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Comfort Found in a Minor Key: Music's Ability to Heal

Sometimes, the deepest emotions find comfort and companionship through the arts.

I've been told I have a resting sad face- you know, like some people are said to have a resting bitch face (Though - what an unfair term that is!)

Perhaps it is true. I have the propensity to lean into the serious side of life - where there is a sense of urgency and matter-ness to life. (And yet as I write this, I recognize the irony that for years I failed to believe that I mattered outside of anything I do for others.)

I've been learning lately how to be, not do.


That small two-letter word feels nearly impossible to achieve. (Ah! There I go again - trying to do).  

I recently realized that I tend to do so I don't have to feel the sorrows that percolate when I am trying to be.

Perhaps for that reason, the only place I feel the most comfortable being is at my piano when playing the somber works of Chopin or the effervescent sound landscapes of Debussy. Getting lost in the music, pouring my sorrows out over the keys, and connecting with the composer now long gone helps me soothe the usually inaccessible crevices of my soul in a way that no other thing, activity, or person can. 

For me, engaging in music is an active form of being.

Watercolor image of a woman crying

It's hard to express in words what music, an art form designed to express that which words cannot, means to me or how it touches my inner person. 

Perhaps science can explain how the vibrations of the sound waves interact with my physical form and transmute my inner being. Perhaps it will remain a mystery.

But for now, I continue to visit the piano in times of sorrow and let the somber tunes (preferably in the key of D Minor) soothe my aching soul that years in so deeply to be seen and understood.

As for my resting sad face, maybe the cure will simply be found in spending more time alone with the keys that provide me such comfort and knowing.


Food for Thought:

What practices do you turn to when needing to express feelings of sorrow or grief?

Some people turn to the arts, others somatic practices, time in nature, journaling, or in the company of friends.  

Remember, there is no right way. Do what works for you. 

As for me, you'll find me at my piano where comfort will be found in a minor key. 


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