Using Music and Sound for Mental + Emotional Healing

Another week has gone by, and today I decided to go out to write my blog post. So I’m sitting on a cafe here in Oslo sipping a chai latte as I write. Recently I’ve mostly been writing from home, because things were closed down for a little bit, but now the stores and cafes are mostly open again, so that’s good. Although I don’t normally mind being at home, enjoying my own company, I also do like to get out and be social. It’s getting a little much with all these lockdowns and social distancing now, I feel. I’m ready to go out and dance and hug and meet new people! Oh well, all in time…

This week’s blog topic is one that is near and dear to my heart. Music is something that has always been important to me, and I have been singing for as long as I can remember really. I also learned to play the organ and keyboard as a child and teen, and all this has given me so much joy and comfort over the years. Music has been my constant companion in life, as I have gone through my ups and downs. In fact, I believe it has saved me more than once. When I experienced my first bout of depression and anxiety around the age of 20, music was one of the elements that brought me through it. “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. was on repeat during that time. It was a comfort to know that I wasn’t alone in hurting in the world, and that is one of the powers of music. Making you feel like someone else understands and has been through what you’re going through, whatever it might be.

When I later on began to write music myself, it became important to me to share my own experiences truthfully and authentically through my music, in the hope that others may resonate with it. I hoped that my music could help heal and uplift in the same way that other people’s music had helped me. In fact, that is even the reason why I chose the name, Sweet Annie, as my artist name. Sweet Annie is the name of a healing herb, and I felt that it reflected my desire to help bring healing to people through my music. Although I write about all kinds of topics, I do believe there is always an element of healing in my songs. At least, that is my goal, although it may be more apparent in some songs more than others.

What is great about music too, is that all kinds of music can be healing in different ways. I like to listen to a lot of different genres and styles of music, depending on my mood. I love a good EDM song if I’m in a good mood and want to dance, but if I feel a dark and heavy energy, I can just as easily listen to some heavy metal. Music can express different moods, and uplift your energy in many different ways (as everything has its opposites, music can also bring you down and be destructive, but that is a topic for another blog, and will not be my focus here and now). All in all, if you like the music, and you feel that it contributes to your life in some way, then that is always a good thing, no matter the style of music you prefer.

Once I started exploring yoga and vibrational healing, I found another element in music and sound that can be used for healing perhaps in a more direct way. Sound healing is one of the most powerful alternative healing methods I know. When you see how much power even regular music has in bringing about a change in your state of mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that sound has been used for millennia as a healing tool. I think we have only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to its power in healing the mind, body and spirit. Research studies have found it to be an effective tool to reduce pain, stress, anxiety and more. I have certainly experienced all those benefits myself. Even when I myself perform sound healing, it is also healing for me.

There are many different approaches to sound healing. Personally I use alchemical crystal singing bowls and my voice primarily, but I also have Tibetan chimes and have used the gong a lot in the past, especially in my yoga classes. I am a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, a yoga style where mantra is used prominently, something I find adds a whole other element to the practice. Words have power, and when combined with sound in the way mantras do, they can bring about profound healing and elevated states of consciousness. Especially when done in groups, the effect is exponential, but it’s still great to do on your own too. Toning and crystal bowls can be combined to great effect, and I usually use them together in my private sessions as well as in workshops. Light language is also a beautiful practice that I sometimes incorporate.

Meditation and sound often go together hand in hand, and I enjoy creating pure sound meditations, as well as guided meditations, where sound healing is also incorporated. Mantra meditations is something that I do every day, and can’t imagine a day without it. Using sound as a healing tool, and uplift yourself mentally and emotionally, is something I can wholeheartedly recommend. If you haven’t tried it yet, I invite you to! Feel free to check out my own sound healing meditations here, or you can also search and enjoy plenty of them on YouTube and other places.

I hope you take some time to explore sound healing this week and beyond. Sending you lots of love & light!

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