My Music Medicine

There were two comments made to me — about me — in the last year that I have been pleased to keep active in my memory:

1. “If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want to be there with you.”   I knew what my colleague meant by the statement.  She had witnessed my broken aura.  She knew I’d find a way, a solution and anyone in my close proximity would benefit from my instinctive, inventive, inspirational ways to survive.   Another person I told about the complement, totally missed the mark — replying that I’d play my oboe to keep happy.   That’s not at all what the comment was about.

2. When you play oboe, I see a white glow around you.  You bring life to the notes.  This comment was especially impressive.

The Auric Field – Aura is life. It is the energy that animates our physical body. The auric field exists in different layers sometimes referred to as harmonics because of the color fields they emit. Each layer of the auric field is a body just as real and alive as the physical body. Each layer is a mini world with its own sense of purpose. The magic of the auric field is in how these mini worlds intertwine and dance with one another. These layers interconnect with one another determining our experience with our physical reality.”

Treatment Tunes

Musical Resonance

Music Therapy

I currently perform with the Sunbury City Band.  It doesn’t provide income — most of us professional musicians can’t survive on our highly skilled craft.   But band is part of my “music therapy”  — priceless reward of camaraderie.

L-R: Marti, Christina, Deanna, Marvin

L-R: Marti, Christina, Deanna, Marvin

My next therapeutic session will be providing music for others during a Sunday at Six program at All Saints Episcopal Church of Selinsgrove.  Second Sunday at Six (10/13/2013).   My mother (Mariam) will accompany me with piano on four pieces. One selection will be for unaccompanied oboe.

The proposed program is a mix of traditional folk music, standard ballads (instrumental version) and film theme.  Hope to see you there — if you’re in this country or county.

Wonders of Work

There is nothing in the world other than art and oboe that I enjoy participating in more than WORK.  There are so many benefits to working that go beyond a paycheck.

I started my first job at age 17 at McDonalds.  I was assigned to the grill and made burgers, fries, milkshakes, egg McMuffins.   I had to clean floors and empty trash in the seating area.  Unless I had a rehearsal or concert, I worked exclusively on weekends. I was glad for the work and money. I never had the attitude that the “job” was beneath me or not appropriate to my future career. (Best employee 11/10/2012 – Kara)


By the time I was in college, I started working part-time as a tutor.  I tutored Music 101 students — non-music majors who needed assistance understanding the difference between the sounds of instruments and certain composers music.    I was a conscientious student. Though I was an art major, the music professors recommended I tutor students who needed help with their class.   I found ways to relate the student’s area of study to music and enjoyed working in an area related to my degree — education.

Before I graduated from college, I was hired for an official art teaching position.   I taught drawing, design & graphics, 9th grade general art, jewelry, pottery, art appreciation.   I formuled ideas, assignments, graded, displayed, prepared supplies, disciplined.   No one needed to monitor me.  I was self-motivated to do the best job possible.   After two years of temporary positions, I divided a paper into columns to mark the pros and cons of the current job, but decided to take a full-time position that required me to move. I retained the connection with music colleagues after the move.


I planned to remain in the school system for at least 10 years. I stayed 11.5 years. The entrepreneurial spirit that I exhibited since selling pewter jewelry at age 16 needed to be nurtured. I was 32 when I “retired.” The adventure of working every day had just begun.  I never needed someone to coach or prod me to work. I began building an amazing business that developed into a marvelous merging of art, and music. The final addition was a coffeehouse. A restaurant was not in the picture as I was growing up — definitely not a dream. But what a joy the inclusion of coffeehouse was to my art studio. Sometimes, it barely seemed like “work” even though I was on call about 98 hours a week.


I loved all my jobs that were destroyed by a hostile spousal takeover.  My pay was nothing to brag about, but the connection to my family of art, music and coffeehouse friends was “priceless.”

Heal Your Head

How to Heal your Mind

by Phyllis Capanna

Created on: March 20, 2008

First, accept that mind is not reality. Mind is not you. Mind is…mind.

Thoughts are to mind as clouds are to sky. Don’t get caught believing in your thoughts any more than you would believe in a cloud. They both pass. Notice, appreciate, admire even, but don’t believe them!

