October 8, 2011

Thank you, Bono and Simba


Music and movies can be mood changers for me.


This was a tough week. Anxiety and depression got the best of me for the most part during Mental Illness Awareness Week, which ends today. Thank goodness. I am quite clearly aware of my mental illness.


But Friday was different, and I have Bono to thank. Bono, Bruce Springsteen and The Lion King in 3D.


Those of us who suffer from mental illness need something to help elevate our mood when we fall into the rut of depression. One trick I learned in a partial hospitalization program this summer was the power of music to change mood.


So I signed up for satellite radio in my car and on my computer at work. With the click of a mouse at work, I can listen to Beethoven or the The Beatles, The Counting Crows or Tchaikovsky. I can climb into The Loft and mellow out with some contemporary eclectic tunes or slide into the Coffee House and soak up a groovy acoustic tune.


I can listen to music to change my mood.


http://musicofireland.blogspot.com/
After a four-day losing streak, I won the battle on Friday. My day started with Bono belting out “Beautiful Day” on the way to work. I was almost surprised to find myself strumming along with The Edge on my steering wheel. Was that pure joy just now? Wonders never cease.


As this informative article points out, the connection between music and mood isn’t new. Ancient philosophers knew that music could change their mood, even kings in ancient times used music to relieve stress. We see music used all the time to elevate mood or relax us. My favorite college football team uses rousing music blaring over video highlights to whip the crowd into a frenzy before every home game. And it works every time.


My Friday ended with an uplifting trip to the movies for “Lion King” in 3D with one of my children. Such is the Circle of Life for those of us with depression. The circle will take me to a low again at some point, I know. Not today, though.


Music and movies can change my mood, but I have to be careful.

If I’m feeling depressed, “Terms of Endearment” may not be a great choice for a Friday night flick. When I want to feel better, I change the channel when sad ballads come on my radio. I turn it up when upbeat tunes come on.


So thank you, Bono and Simba. Friday actually felt like Friday should feel.