You know that song- the one you turn to when you need a little oomph to get on with the day. The song that brings you back to a particular time and place, makes you feel joy, understanding or something else that words can’t describe.
The past few years have been incredibly difficult for people working in the music industry, yet it’s hard to imagine getting through the pandemic without their songs providing reprieve and solace. To contribute to AusMusic T-shirt Day, an initiative raising funds for SupportAct and the mental health and wellbeing of those working in the music industry, we wanted to recognise the crucial ways musicians support our collective wellbeing.
Something I love about music is its ability to trigger the mind-body connection. When I play one of my favourite songs, my fingers instinctively tap out the notes, my feet begin to move to the beat and my mind is suddenly absent of those nagging thoughts or concerns. In that moment - my mind and body connect.
Tiffany Valente, Psychologist at The Mind Room
The benefits of music on our wellbeing are well established throughout research. Recently, neuroscientists have collaborated with musicians to produce the most relaxing song in the world, and the NHS are trialling prescription playlists for Alzheimer’s patients and staff. One way these studies measure the effect of this music is by observing the heart rate of participants and noting that it tends to mirror the rhythm of the music. So whether it’s to bring us to a calmer state or lifting our energy, music goes straight to the heart. But there’s an aspect that seems impossible to measure yet almost needs no explanation at all, which is the way particular music speaks to you on a personal level. We asked our team to each share a song by an Aussie artist that supports their wellbeing.
Check out the playlist of hand-picked songs below. This playlist is to support our fundraising page for AusMusic T-shirt day, as a way of giving back to the music industry and raise money for SupportAct, who support their mental health and wellbeing. You can donate here.
And for more – check out more about why our staff picked their chosen songs below…
Jarrod White: Healer by Sampa the Great
“How does it support my wellbeing? I mean, besides it all being in the title, this song is soulful with a grounded rhythm, the harmonies are soothing, the background guitar is melodic. I chuck this song on to ground me in the beauty of simplicity when everything else feels chaotic.” – Jarrod
Tracy Connerty: It’s Nice to Be Alive by Ball Park Music
“Ever since this song came out in 2011 it has made me bop and boogie around the living room. Whether it comes up spontaneously or I put it on purposefully it instantly makes me feel grateful, joyous and sunshiney.” – Tracy
Alice Houghton : Feels Like We Only Go Backwards by Tame Impala
“This song supports my wellbeing because I feel silly and playful when I dance along :)” – Alice
Brodie Rowlands: Marliya by Spinifex Gum
“I was working at home with a shuffle playlist on the background and was pretty zoned-out to it. When the first line of Maryila came on, I stopped my work, turned to face the speaker and listened with all my attention. I played it on repeat for the rest of the day. Maryila is Yinjibarndi for bush honey, and the words are sung by the Maryila choir in such a joyous way. It might be my high school choir nerd rearing its head- but there’s something about soprano chorus that makes me feel calm and connected.” – Brodie
Zoe Smith: Cloudy Day by Tones And I
“Flo (my daughter) is starting to remember the lyrics and it’s an easy one to crank in the car, it’s uplifting and positive.” – Zoe Smith
Clea Smith: I am Woman by Helen Reddy
“I Am Woman makes me feel empowered, proud and ready to take on anything!” – Clea
Tash Roberts- Solar Power by Lorde
(technically not Aussie, but Tash is from NZ so we’ll let it slide…)
“I feel my best when it’s summer, and this song is the epitome of summer (and the video clip is Aotearoa beaches and sunshine, which I miss dearly). Summer to me is Vitamin D, swimming, dancing, road trips with friends, and long balmy nights. Listening to this fills me with anticipation for the long-awaited summer months.” – Tash
Jo Mitchell: I’m Good, Hilltop Hoods
“This song is ray of Aussie music sunshine made for tough times – It picks me up, spins me round and makes me laugh.” – Jo
Dylan Arnott: Bright Lights, Big City by East Journey
“It’s about how we live in a fast moving, shrinking global village with all the pressures and deadlines of modern life. How we forget to live in the moment and reflect that life is for living now; and how we can remain centered and strong and think about what is really important to us and remain balanced.” – Dylan
Hayley Matic: learnalilgivinanlovin by Gotye
“I have so so many songs, but one that I’ve rediscovered in lockdown times is learnalilgivinanlovin – full of joy! This song just makes me smile, it’s full of joy and celebrates the happiness that comes from sharing good things with those around us.” – Hayley