(Why) I Can’t Listen to Good Music

Not all the time, but enough times to say this is true.

It sucks. It really does. Don’t listen to good music when you are depressed—ever. When I feel like nothing, not even ice cream or a kiss or a half-pound burger can make me feel better, I listen to good music. There are enough rock songs that tell me to stop thinking and just sing along. I try to read a good book too. And then I listen and listen to the same album until I feel better, and then I can’t listen to these songs anymore. I’ve tainted them with history I’d rather not remember, and off with those are some songs that could’ve made my day, some day in the future.

Music, at the lowest points in life, can temporarily distract me from insistent thoughts and fill my head with loud steady beats. I can’t give you a playlist, because I always pick the ones that don’t speak of anything I feel anyway. And what’s worse is I have to postpone listening to some music for better appreciation, appreciation in a moment when I can let sound pass through my ears and think only what a great song that is. So sometimes I don’t listen at all; I just deal with my thoughts along with the sound of the droning electric fan in my room. It’s just better than mixing a beautiful song with a mind in riot.

I’m not the first person to put this into words, because I’m sure you’ve felt this: you feel that your life is like a movie—you are the character to whom all attention must be given, the soundtrack of your life plays on your iPod, songs perfectly fitting into place. Yes, that’s right, sun’s shining bright, I feel good! Wow, some happy catchy beat is on air! how did they know? And then there’s the other side: I have no direction in life, I just had a break up, everyone hates me. And yeah, radio plays your favourite misery tune.

Radio always has a way of making pop songs to be the soundtrack of the moment. I would have loved these songs that will one day be classics and much cooler to listen to when we’re all older, but I just hate how they have to be the perfect accompaniment to make things awkward as they already are, only because they manifest what I’d rather not say, or even think of at all. And I wish one thing: that it’s the same way for you, that it’s an experience you feel no one can understand completely and knowing you have the same sentiment will make me feel less lonely.

But time is always a slow painkiller. One day good music will be good music to me again, and I can finally listen to them thinking only, “Dang, this is good.”

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1 comment
  1. I know the feeling. Actually, it’s what inspired me to start my blog – http://calminthechaotic.wordpress.com/why-calm-in-the-chaotic/. Feel free to check out the music section: http://calminthechaotic.wordpress.com/music/. I’d suggest Crosby and Nash (‘Songs of Beginners’), Jake Smith (‘This is certain’) and Fyfe Dangerfield (‘Any Direction’) for starters.
    Also, I totally get what you mean about having a soundtrack to your life. I found the music of ‘Amelie’ playing in my head while seeing my friends off at a station the other day!

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