Heal your mind by ignoring it and attending to the moment. What is right in front of you? Pay full attention to it. Minute attention. Exquisite and rapt attention. Attend with the same sense of preciousness as you would if it were the last thing on earth you will ever be aware of.

// Heal your mind by feeding it well. Instead of listening and obeying, rise above and find high quality food for your mind. Read ideas that elevate and stretch your sense of what is possible. Discard consensus ideas! Consensus is based upon the lowest common denominator, what everyone can agree is possible. These ideas are useful for navigating in the world, but don’t believe them, either.

Learn a new skill. Follow your curiosity.

Listen to music. Better, make music.

Inhabit your body. This is a very effective way to heal the mind. Inhabit your hands, your belly, your legs . Pay attention to that amazing organism, the divine animal that you are. Stretch and feed the body. If you can’t do that, appreciate it for the miracle that it is. Think of whoever or whatever designed cells and mitochondria, cilia, corpuscles! Wow!

Heal your mind by talking lovingly out loud to yourself. Cherish yourself. Fall in love with yourself. If you can’t feel it, pretend. Just say the words.

Heal your mind by connecting with people you love. Strike up new friendships, especially with people you admire. Treat everyone as if they were God.

The mind is suggestible, malleable, and highly receptive. Keep it clean, like a mirror, then make sure to surround yourself with things that will make a reflection you enjoy dwelling upon.

It takes practice to begin to see the mind as something to rise above, to be able to see around behind it, and to place your awareness in the higher self that is pure, wise, calm, and joyful.

That practice, for many, is some form of meditation. For others, the meditation is in doing something well and completely. Others prefer the word contemplation. But whatever you do, don’t contemplate the contents of the mind. Instead, turn your awareness to the higher planes, the source of life, the mystery, the incomprehensible.

It is here that peace and healing exist.

It is here that you can begin to realize that you are already healed, already whole.

Love of Language

I already speak the universal language – MUSIC.   I speak fluent English.  I studied French 35 years ago (remember un peu).  Now I’m ready for Spanish.  I’ve spent a couple months listening to CDs.  I enjoy auditory learning 2nd best to hands-on training.   I just signed up for a new online program.   The concept of learning auditory, visually and by pressing buttons on my keyboard was appealing.   AND there are supposed to be lessons with songs and movies.   I’ve never been motivated by learning for grades nor for being paid to do the work I love.  Doing the best job possible and leaving a lasting result for humanity has always been my motivation. I’m an intrinsic learner.

Also came across this article on a blog:

Drive by Daniel Pink – Grades Can De-Motivate Us to Learn Spanish

Spanish Learning Motivation

Surprisingly, grades and other external motivators, can de-motivate us says Daniel Pink.

You might guess that getting a reward like money or a good grade would really motivate us to do something good like learn Spanish or any other language.

But according to Daniel Pink, author of “Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” that’s not how motivation works.

“Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money. [Or maybe grades Ed.] That’s a mistake. . . The secret to performance and satisfaction — at work, at school, and at home — is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.”

 Learn How To Motivate Yourself and Others

If you have ever found yourself less motivated to learn Spanish, French or your favorite language than you wish you were, then you should read Drive.   According to Daniel Pink, and a lot of careful scientific research that he cites, adding expected external motivators like money or grades often has the unexpected effect of reducing motivation.

Small children who like to draw, will spend less time drawing if you start giving them certificates for drawing.

If you are a teacher who needs to motivate your students, or you just want to learn how to motivate yourself, you will probably enjoy Drive by Daniel Pink.

Music Across the Lifespan

We all develop relationships with music.  Cheryl Dileo

Music enhances every stage of life no matter who we are. There is growing evidence of an in-utero response to music. The startle response is created by loud sounds and according to research, even the young life in the womb responds to these sounds. Infants can accurately identify their mother’s voice. Early on there is discrimination of melodic contour. Between ages 1-2 body movement can be incorporated into the music. It is unknown at what age a child’s brain mechanism impacting music perception and cognition are mature. That is why children need high exposure to a wide variety of sounds while the brain is forging neural networks. By age 4 when the brain’s left hemisphere has had time to develop, rhythm games involving sticks, shakers, tambourines and drums may be used. French composer Francois Couperin declared all children should start music by 6 or 7 and will benefit from a lifetime of enhanced interhemispheric brain activity. MRI studies have shown that the fibers in the corpus callosum which connect the left and right brain hemispheres are as much as 15% wider in musicians compared to non-musicians. Between ages 5-9 is a good time to start music lessons. During adolescent and teen years, young people begin to identify their own preferred styles and forms of music. Exposure to a variety of musical genres at concerts begins to open worlds of possibilities.

