Making the Perfect Playlist
Surviving Military Deployments
If you are feeling empty, lost, lonely, stressed, anxious, and sad then keep reading! If your spouse is gone on deployment, training, or is planning on leaving…stick around.
Not only can I relate, but I have a remedy for your woes and it comes in the form of music. All you need to do is listen to music with purpose! And feel the soothing effects of music your emotional pain.
Not much compares to not being able to talk to your spouse for days, weeks, or sometimes for months on end. I have been fortunate that to this date I have only gone a few months without talking to my husband. Regardless of the count, it is still painfully difficult. I believe, being humans and all, that we were made for having relationships. I personally thrive off of my close relationships. My relationships have to be purposeful, close, meaningful, and I rely on them. If you are like me, then anytime your spouse leaves… those feelings of loneliness and anxiety feel 10x worse. If you find yourself losing your “coping skills” and getting lost in the feelings of loneliness please know it doesn’t have to be that way.
When my husband is gone, I do a lot of self-care, meditation, and distraction (aka busyness). Sometimes I need a kick in the pants. And yes, I do these things while working full-time outside the home and herding my 3 boys to stay in the pack. I use the power of music for almost everything in my life. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy, so not only am I personally attracted to music but I am trained in HOW to use music to move and change our moods. Sometimes all the self-care in the world, daily meditation, and busyness doesn’t feel enough when I am home alone at night. Despite having my 3 boys home, I still feel alone and OVERWHELMED! Can I get an Hooah?! So when I need to find comfort when no one else is able to provide that to me or it’s the middle of the night… then I turn to music.
Now, before I get to the playlist, let me explain why this playlist is better than most. I have searched for deployment playlists and I have found very little. When I create a playlist, I do it based on a state of mind or mood that I am hoping to enhance. Most of the playlists out there online are generally curated (meaning they are generated based on words and not a feeling). Some playlists make more sad! I don’t want to be reminded my husband is gone, I want something to help me get through it.
The other reason my playlist is rockn’ is because there is more to creating a playlist than just picking songs on a topic. There is the aspect of the genre, tempo/rhythm, lyrics, and the overall feeling of the music. If I wanted you to feel better after listening to a playlist of songs, I wouldn’t include slow and sad songs about your loved one being gone. That is beneficial for a good cry (which I don’t deny is needed the first 3 days after they leave). But when you need a pick me up and the opportunity to improve your mood, you need something uplifting.
The purpose of this playlist is to PICK YOU UP! Help you to feel confident handling life while your spouse is gone, help you to feel motivated, help you to get through your week, and help change your “woe is me” mood. A little disclaimer, it is difficult to create a playlist for the general audience, because you need to enjoy the music in in order for it to have a positive effect on your mood. So some of you may take it or leave it, but at least you can get started on creating your own playlist. As a trained music therapist, I would have to assess your individual needs to determine what type of music would be on your playlist. I will however explain why I picked each selection, music therapists call this lyric analysis. The music chosen is mostly upbeat because we are working on uplifting your mood!
- How many times has your spouse had to say to you… “Honey we are safe. No need to worry.”? Repeat this phrase: “Even if the sky is falling down I know that we’ll be safe and sound.” Safe and Sound by Capitol Cities
- When you are going, going, going, and there is no end in site and you need the motivation to keep ON going…“I will put my armor on show you how strong I am …I am unstoppable. … I don’t need batteries today”. Unstoppable by Sia
- You can do this. Keep on keeping on. You can do anything if it’s not forever. “If you’re lost and alone and sinking like a stone carry on” Carry On by Fun
- For when you need to hear you are loved. “Somebody misses you when you’re away” Somebody Loves You by Betty Who
- You don’t have to feel alone. There are a lot of us going through the same thing. Lean on your support. “Hey I know what you’re going through., but don’t let it get the best of you I know you’ll make it out alive. Keep your head up nothing lasts forever”. People Like Us by Kelly Clarkson
- Although your spouse is gone, your heart has a home. “Though your feet may take me far from you I know wherever is your heart I call home.” Wherever is your heart by Brandi Carlile
- Whatever happened today, shake it off. Tomorrow is a new day. “But I keep on cruising, can’t stop, won’t stop grooving, it’s like I got this music playing in my mind saying it’s going to be all right”. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
- You have to keep your mind moving to pass the days. “I been keeping busy all the time. Just to try to keep you off my mind” Jet Lag by Simple Plan
- We do a lot of waiting. You are strong. You are brave. Be confident while you wait. “Now I’ll be bold as well as strong. And use my head along side my heart” I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons.
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Military Strong. “Cause it makes me that stronger. Makes me work a little bit harder. It makes me that much wiser. So thanks for making a fighter” Fighter by Christina Aguilera
You can listen to all the songs here on my own playlist I made! I hope you have been inspired to make your own playlist and listen to music a little more purposefully in your life. Whether it be for surviving a deployment, divorce, or depression music makes the pain fade away.
“Dear music: thank you for always clearing my head, healing my heart, and lifting my spirits.” -Lori Deschene