Music, Media, and Mood

When I was in high school and early college, I suffered from depression. Since then, I’ve relapsed from time to time but overall have been much better. #

Currently, a lot of people are struggling with mental health. Between the fear of COVID-19 and self-isolation, people are struggling. Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to encourage you seek the support of a therapist. There is a lot you can do on your own and that you should do on your own. But it helps to have a therapist in your corner. #

I regularly see a therapist through my health insurance. It took a while to find someone I meshed with, but it’s been beneficial. I’ve used BetterHelp in the past, which I found helpful between visits to my primary therapist. It was like having a journal that gave feedback. #

So, now that that’s out of the way. I want to talk about the number one thing that I’ve done to help myself. It seems obvious, but it always comes as a surprise when I mention it to friends. #

Pay attention to the music you’re consuming. #

When I was super depressed, I was listening to a lot of Marilyn Manson and other angry depressing music. When I switched to listening to Enya my depression sailed away. #

This doesn’t mean that Marilyn Manson is bad. It’s just that for me, listening to a lot of it made me depressed. This happened years later. I started feeling depressed and when I asked myself what I was listening to I realized that I was listening to “The Hurting” by Tears for Fears a lot. Not exactly positive, uplifting stuff. #

I now try to take a more proactive approach. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and stressed out lately so I’ve been listening to calm instrumental Jazz. It helps me change how I’m feeling. #

This extends to all media. What media are you consuming? If you’re afraid and anxious all the time, are you spending a lot of time reading and watching the news? #

Consuming media is like turning steel into a magnet. You rub a magnet over the steel in the same direction over and over again. Eventually, it becomes magnetized. #

You need to guard your attention and understand how what you’re hearing, reading, and watching is affecting you. #

Published by Andrew Shell on and last updated .