Most adolescents or adults can become competent on most instruments with sufficient training and practice. The nonmusical benefits like satisfaction, memory, creativity, relaxation and self-discipline may be as great or greater than the musical skills acquired.

For the elderly music might give an overall sense of wellbeing, providing relaxation and reduction of tension. Music can bring balance to an elder’s lifestyle. Music may arouse and bring recreation and leisure. Participating in musical activities whether singing in a choir or attending a concert can provide opportunities for sociability. Music stimulates connection to people and ideas. Music stimulates long-term memory retrieval and can maintain cognition especially if there are lyrics. Music, used with exercise and activities can strengthen extremity responses. Music is an excellent means of reminiscence, verbal communication and life review.

Music and Biology

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons and you will find it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body.  Oliver Wendell Holmes

Music has a symbiotic relationship with the body. The body can adapt to the music we hear and the body may influence how music is perceived. When the elements of music are applied appropriately to meet certain goals, the limbic system (emotional centre of the body) receives information which can adjust the physiologic system. Music is one of the most viable resources for putting the body at ease.

The limbic system is made up of a group of interconnected neural structures arranged in border-like fashion at the top of the brainstem surrounding the midline surfaces of the cerebral hemispheres. This system concerns itself with homeostatic processes of body temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, acid-base balance, sleep/wake cycles and fight-or-flight survival instincts. This system also moderates survival behaviors like thirst/hunger reflexes, sexual fulfillment drives, competition. Music, in particular melody, appeals to the limbic system. Music is nonverbal so it can move through the brain’s auditory cortex directly to the center of the limbic system. It may be used to calm down sensory input and dispel fears. It may also stimulate the senses and fire up activity. Music provides an environment of excitability or reassurance.

It is also this system that tags information for storage (hippocampus). When we hear music, our brains try to make an association through whatever visual, auditory and other sensory cues accompany it. We try to contextualize the sounds into our schema and eventually, we create memory links between a particular set of notes and a particular place, time or set of events. Music becomes cross-coded with the events of our lives. That is why music easily triggers associations. Hearing a melody years after an event takes place may “re-member” the neurological links or groupings and surface memories.

Music engages the auditory system (hearing) which is a vital connection to the vestibular system (balance, movement). Rhythm is a stimulus that instigates movement and can help integrate and organize the sensory system. Many experts suggest that it is the thythm of the music or the beat that has the calming effect on us although we may not be very conscious about it. Rhythm is the most important musical element that the body detects, attends to, and resonates with through neural entrainment. Entrainment is the rhythmic manifestation of resonance. With entrainment, a stronger external pulse does not just activate another pulse but actually causes the latter to move out of its own resonant frequency to match it. Music alters the performance of the nervous system primarily because of entrainment.Furthermore, electromyographic (EMG) studies of the electrical activity of muscle function show that auditroy cues can arouse and raise the excitability of spinal motor neurons. For example when you listen to a fast beat song, many times your foot will start to beat automatically in rhythm to that beat and then your heartbeat will follow. Music therapist Dorita Berger claims that internalizing rhythms through marching, beating a drum or tambourine will assist in body coordination, proprioceptive-tactile feedback and motor planning. Listening for rhythmic changes may bring about auditory focus, tracking, sound tolerance and depth perception.

There is sufficient evidence that music influeces the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and reduces anxiety, heart and respiratory rates. One study took forty patients who had recently suffered hear attacks and exposed them to “relaxing music” Results indicated that heart rate, respiratory rate and measurable states of anxiety were significantly reduced. Another study reported systolic blood pressure was significantly reduced in nine subjects who listened to music at 55 beats per second. Still another study reported that among patients who had been recently admitted to a coronary care unit after suffering heart attacks and exposed to music for 2 days had fewer complications than those who were not.

Studies also suggest that soothing music can affect stress and anxiety and influence our immune system. When the brain attends music and the auditory input is “safe”, neurotransmitters such as dopamine and sedating chemicals that calm and minimize systemic excitability are discharged. Whether it is the direct effect of the music or the effect of distraction, the person may momentarily forget her fear and anxiety.

