Music lifts our spirits and soothes our souls. This could not have been stated any better by Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow during his speech at the 59th Grammy Awards.
No matter where you are, how you live, what you believe in, who you believe in, or the overwhelming struggles you face—the healing power of music, regardless of your preferred style or genre, is the universal salve to help ease your pain, calm your fears, or strengthen your faith in your dreams and all that is good.
In 1968, Elvis Presley performed “If I Can Dream” as the grand finale for his NBC television comeback special. Written by Walter Earl Brown, the song was inspired by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose voice of peace and hope was silenced when his life was taken away earlier that year. The lyrics and Elvis’ heartfelt performance of the song offered solace and reminded us to keep believing and dreaming in a brighter tomorrow—a testament to Neil Portnow’s message about the healing power of music.
Aside from its healing powers, music can inspire us to believe in love, be your best self, feel brave and indestructible, believe you can soar beyond your wildest dreams, celebrate, or relive special moments of your life.
When I’ve somehow lost faith in my skills and abilities, Desiree’s “You Gotta Be” instantly gives me the power and confidence boost I need. “What a Wonderful World” by Louie Armstrong and “Candyman” by Zedd and Aloe Blacc reminds me that in spite of the disappointing or heartbreaking news stories of the day, there’s still so much joy, love and beauty in the world. I notice a spring in my step when I’m taking a walk on a sunny day while listening to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” My spirit seems to be at peace while listening to “Gone” by Jim Chapell or any music by Jim Brickman. I remember why I married my husband when I listen to “When I Fall in Love” by Nat King Cole and am somehow transported back to the day my daughter was born when I listen to Natalie Cole’s “A Smile Like Yours.”
No matter what your personal struggles and challenges are, when your heart and soul is invaded by fear, uncertainty, insecurity or doubt, when solutions don’t present themselves fast enough, or if you simply want to let loose and unwind, remember to play your own kind of music for healing, inspiration, peace, comfort, love and joy—and everything will be okay.