Music Heals

As a kid, I took piano and clarinet lessons, but it wasn’t something I felt the need to continue learning once I moved beyond grade school. I was much more interested in field hockey and boys; which was probably okay, since I wasn’t particularly talented when it came to playing the piano or clarinet. The good news for me is that talent isn’t necessary to listen to music.

Listening to music has always been a huge emotional outlet for me. First, the soundtracks from Disney movies helped me to escape the craziness of my childhood home in hopes of finding a handsome prince. Then, the love ballads of the ‘80s crept into my heart and soothed the tears of that first crush gone bad, and the boyfriend who didn’t know he was mine. And, when the anger set in during young adulthood, heavy metal and scary rap music helped me to release self-disgust and disgust with others without doing anything stupid.

Needless to say, I love all kinds of music. When I’m feeling nostalgic, I listen to Barry Manilow or Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. When I’m feeling angry and resentful, I listen to Guns ‘n’ Roses or Linkin Park. When I’m feeling spiritual, I listen to Jeremy Camp or Andy Griffith. And, when it’s the day after Thanksgiving, I’m overloading on every Christmas favorite – from Bing Crosby’s version of “Jingle Bells” (the one with the Andrew Sisters), to Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song,” and Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven.”

Back in the days when cassette tapes were “in,” I had a mix-tape for every mood. Getting in my car and just driving around listening to music has always been a great way for my heart to feel and heal in a safe way. Because this has always worked so well for me, I have also spent hours upon hours creating mix tapes (and now CDs) for my friends as they were going through difficult times. It has been a wonderful (and inexpensive) gift to create and has always been received with much appreciation.

I felt compelled to write about all this today because I heard a song on one of my “Pandora” stations yesterday that made me realize how far I have come in the way I look at the world around me and what happens in my life. The song was, “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri. (When I Googled it to write about it, I found out it was released on iTunes seven years ago today – 7/27/2010 – but it was one I had never heard before!) I was enjoying the tune and thought to myself, “This girl has a lovely voice.” Just then, I heard these lyrics:

Who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are?

As I listened and digested the lyrics and the feeling Christina Perri’s voice was emitting, I thought what a great song this would have been back in the day when I needed to get angry about how a guy had treated me. It says all the right things. It gets in the best blows. It’s a great “It was all your fault” kind of message. And I don’t need it anymore.

Don’t get me wrong – I like the song. Christina Perri certainly is a talented singer and song-writer. I’ll listen to it when I hear it on the radio. But I don’t NEED it anymore. Not only has music been a balm for my soul, but in this instance, it has illustrated for me that the healing that has occurred in my heart is real. The sadness that once surrounded even the mention of that boyfriend who didn’t know he was mine is gone. The hatred that brought about day after day of pounding my head to Appetite for Destruction no longer exists.

In the recognition of all this, I am made aware once again of how much God loves us and how much He wants us to love and help each other. Through the talent of one voice on the radio, healing begins. The talent is from Him. The desire to listen is from Him. The lyrics of understanding are from Him. God is in all of it, as He uses music to heal.


  1. Oh me too! I have no clue what I would do without music in my life.
    Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass -what fabulous memories. I’m going to have to find my copy again.

    Liked by 1 person

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