Practising self care through music

Self care through music

Practising self care through music at live gigs
Image: Pexels

It’s been such a long time since I contributed to Musically Ranting. I always have it in my head to write a post and then… whoosh, it’s gone! So, when the opportunity presented itself to write one of the posts that I had excellent intentions of joining in with AND to link up to Wicked Wednesday… I knew I had to get my typing fingers at the ready! I want to share how I provide myself with self care through music.

Music has been a big part of my life for many years. I believe I was born dancing (though only ever to my own tune) and have rarely stood still since. Rather than growing in and out of genres I just keep adding to my playlist. There are, however, different types of music for different moods, much like there are different types of self care. There are two types of self care that I consciously utilise music for.

These being maintenance and recovery.

When I’m in maintenance mode I tend to visit funky music.

Part of looking after myself at this time is nurturing my relationship with myself, through date nights. If you’ve never dated yourself I can’t recommend it highly enough. Granted, I’ve not really dated other people but the nights out I have with me, the intentional solo Treat Nights, well, they’ve been pretty special. I make a commitment to go somewhere I want, eat somewhere nice, wear a sexy outfit, talk to random strangers and… If I’m really lucky I might just put out at the end of the night. All just for me.

The last time I managed to do this was back in February last year. I got a ticket to a band who were visiting from the Ukraine (I think). They had a local band- the Cabarats- on the set list, and these guys opened the evening with their phenomenal offering. In the tightly packed stalls, bouncing off my already sweaty neighbours, grinning like a demented chicken… The night descended into (the best kind of) chaos when the main band came on. Seriously, they were so good, but it is the guest act that has stuck in my mind. Situations like this keep my cup full. If the music isn’t really my thing, well, the atmosphere has a similar impact. But the music tops me up, even if I’m just at home, listening and dancing/bouncing and singing/squawking along.

I was actually due to see The Cabarats in May last year, but then, you know… Covid hit and I had to find other ways to get my fix. Through YouTube!

It isn’t just this band who have helped me maintain my wellbeing. No, these are just the ones I wanted to share today. If you enjoy live music I strongly encourage you to go and see them if you get the chance. Actually, even if you don’t, go and see them. They may change your mind!

But when I’m in recovery mode I need something a little less wholesome…

When my battery is running on empty I don’t have the energy for people in my music. I need the pace and drive of electronic music. I’m a retired raver, and yet some habits die hard. The same tunes that saw me dancing for too many hours to recount in my party days, still fill my bucket to this day. With even just a ten minute burst of Old-Skool I can go from flat as a pancake to bubbling over with joy.

“How?” I hear you ask.

In all honesty I have no idea. Perhaps it is the mental connection to care free and hedonistic nights (and days and nights) where time was immaterial and my responsibilities were limited. Perhaps it is that, like any addict, the first hit takes me back to where I was the last time? Hit those same highs? Fortunately, my chemical usage in those days was intolerable when buzzing on the music, it was all too intense. So I’d inevitably have to sit in the chill out zone when I partied in that way. Lessons learned quickly, I was there to dance, not sit! The party was always with the music, I guess it just helped that I danced like I was on drugs. It meant I either got loads of hugs (there truly is nothing like a hug from someone tripping on ecstasy) or people would give me a wide berth.

I use a DJ website for this kind of injection, but scrolling through YouTube there are lots of mixes. This one opens with an iconic tune which I recall from a number of nights out. Giving chance for the sweaty young me to sip some water and build for the next descent into electronic madness. If you’re feeling flat and/or brave give this mix a try.

So there we have it. Perhaps this isn’t the complete picture of how I keep my cup topped up with joy. But it is how I indulge in self care through music.

Wicked Wednesday

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my self care through music. If you’d like to learn more about music in my life read this post: Sometimes Words Need Music Too.


  1. Cool post about music. I never thought about it, but after reading your post, I realized that it really is. Indeed, if you like rave, you are unlikely to listen to it when you feel bad. Therefore, yes, there is music for service and for recovery.

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