Hi hello, I’m Julissa Gautier and I’m a sophomore Pop major at William Paterson University. When I’m not working on music related things, I can be found working with makeup at Sephora.

Music & Mental Health

As the stigma around mental health continues to be fought, more people are taking to social media to share how music & mental health have become extremely intertwined due to the power of lyrics and feeling as though you aren’t completely alone. Friends and family have told some of these stories to me. I have also felt the impact of music on my mental health.

The 1975 at MSG // 06.01.17

I’ve struggled with various mental illnesses and toxic relationships throughout the last 6 or so years. In that time, I have found so much comfort in my favorite bands and musicians. I’m living proof of the power of music, so here’s my truth on the power of music. At my worst points, I have turned to live shows and the connection between the strangers cramped into general admission. I feel at peace with my existence in those time, even if it’s just for a bit. It has helped me reevaluate things with fresh eyes. In some cases, it has inspired me to leave the aforementioned toxic relationships.

My Truth

There are plenty of songs that, whenever I hear them, remind me of an exact situation or feeling. I always remember how they helped me in those times. A prime example is when, in November of 2016, I saw All Time Low with one of my best friends and she decided that their song “Missing You” would be My Song, due to the incredibly tough time I was going through then. To this day, if she sees that I’m having a tougher than usual day, she’ll either send me the video of when they played it live at our show or this:

Other bands or artists I still find myself turning to include The 1975, Halsey, Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and Cage the Elephant. All throughout high school and even now, I find myself sitting alone in the dark listening to some of their music. To me, those hours are a cathartic reset. When I come out to civilization again and my friends or parents ask me if I really just spent a full 24 hours sitting in the dark listening to relatively sad music, I have no choice but to look at them like:

To me, the true power of music is in the emotions it makes you express. There are certain songs that I will always have a reaction to. One of my favorite examples of this is anytime I hear “Hourglass” by Catfish and the Bottlemen. I will cry, without a doubt, by the end of the chorus. My friends who listen to this song have similar reactions. Honestly, it’s become such a normal reaction that when people don’t cry, I’m confused. There’s a moment where I question their existence and kind of look like:

My Conclusion

The power of music is something beyond understanding. You never truly understand until it has impacted you. I was seconds away from falling off a tightrope just 6 months ago, and because of Halsey and other artists who released songs that expressed just what I needed to hear, I was able to regain my balance. Bands like All Time Low have saved the lives of so many of those care about. Music may just be the most powerful concept in the world. It unites and makes us feel, even when we’re terrified to.

Oh, and in case you wanted a few songs to listen to in the dark when you’re in need of a cathartic reset, I put a few of my favorites in a nifty little playlist for you. Enjoy and happy Feeling.

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