On Music as Self Care – Riley-Ann Holm

Hello beautiful people.

To tie off our self love series this week, we are going to talk about music being connected to self love.

Music has been proven to affect our emotions – and there’s no need to show you articles and scientific evidence because we all know it to be true. Before our sports games we play hard hitting music to amp up the athletes and the crowd. We cry when we watch emotional performances on TV even though we have no direct emotional tie to the person or what they are singing or what song they are dancing to.

I am an emotional person, although it doesn’t show on the outside much. Music amplifies and encourages this, whether that be bad or good emotions. I am certain that most of you relate. Being an emotional person, I LOVE emotional music: music that makes me feel things, even if those things aren’t always good. I am an ex-tumblr girl, okay? That should say it all for you. I used to TORTURE myself with endless soul-axing songs on repeat.

That being said, as part of my self care routine, i’ve had to make a very difficult sacrifice.

The problem I saw over and over again in my healing journey, is that sometimes, the music I’d listen to would convince my mind and heart to close back off, to be cold and icy; sad and blue.

Now, I am a STRONG believer in needing to fully feel and process your emotions. Depression, often is in fact, suppressed emotion. Counselling can be great for that. So can music! The catch is – when life is especially intense – like the state we are in as healing survivors – we need to be careful with the words we feed our brain as we process these emotions. 

It’s okay to pick some sad songs, and some angry songs. Process those emotions! Journal. Feel them. Cry in the shower. All of this is so much better than suppressing. BUT – do it with caution, and with self care and love.

I’ll elaborate on what I mean.

 In order to love myself well for a while, I had to cut out some of my favourite songs, until my mind was healthier and no longer absorbing and believing all of the negative, hopeless and degrading lyrics I was feeding myself. 

Some of my favourite songs have emotionally distressing melodies, with pessimistic words such as:

“I’m wasted, losing time. I’m a foolish, fragile spine – What a mess I leave to follow – I’m a suffocater”

Or angry music with concerning words such as:

“I’m so sick but I can’t find a remedy” and “ I know i’m wasting my breath as I inhale”

Or triggering, sexual words that slowly built up my anxiety on some days and put images in my had that were not healthy for me at the time. 

Surrounding myself in this every day or even every week would hurt my healing process. I could be on an uphill journey doing absolutely fabulous, then listen to some of my old favourite songs such as the ones above would hit me like a ton of bricks and knock me way back.

I had to try to be aware of when music was HELPING and when it was HURTING

….because it has the strength to do both, quickly and like a freight train. So, as a form of self care, when I’m not doing my best, I make sure to feed my brain what I want it to believe / words that help me grow and heal. 

If you can’t tell if your music is helping or hurting you, we made some playlists to make the decision easier on you! These playlists are mostly full of lyrics that are focused on taking steps FORWARD, with a few about honest feelings that are not hurtful, just real. They radiate confidence and healing and sometimes a bit of a spicy attitude which can also be a key component in our healing journey. If you have a song you think would fit on our current playlists, let us know! They are collaborative 🙂 We kept songs that we felt might be triggering out of the playlists and will continue to do that. That being said, they are not all “G” rated songs, but we trust that you can filter out ones with words you are not personally a fan of.


a motivational playlist for the gym, or for dancing in your room, or whatever activity you might want to be happy and confident for!

a sad playlist that will allow you to feel and process all the things but WITHOUT the feeling of hopelessness or discouragement.

a chill playlist for all the in-between moments or casual hangouts

an angry playlist because we all need this once in a while, and

a throwback/ classic girl power songs playlist! 

We made our own Spotify account and you can follow the playlists HERE!

Love always, R

One Comment Add yours

  1. Majen says:

    I felt this post so hard. The only way i could express my feelings was through music. The sad, depressing songs were always on repeat when I drove in my car. The lyrics were bittersweet. I sang how I felt but believed everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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