Posts tagged ‘entrainment’

Music Therapy II

In a previous post (July 21), I wrote about my interest in self-prescribed music therapy, specifically entrainment CD’s. Entrainment is just a fancy way to say that the CD presents a sequence of music designed to train the emotions. The ones I have been making bring me gradually from depression to happiness. I think my latest one, #3, is the best so far.

1. Crush — Dave Matthews Band

A romantic song that is associated with a depressed time of my life.

2. Losing My Religion — R.E.M.

This song isn’t about religion, as you might think, but about frustration and depression. According to lead singer Michael Stipe, “losing my religion” is Southern slang for “fed up” or “at the end of my rope.”

3. Ordinary World — Duran Duran

Popular during a drastic change in my life, in which I was desparately seeking that “ordinary world.”

4. My Immortal — Evanescence

Almost any song by emo band Evanescence would do, but this is one of the most depressing songs I’ve ever heard. It is, therefore, the peak of the “depressed” portion of the CD.

5. One Headlight — Wallflowers

Although “One Headlight” talks about a suicide, it is one step up from #4. Believe me.

6. I Let the Music Speak — ABBA

Rich in a variety of emotions, the words and music in this somewhat dark song are a nice transition.

7. Eyes Without a Face — Billy Idol  &  8. Baker Street — Gerry Rafferty

Both are melancholy, but the sadness is not depression because there is still hope.

9. Turn! Turn! Turn! — the Byrds

Self-explanatory I think! If you are not familiar with the song, here are some of the words (adapted from the Bible book of Ecclesiastes):

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

10. I Made It Through the Rain — Barry Manilow

We’re now in positive territory, but this is not just a happy-go-lucky fun song. It’s a tribute to victory over grief, depression, pain, and struggles of all types.

11. Waterloo — ABBA, 12. When Smokey Sings — ABC, 13. Walk of Life — Dire Straits, 14. You Get What You Give — New Radicals.

These are the fun songs! Listening to them always makes me smile, but they work much better when preceded by the rest of the CD. The first few songs acknowledge my feelings and maybe even help me express them (sometimes I cry). Gradually I’m led into hope and empowerment, and the final four are the icing on the cake!

I highly recommend this technique to anyone who has a mood disorder.

September 15, 2008 at 4:19 pm 3 comments

Monthly woes

And the menstrual cycle strikes again! 🙂 I guess I shouldn’t blame it; if I didn’t have one, I wouldn’t have 3 wonderful children either.

But for my emotions, it’s a big pain in the…. well, wherever you personally think the worst pain would be! Yesterday evening I had a relatively brief rage attack. I was irritable and I could have torn the head off anyone within range. I’ve been tracking my moods 3 times a day and while this one was not quite in the cellar, it was heading that direction!

Fortunately I was able to calm myself relatively quickly. I used one of my new entrainment CD’s several times in the past weekend. What, you may ask, is an entrainment CD? It’s a concept from a book, The Tao of Music:Sound Psychology by John M. Ortiz. To combat feelings of depression, he does not advise simply listening to happy music. I can attest to the fact that I often feel repelled by such “crap” when I’m depressed. It only makes me feel worse! Instead, he describes the concept of entrainment, which begins where the brain is — depression — then gradually leads it to the desired mood — something more positive, maybe contentment. Here is one of my entrainment playlists:

Kryptonite — 3 Doors Down
Ashes to Ashes — David Bowie
Why — Annie Lennox
Total Eclipse of the Heart — Bonnie Tyler
You Learn — Alanis Morissette
Under Pressure — David Bowie and Queen
The Sign — Ace of Base
Wedding Bell Blues — The 5th Dimension
Slow Motion — Blondie
Life in a Northern Town — Dream Academy
Killer Queen — Queen
Move Along — The All-American Rejects
Tubthumping — Chumbawamba
Come on Eileen — Dexy’s Midnight Runners

It may not be evident from the titles, but, for me at least, these songs evoke emotions that begin in the depression region, transition to a neutral area, then rise to hopefulness and happiness. This really does help! Ortiz gives some suggestions for songs & albums to use, including classical if that’s your preference, but I think eventually you might want a more personalized list.

I’ve also been reminded of the value of completed projects. They bring about a sense of immense satisfaction. I just completed a photo slideshow for a friend and sent her the DVD’s. I feel as though I accomplished something worthwhile by doing this for her. What a boost for self-esteem!

July 21, 2008 at 5:26 pm Leave a comment


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