Talking about mental health
Posted by
19th Oct 2013

When I was a child, I guess the society we lived in was what could only be described as 'normative'. Sometimes it was excessively so, in my (not always humble) opinion.

Any sign of individuality was frowned upon - maybe not overtly, but there was a distinct feeling that if you stood out, you'd be picked on. Especially if you had ginger hair, like I did.

But time moved on, and indie music happened, and suddenly there were famous musicians recording whole albums that - although I didn't yet know it - were clearly influenced by experiences of clinical depression. Notable examples include Seventeen Seconds by The Cure, The Smiths' eponymous debut album, and of course the mighty Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division.

It was only later, when I suffered from depression myself, that I realised just how much a contribution pop music had made to openness and understanding of mental health issues.It gave me something to relate to when convalescence came, although I will openly admit that during the midst of depression, I wasn't giving any thought to the value of artistic endeavour.

These days, though, I no longer listen to classic records that explore those themes - for some reason I've become obsessed with warm, floaty ambient music. It's a bit like mindfulness meditation - a sort of warm enveloping thing with no rhythm or lyrics - just an ambient space for the mind to wander into and relax.

Which brings me to my question: what music do you listen to that helps you feel good? I'd be really interested to hear. And I promise not to make any music snob type value judgements on your listening tastes!

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