Things are pretty strange at the moment, with anxiety being a reoccurring emotion felt by most people during these uncertain times. Although we all deal with our time in isolation in our own way by taking up a new hobby, exercising , cooking or painting your walls at two in the morning  (which has turned into a favourite hobby of mine), the one thing that I keep doing is listening to music.

Talking to my friends (online), we have all been sharing what we have been reading, watching and listening to. I had a really long video chat with my friend one night which consisted of us just playing vinyl’s over the phone to each other and talking about new music and artists that we  love and how the music makes us feel. However, something she said that really stuck out for me is “I think there has to be a song for every mood I am in”.

Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and was always around my house as I grew up.  At the age of six I started learning to play music, and it gained a whole new meaning for me. Music has been my haven from school and social pressure and something I have always turned to when I felt stressed. For me, spending even ten minutes playing music could immediately make me feel more positive. As well as that, writing music also helped me to express myself creatively.

But even with instruments at hand, listening to music has also always made me feel so happy. After a really long day at school, sometimes all I needed to give me a boost of positivity is sit down, put my headphones in, close my eyes and let my favourite songs wash over me and make me smile.

Music is constantly around us – in our highs, our lows and sometimes when we don’t even know how we feel. There is something so satisfying as when you find a song that perfectly describes how you feel or you find a lyric that personally connects with you at that time. Everyone relates to songs differently and can find personal meaning in songs. I think everyone has at least one song that makes them smile instantly or want to dance (if you haven’t found that song yet, start browsing – it’s out there!)

Over time these songs join together into a playlist, which is almost like a scrapbook of the best times and the not so great times. Listening to a playlist full of upbeat, happy songs (like The Shona Playlists on Spotify) and just dancing around your room can sometimes be the spirit lift you need. I did this last night and it changed my mood so much and made me feel so much more positive about the situation outside.

I have been known to say this quite a lot to my friends but there is so much power in our playlists.The music we are listening to really can make us feel happy, calm and empowered.

I would recommend (since we all have quite a bit of time on our hands) looking through your playlists and thinking about why you added each song to it, whether you heard it while on a party dance floor, it’s a bop from your childhood or the soundtrack of your past summer’s, maybe it’s time to add some more new songs to it (check out the “Shona Happy” playlist on Spotify for inspiration!)

(I’d love to see  your quarantine hairbrush anthems, so if you would like to share them on Instagram and tag The Shona Project (@shonadotie) so I can get some inspiration for my happy playlist)

Happy Listening!

Iona xox

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