The music you chose to get through this last lockdown stretch
247newsaroundtheworld– We asked for the songs you’ve been listening to on repeat or that you play when you need a lift, but many wanted to send a message, too (though nobody suggested Horses).
These Days turned out nothing like we have planned, as we’re Stuck in the Middle With You, but The Only Way Is Up and I Will Survive. We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place so Let’s Work Together for Freedom.
Via Amyl and the Sniffers, you told us, “Energy, good energy and bad energy / I’ve got plenty of energy”. And via Bad Lip Reading’s Yoda, you complained that, “While you’re lyin’ there screamin’ ‘Come help me please’ / The seagulls, hmm, poke your knees”. Is Premier Daniel Andrews the seagull, or is he Yoda? Something for us all to ponder.
And you don’t have to be on the West Gate to benefit from a lockdown singalong (as James Brown might put it, you can stay on the scene rather than take it to the bridge).
Research has linked music to more than 500 wellbeing benefits. Dr Krause and colleagues found that music listening in lockdown last year was a good predictor for improved life satisfaction (in contrast to watching more TV or movies, associated with lower life satisfaction).
People often interact with media as a coping strategy, the researchers said, and this is especially important during the social isolation and loneliness of lockdown.
“Music functions as a social surrogate,” says Dr Krause. “Even if you’re listening by yourself, the act of music listening can create empathy, can create the idea of you being connected to other people.”
Music lights up the neural pathways that lockdowns left gathering dust, goes the theory. We don’t exactly know why, but the boffins are working on it.
Some readers wanted tracks to “remind me of road trips on a hot day with the music blaring in the car”. So Lonely by The Police, for another reader, “resonates but is also upbeat and fun”.
Some wanted music to help them “drift off and leave my worries” (Kelly Lee Owens’ Inner Song), to “transport me from the stress and the grind of everyday living in lockdown” (One Chance by Kimura Takuya). Others wanted to “dance the lockdown afternoons away” (Love Is All I Got by Feed Me and Crystal Fighters).
Dr Krause has also researched pandemic pop charts. Some previous studies linked deteriorating socio-economic conditions with greater popularity of music lyrics with negative emotional content.
She parsed the lyrics of top-5 charting songs in the UK and US and found “lower satisfaction” compared to the year before. “There was a positive association between economic misery and the number of negatively valenced words” in the lyrics we were playing.
“A lot of people go, ‘OK, I feel sad, I need to listen to happiness’,” Dr Krause says. “It works for some people… but you can also go, ‘I feel really sad or really angry, frustrated’, and I’m going to listen to that angry, frustrated song to vent that emotion, to work through that, in that [musical] space.”
It depends on your personal quirks and circumstances.
”There’s research that shows people who have a ‘ruminative’ personality trait, who keep thinking through things, if they’re in a depressive state and listening to depressive music that might be an unhealthy choice, because you might just get dragged into it further. But for other people it can be a healthy choice because you go OK, I’m going to have that catharsis, vent that frustration and it will make me feel better.
“There’s no perfect song…. But we can manage our emotions through music.”
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