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Music Therapy: How Music Saves Me From Depression.

September 5, 2014Will Leffert

My day started off a little rough. I woke up from a rather uncomfortable dream, that brought me down a significant amount throughout the day.

It's hard to tell anymore, but I used to suffer from a fair amount of depression. I had few people I was truly close to, and even fewer I could rely on. It's still that way, for the most part, but now I'm fairly self-sufficient, and actually enjoy being my own fortress of solitude (hey, I'm a geek, I'm allowed to make the reference).

The dream, however, made me feel as if I was my 12 year old self in my 31 year old body.

By mid-afternoon, I was already thinking about writing about how I suffered from depression, and how the dream affected me.

I then remembered.. I have headphones in my bike bag.

I plugged them in to my phone, and loaded up a playlist of tunes to bring my mind back to being beautiful.

George Benson's "The Other Side Of Abbey Road" started the feel-good mix. While it's technically a cover album (if you're a Beatles fan, you'll know the album), it is so well done that, to me, it rivals the original.

After that, we switched over to a little Muddy Waters (some of his early London recordings).

Then, Guy Forsyth. One tune in particular, this time around: Red Dirt. Guy has been a favorite of mine for some time, and I'm hard pressed to find a tune of his that I don't appreciate.

Following that, a little bit of something most wouldn't expect to be a part of an uplifting mix.. Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Beautiful in it's darkness, this rich composition exercises my mind in ways few others can. I grew up a classical performer, and thrive on pieces like this.

Finally, a tune I played in my college years; Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good". You don't know joy until you are blasting out the bass trombone part to this tune.

This playlist took a body that was feeling heavy, eyes that were tired, and a mind that was weak, and brought it all back to reality.

If it weren't for music, I'd be sitting here moping, possibly writing a negative post about depression, and going to bed early.

Instead, I'm planning my schedule to finish up the last bits of the new album (that's right, the blues album is almost done; I just have to record bass and percussion), listening to more music, and writing this post to share with you.

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