A Natural Anti-Depressant

Rachel More

Two days after my beloved mother died suddenly and shockingly last year, I sang.

Yes, it may sound odd, but I had been booked to sing in the grounds of a beautiful pub in the countryside with a saxophonist friend and colleague of mine. I really wasn’t sure if I could do it and debated the prospect with a million thoughts racing through my poor grief addled mind. Would it be disrespectful? Could I sing some of my Mum’s favourite songs without breaking down? Could I keep my composure?

Out of a sense of part duty but also part knowing that singing helped me cope with my Dad’s death only a few years before, I gritted my teeth, put on my make-up and headed off to the gig.

It was a beautiful, bright sunny afternoon. I remember looking around at all the intergenerational families sitting out enjoying the sun with their drinks completely oblivious to my loss. With grief so raw and deep you feel it is etched on your face like some horrible badge but I soon realised it can be masked with a smile and appear invisible to the naked eye. As we set up the equipment and I plugged in my microphone and placed it on the stand I remember taking a big deep breath for luck and then launching into the first song.

My voice was still there like a consistent loyal friend unswerved by recent events. It gave me confidence and almost immediately I felt cloaked in a sea of warmth as I focused on the song, the words and the audience in front of me. I felt my whole body relax as I allowed myself to get lost in the music and distracted away from the terrible events of two days prior. “Dr Singing” had triumphed again and come through for me when I most needed it proving yet again that it can transcend time, place and status.

The rest of the gig went well, and I felt during and afterwards as if I had been given a large shot of the most incredible anti-depressant as my mood instantly lifted and I knew that I could go again and again to this most marvellous place of distraction if or when the darker moments came.

In an ideal world everyone should be able to tap into this incredible, most natural, resource singing and the myriad of benefits it can provide.

I totally get that life can throw you off balance sometimes and it is good to have certain “go to” tools to help you through. Singing is one of the greatest tools, it is scientifically proven to be.

If this resonates with you in any way, please feel free to get in touch and we can talk about how this may be of benefit to you.

P.S. The accompanying photo is an actual one of me and Wendy taken after the gig on that sunny afternoon. It was the first time in the two days since my Mother’s death that I had been able to smile and be seen without sunglasses on in public.

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