Music has the ability to immediately change my emotional state. I can feel apathetic, angry or depressed and the right song pulls me up out of the fog and points me back in the right direction. I have a theme song (and you should too!). One study shows that music activates the same pleasure centers in the brain as sex does. If that isn’t a reason to listen to music everyday then I don’t know what is.
In middle school I called radio stations with fingers poised over the “record” button on my boom box hoping the DJ wouldn’t talk over the intro to my favorite song. I’ve practiced my guitar until blisters prevented me from holding onto the strings. I’ve traveled huge distances and willingly gave up large amounts of sleep to spend a few precious hours with my favorite bands. I’ve used music to get through countless late-night college assignments. I’ve sung to my newborn daughters in the middle of the night every song I knew just to get them to sleep. I’ve sped down country roads on late summer nights with the windows down and the radio up. I’ve cried over breakups not only because my heart was broken but because I also lost a man who could make a kick-ass mix tape.
Most of us have stories when music saved our lives. Musicians put into words what our hearts yearn to express whether it is love, despair, or anything in between. Music can make friends of enemies by providing a launching point of common ground. It can take people who’ve never met before and turn them into life-long companions. Music doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, how you dress, or about the color of your skin. Music doesn’t tell you whom to love or what religion to practice. Music is unconditional. It touches your soul and expects nothing in return.
So today I celebrate my love for music. As journalist Eric Olson once wrote, “Music is what life sounds like.”