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  • Writer's pictureAndi


I believe in time travel. I hear a song and I am transported to that place and time. How many of you time travel when you hear a song? Think about Sesame Street or Barney. Either you go back to being a young parent or maybe you were 5yrs old at the time. A song can bring up wonderful and painful memories. Many songs propel me back to childhood. I recently heard a song and suddenly I was 10 years old again, my parents were rolling up their living room carpet and moving the furniture to the edges of the room because their friends were coming over for a dinner - dance party. Our front hallway had swinging doors that closed so that guests could come in make an immediate right into the adjoined living-dining room without seeing down the hallway to our bedrooms. I always had my best friend sleepover on these nights, and we would lie in the hallway looking under the gap of the swinging doors at everyone’s shoes and laugh at the “ugly” ones.

The other day I heard a song on the radio, and I was instantly in my rocker holding my oldest daughter at 4am exhausted but blissful listening to this same song on cassette tape while I fed her.

There are other times a friend will say I love a song, and I realize that song makes me sad because it reminds me when we first moved, and I was struggling to acclimate. I am listening to these songs and working to find new meaning in them.

Songs can be therapeutic. There are many days I am bleary eyed, I put on one of my “get up and go” songs and within minutes I am awake and out of bed (“Born to be Alive” – Patrick Hernandez). Alternatively, there are days where my mind is racing for various reasons. I have a whole list of self-soothing songs that bring me down into my neutral zone which allows me to think clearly. For me, this is a good strategy for a “time out” before reacting to something. I go listen to a song, breathe, and often decide that the energy that gets sucked from reacting negatively is just not worth it. (For more on how to recognize when to step back, go back to my Do Overs blog on “Triggers”)

One day my younger daughter sent me a song that she said she identifies with me. I listened to the song and cried. This song will always be special to me. No, it was not “Shut Up” by Black Eyes Peas, but I am sure she wants to send that chorus to me on many occasions. Last week my dear friend knew I was nervous for a presentation and sent me the song “Superwoman” by Alicia Keyes. I listened to it before joining the call and it went incredibly well because I was calm and could feel my friend on my shoulder rooting for me through the presentation. Another friend recently introduced me to the artist Brandi Carlisle which I am listening to while writing this blog.

Some songs evoke emotions of sadness because it was a special song at a special time, but now that situation has changed. Honor that time in your life and breathe through the emotion knowing that every part of our lives is a steppingstone to the next phase.

For Parents: It’s inevitable that your children will create their own memories through the songs of today. Find out their favorites and share with them the songs you love. Create a playlist and play them out loud. The car is a great place to listen to music. When many of us were younger, there were no headsets, and we would blare the music in our rooms. My parents would come in and make us turn off the music. It’s important to note that when teens are blaring songs in their headsets, it’s their way of meditating and decompressing. If you don’t need their attention, honor the time they need to be in their own heads and rather go over and just give them a hug. This is especially true if it’s at the breakfasts table. School is a tough place to navigate and sometimes kids need that space before getting on the school bus. I wish I knew this 15 years ago.

If you need help curating a playlist or want to take a do over to deconstruct moments so that you are not beholden to negative emotions, I am here to help guide you.


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