagine Dragons

https://www.youtube.com/db4fcc66-7714-415a-9397-ed52ce203330

9. “Second Chance” by Shinedown

10. “Break Me Out” by The Rescues

Musicians Left the Stage and Opened Up About Mental Health

Sometimes the greatest inspiration comes from the most unlikely places and I have to say much power to our musicians who have come forward this year to openly talk and express themselves about their recovery from mental illness. Earlier last week Lady Gaga broke the news about her struggle with PTSD while visiting the Ali Forney Center, and as we always see, with much stigma and ignorance, not everyone fully embraced her. None other than Piers Morgan tried to shame her on social media for what he called, and I quote his exact words, a “vain-glorious nonsense”. I was a bit surprised that someone, who I guess should have been as informed as Piers Morgan, would take such a stance, especially on this matter. I was happy nonetheless that Lady Gaga has agreed to do an interview with him, so thats something to look forward to. I was also happy that Gaga expressed herself in the right way when Mr. Morgan came out at her. She is a true inspiration and a very strong and brave lady.
And regardless of how we feel or don’t feel about Kanye, we have to show him some sympathy and respect for his journey. And names like Cudi, Zayne, Selena all taught us something this year, and much love to Jill Krajewski for this article: “The Year Musicians Left the Stage for the Timeline and Opened Up About Mental Health.” It basically sums up all the breakthroughs in music this year: https://noisey.vice.com/en_ca/article/the-year-musicians-left-the-stage-for-the-timeline-and-opened-up-about-mental-health.

Rise

…Anticipating the start of the Olympics, one of those special moments that only comes around every quadrennial. But always uplifting!
However, earlier this year, the outlook for the start of the games was a bit daunting due to the spread of the Zika virus, violence in Rio and the lagging infrastructural development in the host town. But nonetheless, its set to start on August 5th – two weeks of sweat, tears and records.

And just when you need a refresher, Katy Perry released her new single ‘Rise’, the Olympics Anthem for 2016…. Still waiting for the video but a good start to the festivities, with not just her enriching vocals but the inspiration it brings. Considering all the madness and disunity around the world, it’s also a reminder that we can rise!

“When the fire’s at my feet again, and the vultures all start circling/They’re whispering, ‘You’re out of time,’ but still I rise,”

Finding Your Conciousness

Your consciousness is basically your ideal state – letting go, lightening up, being whoever you are. On many occasions, through music I have been able to achieve this ideal. Life (living up to the status quo) teaches us to be aggressive and overly ambitious, virtue (purity) teaches us to be gentle and kind. My consciousness has enlightened me to do away with ‘life’ at times and embrace virtue.

Simply put, your consciousness refers to being at peace with yourself. Conscious songwriters and musicians:

Bob Marley:

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for”

“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold…”

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!”

Tray Chapman

“We all must live our lives always feeling, always thinking the moment has arrived.”

“People’s real hopes and dreams can be distorted and misdirected and packaged until you’re not sure what you really want or what you even really need.”

John Lennon

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

I Got Rid of All My Demons

To listen to a black artist sing about depression is a little thrilling.

To hear a black artist speak about mental illness, about eradicating stigma and encouraging men, especially black men to disavow the age-old belief that they are somehow immune to mental illness, is groundbreaking.

Lyrics can reveal pain, sorrow, frustration and depression in a very artful way and here is a rapper who is fearless and bold enough to bring out the trauma that is intertwined in his thoughts and feelings through his music.

Vic Mensa, was on medications while he was dealing with his own deep darkness. He talks about the shortfalls of drugs and prescribed drugs but the natural healing of being honest and forthright about your struggles.

In acknowledgement of men’s health month, I encourage you to watch this interview.

Addiction Has No Face

Today is actually Prince’s birthday. Today he would have been 58 years old.

Prince, as we know, has had a tremendous impact on music. As we celebrate his life and legacy there is a new conversation, in which he could be just as impactful.

