When we’re grieving, it can feel like our world has been turned upside down. In those times, we turn to music for a variety of purposes—but three main reasons come up consistently: Music makes it easier to process our feelings; music allows us to connect with others in meaningful ways; certain songs can feel like they provide a message or comfort we need at the time.
As you move through your grief journey, consider how music might help you through some difficult times. We’ve highlighted why people turn to music during times of loss below!
We turn to music for various purposes, but three main reasons come up consistently.
In cases of grief, we turn to music for a variety of purposes. We use it to process our feelings and connect with others who are experiencing similar things, but the main reason we turn to music is that it gives us a message we need at that moment.
It conveys information that can’t be expressed in words alone. In this way, it helps us process what’s happening in our lives even when there are no answers or solutions available.
Music makes it Easier to Process our Feelings
Music can help us process our feelings. It’s a common adage that one of the best ways to cope with grief is to feel it, but sometimes it takes time for those feelings to surface. Music can give us an outlet for processing and feeling anything that may be on our minds during a difficult time.
Music can also make us feel better when we’re sad or depressed. There are few songs that don’t make me feel happier when I listen to them, even if only for the nostalgia factor or because it reminds me of someone I love. Listening to music is a great way to lift your mood from feeling down into something much more positive!
Songs can give Us the Words We need to Communicate with Others who are Grieving
Sorrow is a universal emotion. We all feel it, and we can all empathize with it. But the way we express our grief is often dependent on the culture or community in which we are raised.
When you experience a loss, it’s normal to want to share your feelings with people who understand what you’re going through—and music can be an effective way to bridge that divide between cultures and languages.
Whether you speak English or Spanish or French, or German, songs are one of the few ways that music transcends language barriers and bridges cultural divides.
Music is an important part of our lives and can help us cope with difficult times. The ways we turn to music are varied, but specific themes emerge consistently: We listen to music because it helps us process our feelings. It allows us to connect with others meaningfully and feel like we’re not alone in our grief.
Lyrics provide us with language when we might otherwise lack it or give us words we need to communicate with others who are grieving alongside us. Music serves as a distraction from the pain at times or provides something familiar, stable and safe to return to when all feels lost.