Another big thing that helped me was music. I went on a massive emo binge when Riley died. My Chemical Romance, the Killers, Avril Lavinge, All American Rejects. I felt like I was a teenage girl again. These songs they really did help.

Screaming along to the lyrics in the middle of the night, at the beach “ITS A DAAAAAAAMN COLD NIGHT……TRYING TO FIGURE OOOOOOOUUUUUUT THIS LIFEEEEEEEE” There is something oddly freeing about yelling, isn’t there? And I’m sure it was strangely amusing for the passer-by’s who is just watching a crazy woman with coloured hair, wearing a ball gown belting out Avril Lavinge.

But then there was the songs that don’t help. The songs that make you feel all the feels. Maybe you listened to them in the car together, maybe you danced to them, maybe they just remind you of them. But for whatever reason, you are curled up on the floor of the lounge, sobbing and screaming “Rock me momma like a wagon wheel, rock me momma anyway you feel” and your neighbours come and check on you because you have listened to the same song 10 times in a row and are screaming blue murder after each time “MOTHER FUCKER, WHY DID YOU DIE”

Music has a massive power over our emotions, positive and negative. Listening to Ollie Murs “Dance with me” puts me in a good mood almost no matter what. While “What the world needs now” by Burt Buchanan ebbs away at my soul each time. It’s just way too cute to deal with at this time.

I found a helpful guide (Wikipedia fyi) that might help you when you are feeling worse for wear. Whether you listen to a song to make you sadder to help get through these emotions or find a happy song to ignore the pain for a little while. These are the type of songs you want to listen to.

For example for the sad songs that will help you cry and thus work through it. A slower tempo, minor chords, quietly. A happier song to help brighten your mood and ignore the sadness, something pop related! High tempo, loud, feel power! You can take on the world.

Structural Feature Definition Associated Emotions
Tempo The speed or pace of a musical piece Fast tempo:happiness, excitement, anger. Slow tempo: sadness, serenity.
Mode The type of scale Major tonality: happiness, joy, Minor tonality: sadness.
Loudness The physical strength and amplitude of a sound Intensity, power, or anger
Melody The linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity Complementing harmonies: happiness, relaxation, serenity. Clashing harmonies: excitement, anger, unpleasantness.
Rhythm The regularly recurring pattern or beat of a song Smooth/consistent rhythm: happiness, peace. Rough/irregular rhythm: amusement, uneasiness. Varied rhythm: joy.

Music is especially good at reminding of us of our memories, That wagon wheel song was played at Riley’s brother-in-law’s 40th and was one of the only times he danced with me. That song makes me feel so alone but at the same time it reminds me of the fun we had that night. The things he said, the things he did, how we laughed. Even though he has gone that song reminds me he will always been in my heart, my mind and I will never forget the time we share. I will wish that we had more time till the day I die but we shared a journey, those memories and that’s something, nothing and no-one can take away from me.


Riley and I at his brother-in-law’s 40th birthday in Oamaru. Managed to convince him to be on the other side of the lens for once. 


One thought on “Songs that help and songs that don’t

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