Yes, You Are a Rockstar
Episode #5 of the course Creative mindfulness: Ten ways to chill out and enjoy creativity by K.C. Finn
Many of us turn to music when we need an emotional boost. Whether it’s songs about a painful breakup, a party mix to get us in the mood for going out, or even a slow, calming rhythm to fall asleep to, music has the potential to explore every facet of human emotion. That’s why it’s such an important tool for today’s session.
We’ve all seen those “mood” playlists on our favorite streaming sites, where endless compilations of songs carry us into a particular way of feeling. We are all tempted to drift into that music and become those emotions, and we often choose music that fits our current mood so we can feel comfortable within that headspace. But what if your headspace is sad, anxious, or filled with tension from the day? Music can either feed that mood, making you feel worse than ever, or even cause clashes when it doesn’t match the current way that we’re feeling and makes us feel angry, which is even worse.
We need a way to control those emotions and turn them around, and this is where the active part of creative mindfulness takes over. This course intends for you to interact with these creative means and make them work for you, rather than succumbing to the way they make you feel. So, when you try Lesson 5’s activity, you may find it challenging to get into the groove at first, and that’s perfectly normal. It takes a little practice to truly interact with music and transport yourself into new ideas and motivations, but once you’re there, it’s well worth the difficulty of the journey.
When we were looking for monologues for the dramatic speaking exercise, I gave you the option to choose passages that were totally opposite to your personality or the way you were currently feeling. Song selection for this music-based exercise works in a similar way, so it gets us out of our comfort zones and prepares us for a new emotional experience. But that doesn’t mean you have to choose songs that you don’t like, because you still need to make a connection with the mood and the lyrics. Select the music that you want to feel like rather than your current mood, and try to choose a song or artist that you haven’t heard in a while.
The activity works in two stages, and the first can be done anywhere and at any time using a pair of headphones. The more noise-canceling and quality headphones you have, the better, or just pick a quiet space to listen. With the song on repeat, take your time to notice each of the notes and instruments that make up the background, behind the lyrics. Do this several times in order to fully get into the mood of the song. Then, as soon as you’re able, blast that song out loud and sing along. Take the mood you’ve experienced in the notes and the melody, and express it fully through loud, proud lyrics.
So far in this course, we’ve looked at positivity, freedom of movement, storytelling, speaking, breathing, and being in character emotionally, and the “rockstar” moment of singing out loud certainly encompasses all these things. If you feel a little tense the first time you try this, please don’t be discouraged—it is a real process of finding the right tunes and your own freedom. Many people prefer to sing in the shower because their voices resonate nicely, but sounding good is not the primary goal. Feeling good and feeling the moment of the song is the real, central purpose, and once you hit that golden feeling, you’ll know you’re doing your brain some good.
Tomorrow, we’ll return to calmer techniques after a few days of dramatic build-up. Now that you have the positive-boost side of the course down, we can explore the more tranquil and relaxed elements to help you achieve emotional balance.
Keep on singing!
This musical activity is one small step into the world of singing and its many benefits for mental health. If you find that this exercise connects with you, read more at Take Lessons about the physical and psychological benefits that singing has for you.
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