278 // Musical Mental Health Relief

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Music has always had the power to move people and to inspire people. There is something in music which cannot be found in any other art form or practice. The great William Shakespeare once said ‘If music is the food of love, play on’, and the philosopher Nietzsche said life without music would be a mistake. And they’re both right. Not only do you have heart-melting melodies out there, but music is able to tap into every emotion whether you thought you had them or not.

In the grand days of symphonies and orchestra, you could be taken on a journey through the highs and lows of a lifetime in only the length of a song. Although admittedly classical music songs go on for about 97 hours, and that’s if you find a short one. That aside pick any symphony from Beethoven or Mozart, through to Wagner and Bach. You will feel something you’ve never felt. That is why the vast majority of films are backed by classical music (OK, and they have no one singing while the actors are speaking, but still).

In the more modern era, above the melody and music though, we have had some spellbinding musicians inspiring us with their lyrics. The deft touch of a few words that would take Keats 3 poems to re-create. But with music it is possible, you can be inspired, moved and lifted. Just look and listen to Helen Reddy, when she sang;

You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer

This kind of lyricism was packed with as much verve as any revered poem. And people can draw from this like water from a well. They scoop it up and use it to get through their day. You may even have your own favourite song you turn to in certain moments. I would be no different. I find my strength in music and it is my mental armour. I think your musical armour though very much is defined by the era you grew up in and that is certainly true for me. I was a 90s kid but my teenage years were in the noughties and as such a lot my musical influences came from this time.

My musical mental armour comes in the form of the ‘Fast Food Rockers’, and their hit single the ‘Fast Food Song‘, released in 2003. And why wouldn’t it be? when it has lyrics like;

A Pizza Hut, a Pizza Hut
Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut
A Pizza Hut, a Pizza Hut
Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut
McDonald’s, McDonald’s
Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut
McDonald’s, McDonald’s
Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut

It might come as a surprise to you though that it is not actually the lyrics that give me the strength to carry on, nor is it the melody. It is purely from knowing Martyn, Lucy and Ria had to sing that song almost every day for about 2 years of their life. A test of character no one should be put through, but they did it. Unfortunately, as happens with so many creative people it is difficult to find that creative spark again and again; their second album* failed to sell. And this is the situation I found myself in over the summer.

I had been writing about my mental health every day for around 6 months* and whilst things were going OK, it was getting a bit repetitive. What I was doing is I’d discuss a grand scenario and then contrast that with my own situation in a ridiculous fashion about mental health – essentially what I am doing right now in this post at this very moment.

What was also happening is a lot of mental anguish, I realised this creative thing was just a ‘one trick, repeat until it dies’ kind of pony. And die it has. The approach nor the blog was satisfying to me anymore, hence why I stopped writing. Yesterday though I found new inspiration, a new drive* and channelled that back into the blog.

That is why I have started a new series on the blog called Winning An Oscar where I work each week to win an Oscar and then document my progress. I’m talking a real Oscar, one of those gold statues they give out on TV, one of those, and I don’t mean give out at a raffle either. I’m not doing it because I’m desperate to win an Oscar, but telling you I’m going to do it will motivate me to write each week and I really want to win an Oscar. The second new series for the blog will be the Mental Film Review, this is where I review a movie based on the way it deals with mental health.

Winning An Oscar will be posted every Friday (first one was posted today – click here to read) and the Mental Movie Review will be posted every Tuesday.

As for the daily mental health updates, those will slow down and be written as and when I have something interesting to say rather than repeating the same old stuff A Pizza Hut, a Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! I will still write longer articles on randoms topics too, but that is just whenever they come to mind. So there will be a minimum of 2 posts a week, but more than likely 3 or 4. I’m trying to get in a position where I’m writing 7 days a week again but not about the same thing every day. I just don’t have the mental or creative stamina to do it, I’ll admit it, I’m no Martyn, Lucy or Ria. They’re Lovin’ it!

Paul Green

*Yes, that is right, you heard me, they wrote a whole album. I use the pronoun ‘they’ loosely as I suspect there was some heavy-handed influence from some music producers. 

*OK, not quite 2 years.

*Not from the Fast Food Song.


Read more, it’s good for you.

Winning An Oscar // Week 1

270 // The Simple Trick To Writing Success

One Gender Stereotype We All Use


  1. notdonner

    Somehow I missed out on that part of my musical education. but I started hearing, “plop, plop. fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is after the last KFC lyric…. Have you stumbled across JazzIzn blog? Reviews a lot of old jazz -from 40s to 70s with links to youtube for some that I really get uplifted by…

    Liked by 1 person

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