How Music Can Play a Role in Grieving

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Thursday, December 28, 2023

Music has been around since the dawn of humanity. Since then, it has played many key roles in society. Music can help tell stories, convey feelings, and process emotions. Music can play a key role in motivating you through chores or getting you through the workday. When you feel overwhelmed with grief, music can help provide an outlet for your feelings. Sometimes a sad song is all you need to start crying. A bright, poppy song can act as an emotional pick-me-up. In this article, we will discuss how music can help you navigate grief. 

Music as a Universal Language

    Words may not always suffice when dealing with complex emotions of loss and grief. However, music can often reach depths that words cannot. Notes from a violin or guitar can hit you differently. Even the sorrow of a singer’s voice, no matter the lyrics can move you. Overall, different melodies and harmonies can affect us on a deep, emotional level without needing words to articulate feelings. Even songs without lyrics, or those in languages you don’t understand can illicit an emotional response. 

Processing Grief Through Listening

    The right music can help push emotions to the surface. This can be important if you have been fighting the emotions you are feeling. Often, we feel like we have to put on a brave face against grief, especially when other family members are grieving too. But a playlist of sad songs can help you release these bottled-up feelings. Engaging with music can also trigger dopamine responses, creating feelings of pleasure. Music that makes you feel good can be important when overwhelmed with grief or loss.

Expressing Emotions Through Playing Music

    Playing music or singing songs can help you express emotions as well. Even alone in your room or singing in the shower, music can be an important vessel for your emotions. Playing an instrument or singing can act like a release valve for your feelings. This cathartic release is a therapeutic way to cope with the weight of your emotions. For some, writing songs can be a way to express your emotions in a creative outlet. 

Music and Memories

    Music can also be a good way to connect with memories. Songs from your childhood can often elicit an emotional response from associated memories. Try listening to music you enjoyed with your loved one or even some of their favorite artists. Consider looking through their albums or playlists to find music that you used to listen to together. 

Music as a Tool For Grief

    Grief is a very personal and complex emotion. People process and express grief in different ways. But, music offers a variety of tools for expressing, coping with, and working through grief. Music can touch us in ways that words cannot, and at depths we often forget is possible. In times of turmoil, loss, and personal pain, music can heal and uplift us. When dealing with grief, it is important to recognize musical outlets as an important tool in your arsenal. Grief and loss take time and patience to reconcile. But hopefully, music can bring a bit more color back to your life.

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are several resources out there. For our Grief Resource Center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here

For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.


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