Loud Music Improves Mental Health

One of the quirkier things I do in therapy sessions: I quote song lyrics to my clients. It happens at least a couple times a day. People tell me their stories and I hear a soundtrack in my head that matches what they’re going through. Whenever I’m asked how I’m able to do that so readily I simply say, “It’s how I coped.”

“Those Saturdays, when kids go out and play
Yo I was up in my room I let the stereo blaze
It’s all inside of me
It’s all inside of me
It’s all inside of me
It’s all inside of my head” Saliva – “Click Click Boom”

One of the cooler things my Higher Power does when I’m practicing therapy: No matter what radio station our waiting room has playing, my clients often hear a song play that speaks directly to the changes they long to make. Latest example: Sarah Bareilles –  “Brave”

“Say what you wanna say
and let the words fall out honestly, I wanna see you be brave”

Keep secrets all your life and then listen to that song.

Music gets past our defenses, touches our souls and rocks our worlds. It opens doors and it’s one of the world’s biggest catalysts when you need to pour out the angst in your heart.

Sometimes you just need to hear someone sing, scream, or rap what we feel.

Too many folks will never understand the ecstasy of hearing Rage Against the Machine, but if you’ve ever been oppressed or abused you know exactly what it feels like when Zack de la Rocha screams over and over again, “F@ck you I won’t do what you tell me!”

We pick songs to match our mood or to bring us toward what we want to feel. I look for songs that tell powerful stories. Once or twice a year a song comes out that kicks my ass in a very good way. The latest one is by the band Bleachers and the song is “I Wanna Get Better.” Drop everything you’re doing and go watch it. It’s three and half minutes of f@cking genius and it’s so overwhelmingly positive I can barely stand it.

“I didn’t know I broken

 ’til I wanted to change.

I’m screaming at myself,

I wanna get better!”

Sums it up beautifully. Desire is awesome but willingness remains key. If you find yourself in need of inspiration & motivation – The Script with Will I. Am. “Hall of Fame” 

“You can be the greatest
You can be the best
You can be the King Kong banging on your chest
You can beat the world
You can beat the war
You can talk to God, go banging on his door.” 

What’s the soundtrack for your life? I know Elton John was right – that “sad songs say so much.” Truth is – I got tired of being sad. It’s like listening to Dave Matthews too much – it’s beautiful but after three songs I kinda wanna slit my wrists. Maybe it’s time to change it up and choose songs about overcoming, transforming, and getting better. Something simple and powerful like LOVE:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Same Love”

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.