We learnt last week that Prince died of opioid-related overdose (Fentanyl -pain killer). Prince was not a known drug addict – publicly, he was portrayed as being entirely clean – not even a drinker.

What may have been a prescribed pain killer turned out to be the cause of addiction and the untimely death of a beloved music icon.

What this teaches us is that addiction has no face. We are at a point where addiction or death from addiction is no longer entirely oriented with low-life culture.

Obviously we have a universal issue that affects everyone and anyone and more people will help to demolish the stigma of addiction by getting help or educating themselves especially about prescription drugs.

Where do we go from here? How do we use the story of Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse to save lives and dismiss the stigma of addiction?

Pain-Killers are becoming some of our biggest killers – for a similar reason that we listen to music, many musicians seek comfort and ease of pain (whether physical or mental) from the use of drugs and alcohol.

Maybe drugs have a way of driving musical talent through its physical and psychological impact but it’s also a threat to our music and musicians.

3 Types of Music that Improves Sleeping Quality

Regardless of how much we have to do in one day, it’s important that we get enough sleep.

Less than 7 hours of sleep can affect your concentration and can also lead to mood problems.

But can music actually help people with sleep disorders?

I’ve been doing some research on the types of music that helps to improve sleep quality.

Three particular genres of music always seem to stand out, this includes: Jazz, Classical Music and Folk Music.

But outside this listing, I’ve also come across some other interesting facts:

 Bedtime music does help people with sleep disorders but it may take up to three weeks before you see actual improvements
 Music can help you fall asleep faster, sleep longer and feel more rested
 Music can lower your heart rate and slow down your breathing
 But if you are used to sleeping in a quiet room, any music might be disruptive for a while

Last year, around this time, Spotify released the World’s Sleep Playlist consisting of popular music… the playlist included artist like Ed Sheeren, Sam Smith and Passenger.
See here: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop-shop/6531669/ed-sheeran-spotify-sleep-playlists

But traditionally, Jazz Music has been one of the best sleep remedies.
Arguably, a Jazz song, one of my favorite Jazz songs is, ‘No Ordinary Love’ by Sade.

Classical music, however, has been pointed out by many research as just the finest sleep aid.
‘Good thing we can access classical masterpiece at just the click of a button.

Also, from my findings, Folk Music is also a great sleep aid. Songs like ‘You’ll Never Leave’ by Harlan and ‘Appalachian Hills’ by Dirt Wood Fire (paying attention to the instruments and melody), works if all you need is just a good night sleep.

Music That Heals

I’ve always been interested in music that sets me apart from everybody else. I do like the mainstream stuff but like Sara mentioned on my previous post, shadow music (the less popular stuff) can also be really good.

I’m not sure if a lot of people are familiar with James Blunt but I have been listening to his music since ninth grade and to this day, whenever I am feeling down or I begin to feed into negative thoughts I usually find his music to be therapeutic and uplifting.

Whenever I tell people that I listen to his music they would typically draw back and express some sort of astonishment… like ‘who listens to James Blunt’.
I remember one encounter where a guy looked at me and said, “You mean James Blunt, the ‘You are Beautiful’ guy, from so many years ago?”

I had a good laugh. I think his music is great but it also surprises me that people would think that I am a little weird because I listen to his music.

Nonetheless, I really don’t understand some of the lyrics of his songs but there is something about his voice and music that is just heavenly, with a sense of revelation and truth. He is always reminiscing about his past, asking for peace, expressing regret and exuding hope in his songs.
I also find his music very poetic and creative… I share some of the lyrics from his songs:

1973
‘You’re getting older
Your journey’s been etched
On your skin’

Here We Go Again
‘You can judge me
If you know me so well
I can’t change my spots…
They will commit me
To a lifetime in Hell’

High
“Beautiful dawn, light up the shore
For me.
There is nothing else in the
World I’d rather wake up and see’

He is obviously a genius… would like to learn about any music or musician whose music has a lifelong meaning to you. Feel free to share.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

I have always loved Florence + the Machine and each album she’s released has been phenomenal.
I have a problem where I grow attached to older albums and I tend to be harsh towards newer albums until I soon become obsessed over the new album.

