The restorative power of music. | 029/100

“Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation.”

-Oliver Sacks

Today, at about midday, I walked into Southsea town centre to grab a cup of coffee and take a break from studying. I’m feeling stressed out about my final exams, a little nostalgic as I near the end of my time living in Portsmouth, and kind of overwhelmed and emotional.

I’ve got my headphones in and a song from my youth comes on – ‘Read My Mind’, by The Killers. As my good friend Charlie knows (having witnessed me screaming the lyrics to everyone of their songs at a festival in 2014), this music means a lot to me. It’s wrapped up in my childhood, growing up, leaving home and striking out on my own.

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Which bands appear on the soundtrack of the movie of your life? These guys feature heavily on mine.

It seemed oddly poignant this song should play as I approach the end of another stage in my life. And I just stood in the middle of the pavement, and let the music wash over me, and stopped thinking about everything for a second. I felt hot, fat tears well up in my eyes – but I was happy.

I never really gave up on
Breakin’ out of this two-star town
I got the green light
I got a little fight
I’m gonna turn this thing around

-Lyrics from ‘Read My Mind’, by The Killers

I don’t know why music makes us feel like this. But I know it’s a shared, human experience.

What songs move you? Listen to one of them right now. Put down what you’re doing, stop everything and just listen. You owe yourself those three minutes.


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