Music and Spiritual Care

For the human heart and mind, music is a gift that brings hope and comfort through even the darkest times. In the midnight hour of the soul, when we feel most besieged by grief and alone in sorrow, music offers solace in the recognition that, although the rhythms of our lives fluctuate between joy and despair, the song remains.

Albert Lee Strickland

Music has a capacity to uncover our personal depths and pour completely into the crevices of our unknowns. It reinforces our values and beliefs.

Music can deepen us spiritually because it explores and may even uncover our personal depths. We may perceive ourselves and situations in ways that we don’t normally see them. Music satisfies the senses and emotional need. It may open the door to feelings of safety and greater spiritual experience. Music suggests meditative or quiet states. Music may provide a venue for adoration and worship, an important aspect of spiritual life. The structure of music itself lends itself to forgiveness and conflict resolution. Well designed music has a theme which develops suggestive of conflict and then resolves with a new perspective.

Music has a transcendent capacity. When we listen to soulful music or when we play soulful music, our inner existence immediately climbs up high and enters into something beyond. Music has been called the language of heaven.

In the context of mourning, songs take on the nature of lament, mourning the dead. Certain songs bring to mind memories that refresh our grief. The associative strength of melody may connect us to moments spent with our loved one, including the sounds, smells and feelings surrounding them. Musical lamentation may provide an emotional release for the bereaved. Music can help thaw and awaken paralyzed places and inspire us to begin living. Their may be heightened awareness to the lyrical themes which start us thinking about our own mortality. The strong connective, spiritual nature of music may keep us feeling close to our loved one over time.

Music and Life Care

Death is the one instance in which a picture does not say a thousand words, for in death it is not the disability or disfigurement, but the caresses, the gazes, the meticulous physical tending, the spiritual discoveries and the private emotions—spoken and unspoken—that truly convey what is happening. In the end, it is not the act of dying, but all those final moments of living, that are truly important.   Virginia Morris


Music may be most powerful at end of life. The capacity music has to connect, communicate and companion makes it a peaceful presence for those facing an end of life journey. When we are overcome by grief and sorrow, music offers solace.

Death is another life passage where music can accompany us. In fact it may be most effective during the end of life journey. Relationship completion is a significant part of dying. Palliative doctor, Ira Byock states there are five sentiments that permit relationships to reach completion once they are expressed. These are “I love you”, “thank you”, “forgive me”, “I forgive you” and “good-bye”. Songs can convey these messages more powerfully and completely than words alone. Throughout the ages, songs have been important vehicles for the expression of the deepest human feelings. While the use of sacred songs has reflected the spiritual dimension, it is popular songs that reflect the everyday sentiments of everlasting love, missing a partner, cherishing a friend and gratitude for all that has happened. Songs may help express these five sentiments and be helpful in relationship completion.

There are a number of reasons why music is now being recognized as a complementary treatment in palliation and why music therapists are part of the palliative team. Non-pharmacological strategies like music therapy promote relief in pain and symptom management. Music is used to promote relaxation, to reduce anxiety and to supplement other pain control methods. A terminal illness highlights every psychological dynamic in the person’s life—dysfunctional patterns of behavior, unhealed emotional wounds, troubling relationships and unfulfilled dreams. Music may facilitate accessibility into unresolved aspects of the person’s life. Reminiscence through songs provides life review.

Music may help people cope with loss of control. Songwriting and improvisation may give a sense of empowerment. Music can assist in release and closure by providing hope and dignity.

Introducing music in end of life must first come from a place of love and trust. Each death is unique and there are no formulas or guaranteed outcomes when using music.

Assess: Does the patient have a preference to a certain style of music like country or classical or steel drum? Ask. “Would you like to listen to…?” Or, you might say something like “Here is something that may help you sleep.” Or, “I have found this music very relaxing”. Be sensitive. Music is evocative and for a number of reasons, it may be difficult for a family member to hear a song that surfaces very personal and sometimes private memories or feelings.

