Where family and friends can share memories of loved ones
Music and grief

Music and grief

Many people have written songs that cover loss, of all types, and grief in it’s very many forms.
We have been reflecting on the power of music to help us assimilate thoughts, emotions and grief. But also the tremendous power music has to immerse us in memories of people, times and places in a positive, healing way.

Why is music so powerful?

Music helps us honour the memory of our loved ones. It can reconnect us, discovering emotions and memories of special times with our loved one.

Music can feel like a companion during times of loss. It can help you to express the pain of grief, adapt to loss, manage thoughts and emotions and sometimes feel a sense of ‘normality’ or relief.

Music can be extremely healing. It takes us back to a time when we felt something — happiness, sadness, gratefulness — whatever it is, when we hear it, we are transported back in time. Music allows us to access our deepest emotions, helping us discover, experience and accept them fully.

Music has words that can be meaningful. Those words can resonate deeply, especially when our own words feel impossible to find in the process of grieving.

Music is connected to a pleasure centre of our brain. This is where feel-good neurotransmitters congregate and make us feel good when we engage in certain things. This can help to offset the negative emotions, stress, out of control feelings and other effects of grief.

So listening to music when grieving has many powerful benefits. At any time in life music is known to help us –

  • Remember the good times (and the not so good times)
  • Discover hidden feelings
  • Feel more and be connected to those feelings
  • Say goodbye
  • Direct and channel emotions
  • Create a safe space for grief
  • Connect body and mind
  • Transform pain into beauty
  • Connect with others in new ways
  • Explore words that explain how we feel when we struggle to do that alone

Music also offers a variety of health benefits, reducing stress, easing depression, and boosting the immune system. 

Meaningful songs

There are so many songs that are meaningful to someone specifically, because of the personal memories they hold. But there are also many songs that have universal “messages” around grief and loss. Here are just some that we find beautiful.

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

Victor Hugo, William Shakespeare

“Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.“

Plato

“Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.”

George Eliott