Divorce anxiety grabs you in the gut and won’t let go. Relief is as close as the music on your phone or computer. Download the right pieces, and you’ll salve your divorce agony.
After I kicked out my ex, there was satisfaction but a deep sense of loss too. The heartache was palpable; everything we’d built was gone. Our Ozzie and Harriet veneer had cracked. One friend said, “How can you be divorcing him? You had the perfect life.” I felt so alone.
I turned to music and four tunes sustained me, I played them over and over. Here’s what they were and what they did for me:
When I felt the emptiness – that big gaping hole no matter how amicable or ugly the divorce, I blasted Janice Joplin’s Bobbie McGee.The sadness in her voice, combined with the acceptance that it couldn’t have lasted with me knowing someone else felt my anguish. Misery may love company, but it sure felt good to sing at the top of my lungs and cry my eyeballs out at the same time.
Strangely enough, when I floated Carlos Nakai’s Canyon Trilogy during meal times, I ate less. Gentle, calming music kept me from face-planting into Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. I avoided the “food as mother” syndrome thanks to the mood calming gentle flute. According to research, there’s a reason for it. Soothing music slows you down. You take more time to eat meals and you feel full sooner when you eat at a slow pace.
We’re not talking about improving memory here. It’s all about facing the reality you’ve conveniently shoved out of your mind. Try the song You Can't Always Get What You Want (but Sometimes You Get What You Need) by The Rolling Stones. I’d turn up the volume, sing at the top of my lungs (it was all very dramatic) and remind myself that life isn’t fair, but sometimes – in fact most of the time – that nasty twist of fate called divorce is precisely what is needed to get to a better life. Agonizing to admit? You bet. But having Mick Jagger tell me there was a reason to get past the pity party was reassuring – and I tried harder.
During my divorce recovery, I tried everything to get out from behind that big black curtain of depression; I took antidepressants. My therapist was my new best friend. I cried at sad music to get the tears out and to match my misery. I watched Saturday Night Live to get laughter into my life. They all contributed to navigating through divorce depression.
One piece of music, however, took me on a journey to joy. Beethoven's Ode to Joy. From the opening searching disjointed notes to a roaring, joyously stand-up-and-cheer finish, you’re amazed to find yourself suddenly on your feet shouting “Bravo!” in your own living room. It’s not just me who shouts the praises of this music. This brilliant message of joy was pumped through loudspeakers to revitalize protesters in Tiananmen Square. In 1989, David Hasselhoff serenaded the world with it as the Berlin Wall came down. There is a joy so profound in this music that for a few moments, there is peace, love and hope in life. Yes, Ode to Joy reduces depression during divorce recovery.
We’ve all cried to Adele’s Hello. It touches the melancholy drama of relationships, especially during divorce. If you need to cry, it’s a winner. Finding the right songs – with the right message at the right time during your divorce recovery – is salve for your weary soul. Pain in divorce is universal. Listen carefully to the words of the songs you’re hearing. Some offer reconciliation for your wounded heart. Use my list above, or create your own. Help is as close as the playlist on your phone.