Music and Caregiving

Songs are our connections to life. They connect us to our inner world; they bring us closer to others; they keep us company when we are alone. They articulate our beliefs and reaffirm our values. They arouse, they accompany and they release. And as the years pass, our songs bear witness to our lives and give voice to our experiences. They rekindle the past, reflect the present and project the future. Songs weave tales of our joys and sorrow; they express our dreams and disappointments, our fears and triumphs. They are our musical diaries, our life stories. They are the sounds of our development.  Kenneth Bruscia 1989

The healing power of music may bring soothing relief and support to both those who are requiring care and those who offer it. When a loved one or family member gets sick, caregiving becomes a priority. Sometimes, people have to take time off work or even take a leave of absence. The responsibilities become profound—it may even become a full time job for a time. Caregiving may be a chosen profession; the demands, nevertheless may be intense and exhausting. Music may have reciprocal benefit both to the patient and the caregiver

Music is a valuable resource in giving care to those who are sick. Music is a supportive resource. The associations made with music help with reminiscence and self-expression. Music provides background sounds and ambiance in a room that may be sterile or noisy. The interpersonal connection around a song can be strong and lasting. With support, there can be psychosocial benefits. Music can bring soothing relief. Music can affect perceived pain. It may provide a distraction, give the patient a sense of control and may help in relaxation. Slow placed music set at approximately 60 beats per minute stimulates Alpha state, the state of calm and can lessen heart rate and ease agitated breathing. Music can bring spiritual encouragement. A song may offer courage or peacefulness. It may bring comfort and help us to think about true things. Music may help us rise above pain or discomfort. Music can bring care to the caregiver (family, volunteer or professional). Music may provide emotional and spiritual preparation to ease transitions. Song lyrics may help put words around feelings. Music may bring relaxation for deep breathing and de-stressing.

Music may be used therapeutically with specific illnesses. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Dementia: Music may give meaning to the environment when other experiences are not understandable. Strokes: Rehabilitation in people who have had strokes can begin as soon as the person is medically stable. Music may restore physical functioning, socialization and emotional well-being in time. Parkinson’s: Music therapy has shown gait improvement in Parkinson’s patients according to a study by Dr. Michael Thaut.

Mood Disorders and Depression: Using music wisely and supportively can help people put words around what they may be feeling. Music may shift a person’s outlook.

Music for Healthcare

My heart which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary. Martin Luther (1483-1546)

There are a number of approaches for musical use in health care settings. Any approach relies on the inherent therapeutic possibilites of music to relieve stress, pain and promote well-being. While we often think of music being played in a concert hall, or on the radio or in a classroom, music as therapy is strong. The therapeutic use of music is not new. There are historical accounts of music being used therapeutically over the centuries. In the biblical account of David & Saul, David played his harp for King Saul to lift him out of his depression. In the Ancient Greek culture, Apollo was the god of music and medicine and he used music to drive out disease and return a person to a state of harmony and order. Alexander the Great was restored to sanity by the music of a lyre. Buddhist monks have been singing healing chants for over 2000 years. In 11th century France, “infirmary music” was used by nurses in care for the dying.

There are a number of approaches for musical use in the healthcare setting. Any approach relies on the inherent therapeutic possibilities of music to relieve stress and pain and promote well-being. Each one has distinguishing features. Music therapy involves a therapeutic process, a music therapist, and a relationship that develops through music and the process. Both the music and the therapeutic relationship serve as healing components. In music therapy there is a definable process with clinical goals and outcomes for every session. Music medicine is music used by medical personnel and allied health professionals as an adjunct to various medical treatments or situations. Examples of music medicine interventions include background music in waiting rooms or other areas or vibroacoustic therapy before surgery. Performing Arts medicine is the study and treatment of performance-related medical and psychological problems. For example, tendonitis is a common inflammation for musicians. Repetitive motion day after day for pianists and string players is an occupational hazard. Nodes and other inflammations of the vocal chords would be a common threat to singers. Programmes involving music may be developed by recreational therapists or chaplains or volunteers. The outcomes are often psychosocial and provide an opportunity for the healthcare institution to interface with the community at large.

Music has the capacity to appeal to the whole person and reach into every domain. Music making seems to activate and synchronize neural firing patterns that orchestrate and connect multiple cognitive brain sites. Music may activate areas in our brain most involved in emotional intelligence. Music has the capacity to surface and even unlock feelings that have been buried or traumatized. Music enhances social interaction. The presence of music favors greater person to person interactions and offers participation and engagement. Music may be used to increase attention and focus and regulate behaviors. Music may influence our muscle control and physical strength. Many trainers now use music combined with visualization to regulate movement and report reduced stress, increased focus and better performance times. Music offers intellectual stimulation, order and structure. The transcendent nature of music reaches into the unseen spiritual depths and may bring refreshment, calm, peace.

