The Healing Power of Music

Math is simple. I was never any good at it, but as I've gotten older I've been able to carefully pull apart several complicated math problems that have eluded mathematicians for years. And here they are:

Arthritis/General back pain + winter/snow/ice/cold wind/etc = Pain.

I know, I know, it's revolutionary. Don't worry, I've already contacted the media, the Nobel Prize Committee has been alerted to this development. Now we can all just sit back and relax and wait for the world to catch up.

Oh wait...

Everyone has a variety of ways to deal with their pain. I've talked about some of them before, including but not limited to: Drugs, drugs, hot water bottles, drugs, crying in the fetal position, crying laid out flat on ones bed, and crying while a bottle of drugs tucked inside your fetal positioned body, catching your tears which can later be warmed and put in the hot water bottle. But sometimes, probably more often than any of us would like to admit, drugs and tears do us no good. They're the bandaids of life, and eventually they get gross and hairy and you have to tear them off and discover that the skin underneath has the look of a pale raisin and you know that putting another bandaid on is only going to mask the problem further and... I'm sorry, did I get off track?

The point is medicine and science can only take us so far. Knowing that we have to live the rest of our lives with these disorders can be a daunting thought and, at times, may seem like more than we can bear. Each of us have our own ways of dealing with the thought of a lifetime of pain. I write and sing, and play the piano and generally listen to music (I have also begun to re-watch Sailor Moon, but that's a different story altogether.) Over the last ten years I've acquired quite a collection of 'Feel-Better' music. For the most part they're songs that cause the dam of tears to break, just for the emotional release. Sometimes they're insanely happy and I'm left with no choice but getting up and dancing along to them. Sometimes they just hit on how I'm feeling like a bullseye, and I can take the three and a half minutes to gain some perspective on my life.

Music has, and always will be, a form of healing for me. I've been lucky enough to have people in my life who have been passionate about the topic without the medicinal properties, and their enthusiasm for songs and rhymes have only served to increase my love of it. I listen to music because it defines my life, I write music because it is one of the truest ways I know to say all I need to without using words, and I sing mostly because I wasn't allowed to bungee jump for a hobby and had to pick something else.

Where am I going with all this? I want to share with all you readers today my love of music. Below you'll find a variety of links that lead to some of the many songs that I use when I'm feeling in the pits and need a cheering up, or when I get the uncontrollable urge to do the Snoopy dance with no one watching. Basically, it is the sound track of my life, and I'm hoping that they will be able to brighten (or darken, if you need a good cry) your life today as much as it has mine. I almost want to burn a dozen copies of the songs and just send them out (Marketed as "Kathleen's Illegal Music Therapy" perhaps?) but for the time being this will half to do. I've separated them into categories, just to make it more simple. They'll be, for the most part, Youtube videos I think. Although some will lead directly to websites. I hope you enjoy, and I truly hope everyone out there is have a wonderful holiday season, chronic pain inflicted or not!

(Note: All songs are appropriate for all ages. Although Tom Waits' voice might give you nightmares; just trust me.)

Happy:
Hawksley Workman - "We Will Still Need a Song" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGxN5zvlKlU
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - "Mr Columbus" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rWTBfM3y3g
Regina Spektor - "2.99c Blues" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpTDCNBAfeY
Stars - "Take Me to the Riot" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxeIivNDtFU
Hawksley Workman - "The City is a Drag" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb-h3mBGYDM

Love:
Hawksley Workman - "Chemical" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWOtYWyjyYo
Regina Spektor - "Loveology" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky6sPyJIcno
Hawksley Workman - "Safe and Sound" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzPOJanh9FU

Sad:
Hawksley Workman - "Oh You Delicate Heart" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByL2UByb1a8&feature=related
William Joseph - "Homeward Bound" I couldn't find a copy of it, but it's a beautiful song and you really ought to try to hunt it down!
Rachael Yamagata - "Reason Why" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P798LLHcQY
Hawksley Workman - "Don't Be Crushed" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ngd5qXwUanY

Soothing
Vienna Teng - "Nothing Without You" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1pgiQUlwbM
Kate Bush - "The Man With the Child In His Eyes" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHJGIn1WyDY
Chantal Kreviazuk - "In This Life" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jX7i0MG0uk

Spooky:
Stars - "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55FMOJMhV9s

Triumphant
The New Pornographers - "The Bleeding Heart Show" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uRi6SGPdCM
Josh Groban aka Hotty McHotterton of Hotsville - "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGLSk3AVcUU

Hospital Music (Which is probably Sad^10, just a warning):
Repo! The Genetic Opera - "Genetic Emancipation" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h82-6HVueMw
Natalie Walker - "With You" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXx3Trg8Nfs

There you have it. There are so many more out there, but those are some of my absolute favorites. They brighten my day no matter what my mood. Hopefully they'll lift up the spirits of you folks as well, even for a couple hours.

Also, I am quite fond of Hawksley Workman. It's a Canadian thing. I wear the badge proudly, and by badge I mean handful of pins I got at his last concert in Red Deer that decorate my jacket and posters on my wall and something called a 'Restraining Order' whatever that is.

Later, Scoliotics!

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