Florence’s album “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” came out just as my best friend came home from a 6+ month treatment facility in Wisconsin. Florence is one of the many artists we blast on road trips, so it was natural for us to dissect her new album together.

Florence normally includes biblical and greek mythology references in her music and each song is full of beautiful harps, strings, etc. This album, however is full of brass instruments and is more “stripped down.” She said she listened to Taylor Swift’s advice and followed her heart on this album; it is a collection of songs of heartache from a bad relationship. Each music video is part of her Odyssey to getting over her relationship.

My favorite song in her new album is “Queen of Peace.” I included the video – the original music video is extremely intense, but there is a bit of nudity so I didn’t want to post it on here.

Queen of Peace
I purchased tickets to see her this summer (SHE’S AMAZING LIVE!!!) because 2016 has been full of tragedy and I felt this was a chance to spend time with my mother while we can. Florence has helped both of us during dark days, so it will be a nice getaway to see her in concert.
Are you going to any concerts this year? How do you connect to their music?

Albums from the Heart

One of my very best friends and I have very similar taste in music, so whenever we hear a new album, song, or artist, we have to share what we’ve heard with one another. Sometimes we hear the same album and burst as we discuss our love for the music.
My “New Years Resolution” for 2015 was to listen to full albums written by the artist and listen to each song in order and no skipping, so I can fully accept and figure what I have learned from the artist’s composition. I know the artist put the songs in the specific order on the album on purpose, so many times it tells a story.

Last night, my friend shared a song from an album I actually have on my iPod, but I have never heard before; it was inspiring and deep.
This morning he sent me a trailer for the album itself and I wanted to share it. Not only is the video magical, but it touches on the human mind and how we think (and what the album is about).

Check it out:
A Fine Frenzy – Pines

Do you have an album you feel is the best composition you have ever heard or connected to? This year I have learned so much by the artists I love (but tend to choose a select few songs from each album). One of the best albums I will always default to is Coldplay’s X & Y. The music hits me deep and sometimes I drive home crying because it gets me to the core. Another album I adore is Hillsong United’s Zion album. It’s a very spiritual and emotional album too, but it lifts me up and makes me feel connected to my higher power.

or here: https://youtu.be/XR-dfql-uwg

Release the Stress and Just Dance

For those of you heading back to school…whether it’s college or high school, we can get caught up with the anxiety of the new classes. Sometimes we magnify the situation and instantly start to question if our teachers like us, if we will pass this test, if we will be social butterflies, etc.

Sometimes when I get myself caught up in these thoughts, I force myself to stop doing my studying/work and put on a great song and dance. It’s a three minute break to be silly and relax. It helps me put in perspective that I will be okay and I can’t let the stress and anxiety take over my school life.
So, I have included a great song with a powerful chorus. One of most favorite albums is called Strange Desire, by the band Bleachers.The lead singer and song writer is Jack Antonoff. Most people know him as lead guitarist in the band Fun. and Steel Train.
I chose this song from the album because it’s all about wanting to get better. “I didn’t know I was broken til’ I wanted to change. I wanna get better!”

Ironically, the lead singer Jack Antonoff deals with anxiety especially with a phobia to germs which affected his life physically as well as mentally. He started writing music for his new band secretly while his illness started taking over his life.
I think he’s a great artist and when I found out about him, I could hear his music intertwined in other artists’ music like Taylor Swift.
Jack Antonoff picture

Okay, so my point is, sometimes we need to take a moment and change our setting. Whether it’s going for a walk or dancing around to a great song, it is very important to take a moment for yourself.
What other ways do you destress? What would you recommend for someone to listen to for music?
I Wanna Get Better Music Video