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Stressful Times Call For Good Music

Melissa Weinstein

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Mondays are hard. Especially when those Mondays are full of back-to-back classes from 9:45 am to 8:00 pm followed by meetings, extracurriculars, a part time job, and let’s not forget that 10 page paper you neglected to write until the very last minute! How can you turn it in earlier though when you have a midterm to study for and a group project to prioritize? Then you’re expected to exercise and eat healthy while also making time to have a thriving social life. I don’t think so.

I was recently asked by a coworker how I handle stress. My first instinct was to say, “I don’t.”

There have been far too many nights where I simply break down and call my parents in tears, as the stress builds and builds until my head feels like it’s about to explode. They’re used to it by now, but I’m sure it’s no fun hearing your daughter sob on the other line, unable to help due to the inconvenient three hour drive from New Jersey to DC.

Although it might seem like it, I don’t actually call my parents crying every single night. I wondered, however, how do I actually handle stress?

I thought back to one of those particularly draining Mondays. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted, and was way too tired to talk about my day with anyone, let alone my parents. Reliving that roller coaster was the last thing I wanted to do while making the late night trek back to my apartment. I instinctively took out my headphones and plugged them into my phone, realizing I hadn’t listened to music in a while. The first song that started playing was “I Will” by The Beatles.

My head began to clear as Paul McCartney’s soothing voice brought me back to the days when my mom would sing me to sleep with this very song. All of the sudden my problems seemed a little less overwhelming, and I finally took one long deep breath as the short but sweet melody came to an end. I continued to play the remainder of the White Album, and even made the trip to a practice room the next day so I could play piano and work on some of my own songs.

Music is how I handle stress. When I don’t get enough of it I shut down. It is my version of self care and one of the only things that reminds me to look at the bigger picture in life. So, whenever you see someone with their headphones in, just remember, they’re probably not trying to ignore you. The goal is to shut out the world, and get back to what matters most.

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