Lyrics & Well-being
I am fascinated by lyrics and the impact they can have on our well-being. From a very young age, I was encouraged to listen to the lyrics of songs and would carefully select songs for my mood, or the mood I wanted to be in. I also made up entire musicals while playing on the swing set and later found a guitar and became a singer-songwriter to create stories or songs that filled a need to express. As a career, I’ve worked with kids/teens to write and record songs about their lives; from cancer treatment, to end of life care, to drug and alcohol recovery. The impact from these experiences led me to be curious about lyrics and the message they give us, for better or worse. Inspired to learn more, I earned a master’s degree in applied positive psychology and wrote my thesis on this very topic.
Yip Harburg, a social activist and songwriter (maybe you’ve heard of a song called “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”? Yeah… that was him.), put it beautifully when he said, “Words make you think, music makes you feel, songs make you feel thoughts.”
Let’s say the songs we listen to make us feel something. Do we want to decide what we feel? Do we want to at least know if that’s true or not? If artists had the ability to make us feel thoughts, do they have a responsibly to do so ethically?
And that is what this section of my website will be dedicated to; a conversation about this very topic. I’ll re-write parts of my capstone and share my thoughts on different angles. Feminism and lyrics, the music industry and well-being, writing lyrics verses listening to the lyrics written by somebody else, censorship and lyrics, an artist’s responsibility (or not) to well-being, and more!
So whether you agree, disagree, or fall on the fence… join me with your comments and topic suggestions, and lets start a global conversation about lyrics and well-being.
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Masters in Applied Positive Psychology Capstone "Message In The Music: Do Lyrics Influence Well-being?"