(Plinky.com sends me an email everyday with a question or other instruction meant to inspire a blog post. Occasionally I take the bait.)
The exact wording of this morning’s Plinky is: When you’re feeling down, what music cheers you up?
Personally, I have an entirely different process when I get down, mainly because I don’t think it’s either realistic or healthy to try to always be happy. We live in a world increasingly obsessed with ridding our existence of any emotions other than glee, joy, elation, ecstasy, etc. — it’s no surprise that the pharmaceutical industry is the 3rd most profitable industry in the world.
Additionally, I strongly oppose the age-old, destructive cultural conditioning that boys and men are subjected to, conditioning that tells boys that they should not be emotional, boys should NOT cry, conditioning that originates from ancient societies that had to prepare boys and men to be wariors. I’d even go so far as to suggest that our failure as a species to fully abandon this ancient conditioning shows an appalling lack of growth, development, and evolution, and that it lies at the heart of our continuing inability to rid the planet of war and other violent atrocities.
That’s pretty heavy, I know. Enough to bum anyone out, right?
Well, why don’t you try doing what I do? Don’t reflexively run from those depressing feelings. Put on some sweet, sad music, dive deep into the feelings, find solace and communion in the melodies and lyrics of songwriters who have felt as you have, and have yourself a good, long cry. In most cases, you’ll feel better after having released the pent up feelings rather than trying to bury them or numb out altogether.
Caveat: This post is not in any way meant to ignore or belittle the potential crippling effects of chronic depression. Nor am I advocating for voluntarily developing a state of chronic depression.