When schools reopened in England following the announcement by our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson in March 2021. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to deliver face to face training at a school in Portsmouth, which was over 2 hours away from where I live. Those of you that have read my blog on ‘Jake, Mental Health & Men’ may recognise that I am referring to the same event.

It was on the 19th of March and I had not trained in a venue for a few months, so getting up at 4.30am in order to get to my destination was a habit that I had grown out of, and I needed something to keep me awake on my journey. I decided that listening to music and singing along would keep me awake, alert and happy. I was right! What I wasn’t expecting though was to have a therapy session in my car.

What do I mean?

For some reason, I decided to listen to my ‘Slow Jams’ playlist, maybe because it was so early in the morning and it seemed more appropriate, but I had forgotten what songs I had on the playlist because I had not used the car for work in a long while. This was lovely because every song was a surprise to me, and I enjoyed not being able to predict what song was coming next.

Some of the songs included:

  • Dance with my father – Luther Vandross
  • I’d Rather be – Luther Vandross
  • Goodbye Girl – Go West
  • One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boyz 2 Men

The list goes on. Boy was I triggered!

I lost my father when I was 11 years old and my husband almost 4 years ago, and looking at the few songs listed above, I am sure you can imagine some of the emotions that I was tackling on this journey. On my playlist were also some great songs to jam to, and I found myself jigging and jamming in my car. Other motorists looking my way must have wondered what was up with me. I was singing and I was smiling. I needed the release of the emotions that were bottled up, the few tears that almost blinded me on the motorway, which wasn’t great, and the smiling and jigging. I mean, I haven’t been to a party in a while. It was such a great journey to Portsmouth. I stopped at the service station to clean my glasses and tear stained face, and then took a picture of my happy and elated state. The picture you see on this blog.

Music is a ‘Detox For The Mind’ – DFTM (Just made that up), but it works. That’s the conclusion that I came to at the end of my journey.

I therefore strongly recommend that you set your music affairs in order and create wonderful playlists for yourselves, and if you already have great playlists – use them to detox your mind. Use them to Escape. Use them for Mindfulness. Use them to Release Emotion. Use them for A Private Jig. Use them to Exhale. Use them for Your Mental Health.