Music has the power to heal. Music therapist Dr. Deforia Lane says that 30 minutes of a music therapy session can boost the immune function and increase salivary IgA. Studies show that music has the potential to alter moods through lowered heart rate, and decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol. Music is used as a mood enhancer and regulator. Soothing music may reduce stress and anxiety. This is important because we know that both our immune system and memory is negatively impacted by chronic elevated stress levels. Researchers speculate that excess noise can raise blood pressure by 10%. Depending on the music you choose, music can calm you down or perk you up. Music can impact nearly any kind of blood flow response desired. Respiration is affected by music. Deeper, slower breaths per minute contribute to calmness, emotional control and better metabolism.

Music has spiritual power. According to Helen Bonny a well respected music therapist and creator of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) a psychotherapeutic programme using classical music, music can enhance our present life, enrich it and lead it in fulfilling directions. Music may uncover the depths of our inner person. It may also serve transcendentally and lift our spirits beyond our flesh.

There is an intrinsic quality about music that is social and to be shared. The fact that music is most often performed together in ensembles like bands, choirs and orchestras underlies this musical dynamic. Music is about relationship: among the performers, composers, audience.

Music can bring a sense of belonging especially if you are part of the ensemble. This may provide identity not just as a group but also as an individual and may provide meaning and purpose. The sense of contribution may bring empowerment and even ownership as an individual learns to take responsibility for their part in the music making. The structural nature of music may provide order in disrupted thinking. Music can also provide structure to routines by signaling when something begins or ends or signaling seasonal celebrations. Music provides a sense of enjoyment and enhances life. Listening or actively music-making, you can become more aware of feelings. The familiarity and comfort music offers may ease difficult transitions and support integration into new situations.

Comfort Tunes

U2 – Beautiful Day

This song kicked off U2’s memorable performance at halftime of Super Bowl XXXVI before a nation still grieving from the horrific events of September 11, 2001. The power of this anthem to comfort and encourage perseverance is possibly best represented by the first two lines of the song “The heart is a bloom / Shoots up from the stony ground.”

Sarah McLachlan – Angel

The simple beauty in Sarah McLachlan’s lyrics about seeking comfort and refuge “in the arms of an angel” are significantly enhanced by the ethereal beauty of her voice. This song is perfect for providing quiet comfort when the storms of life become intense.

Mariah Carey – Hero

This is one of Mariah Carey’s most enduring hits and is centered on the reassurance that ultimately the hero “lies in you.” The lyrics are delivered with the power of one of the great voices in pop music.

R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts

Beginning with the words “When the day is long and the night is yours alone,” and ending with “Everybody hurts. You are not alone,” this is a song to provide support that is needed to make it through painful darkness in life. No song has ever been more convincing in assuring you that you are truly not alone.

James Taylor – You’ve Got a Friend

There has never been a song that is a more powerful tribute to the value of friendship. Carole King wrote and recorded the original version, but it is James Taylor’s gentle performance that is the classic interpretation.

John Lennon – Imagine

This simple visionary song has given comfort to millions for nearly 35 years. The heart can find great solace in John Lennon’s vision of a world living and being “as one.”

Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

The spirit is guaranteed to brighten as Art Garfunkel’s voice takes flight in the final moments of this classic. At one point during its development, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was called simply “Hymn,” and it does indeed have a hymn-like quality celebrating the power of someone simply being there to help ease troubled times.

Beatles – Let It Be

There are many times in which the three words “Let it be” are “words of wisdom.” Although the lyrics may have originally been written in reference to interpersonal difficulties within the Beatles, the song does possess a universality that makes “Let It Be” one of the great pop songs of all time.

Sarah McLachlan – Angel

The simple beauty in Sarah McLachlan’s lyrics about seeking comfort and refuge “in the arms of an angel” are significantly enhanced by the ethereal beauty of her voice. This song is perfect for providing quiet comfort when the storms of life become intense.

Elton John’s 1973 album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Candle in the Wind was written originally in reply to Marilyn Monroe’s untimely death but contains the universal theme of loss.