It’s incredible how much music can influence our mood. We find comfort and happiness in the songs that match our state-of-mind. In some cases, the influence is so strong the music can actually force our mood to match it.
There have been several occasions when my “too-tired” roommate reconsiders her quiet night in after my swift click of a mouse and a blaring Gaga melody. By the time I’ve finished blow drying my hair she has got her “Poker Face” on and is deciding on whether or not to wear her black leather boots. A little trick I’ve learned over four years at college. (Now don’t get me wrong, my music manipulation technique has backfired on me just as often as it has worked. Listening to a Ke$ha playlist before heading out for a night of barhopping has resulted in a less-than proud late-night worship to the porcelain gods.)
Music has a hold on our generation. Our playlists define our nights, and our “Top 25 Most Played” define our soul. In fact, I was shocked to see that show tunes dominated a large part of my Top 25, rather than the alternative music I usually identify with. A little embarrassing but what can you do but embrace the inner Gleek right?
It’s no doubt that music has always gone hand in hand with breakups too. Why is it that in more recent years we tend to turn to our iPods rather than the trusted combo of junk food, girlfriends and classic DVDs?
Music can help us cope in ways ice-cream and a chick flick cannot. Maybe it’s because we’ve learned that ice-cream is a low carb diet’s murderer, or we’ve grown to hate Bella and her whiny “too many gorgeous men are in love with me and I just don’t know which 8-pack to pick”.
I think however, that there is something simple, calming, and truly poetic in listening to an artist’s, or their professional and highly paid songwriter’s experience with heartbreak.
We live in a world where the twentysomethings are supposed to know, understand, and rationalize the feeling of a breaking heart.
Whether it was one-sided or mutual, ages 15-35, breakups sting like a bitch. That pain can linger in even the faintest traces for much longer than is “acceptable” for the progressive, together, woman that is you. We eventually stop venting about our problems because we don’t want to burden our friends and their busy lives with any more of our self-pitying.
Enter iTherapy. Something about being able to sing along with others that have shared your heartbreak-experience…excuse me, relationship-experience can make the load seem a little less heavy, and can even replace a stage 5-clinger venting session that you managed to successfully avoid in previous months.
I myself am guilty of singing my own pitchy version of Alanis’ “You Oughta Know” complete with facial expressions and an extremely embarrassing moment involving a neighbor and a red light.
iTherapy works. We can sing the words we are to afraid to speak, and we can get on with our lives.
Sometimes it takes an artist’s lyrics to pull you through the day, a fun beat to get you ready for the night, or an automated playlist to reveal you to you.