Have you ever asked yourself why you felt depressing emotions over the course of a week or a month? Perhaps you felt sad for a year. Maybe you tried to change a million things, throwing yourself into a hobby or constantly surrounding yourself with people. Maybe you did these things so that you wouldn’t have to feel anything. Everything that was bad could just be completely forgotten, replaced by something “better.” But after awhile, the effects just wear off. Why is this? you wonder. Nothing seems to change for the better.
Then, you go to your car and turn on the radio. What’s playing? Maybe it’s rap with a ton of profanity, an angry tone with slurred words. Maybe it’s heavy metal with lyrics that you barely understand. How does it make you feel? Does it make you more angry? Maybe you like it because it’s relatable at that moment. So you just let it play, trying to enjoy this “distraction.” But what is it ultimately doing?
I’ve gone through long periods of listening to depressing music while doing enjoyable activities, like running and writing. So I understand why we would listen to music that may not send the most inspirational messages. Sometimes, breakup songs are nice. They remind us that we’re “not alone.” But the more those lyrics pile up in our minds, the more we learn to hate love, to hate the opposite sex, to hate the SUBJECTS that God wants us to love.
There are things in this world that are hateful, like lies, gossip, adultery, murder. But if we just listen to words condemning the people who do these things, we’re distracted from God and His messages. We’re distracted from the ability to love and to forgive. We’re distracted from the message that life DOES get better and that we are blessed. So even while we do the things that we enjoy, we’re still building up hate. Consuming our minds with awful messages while doing what we love is like bulking up our muscles instead of toning them. Instead of getting rid of what we don’t want, we’re adding the good onto the bad, using that as a way to justify what we are doing. But nothing’s really changing for the better.
I’m not saying that this will automatically make me stop listening to artists who are relatable and/or enjoyable, like Lana Del Rey. But it does make me want to listen to more uplifting music. There might not be a noticeable change right away, but at least I won’t be bulking up my mind with as much negativity.