Now that I've expanded my music business somewhat to also incorporate my passion as a youth empowerment coach, I find myself often talking to teens about the importance of finding healthy outlets for their emotions.
That's why I wanted to share a personal story with you today about my latest single "Soon": a song I wrote when I was just 14 years old, and the valuable life lessons I learned as a result in my own life. This song was about
forbidden love [hello Romeo and Juliet]
heartbreak [because what did I really know?]
... but while I look back at the song now, and can reflect on my rather obvious naiveté, "Soon" remains to be a powerful reminder of the emotions and subsequent life lessons that we all experience at different points in our lives... but more surprisingly: it continues to serve as a reminder of some of the important life lessons that even now: I sometimes need reminding of.
First: Let's Talk about Process
The process of songwriting can have a profound impact on the mental wellness of a songwriter - and certainly had a significant impact on my mental health as a teenager... so much so that I continue to experience the benefits of having written this particular song, and many others, to this day.
In fact, many of the songs that I've written throughout my lifetime not only served me in the moment [a la Soon], but continue to remind me of significant life lessons that I need to remember [a la Be Brave].
Today: I'd like to share three specific mental health benefits that I experienced from the songwriting process of "Soon"
As a teenager, I found solace in the power of writing "Soon". I discovered that writing the lyrics allowed me to express the emotions I was feeling at the time, and the music worked as almost a creative safety blanket which helped me process and understand those feelings better - without feeling overly sentimental [read: weak]. It was a cathartic experience that provided me with a healthy outlet for my feelings and set me on a path towards greater self-awareness and understanding around relationships and love.
Of course, during my teenage years, I often felt overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. However, by putting my emotions into song, I was able to release these feelings in a safe and controlled way, leading to a reduction in my anxiety and stress.
Writing music was always my love language, but especially during my teenage years when my self-esteem and confidence were fragile, I found that completing and performing my original songs was a huge boost to my confidence. It was a powerful reminder that my voice and my perspective were valuable and that I had something meaningful to say. Especially as the song came 9th in the Inaugural Play It Strange National Secondary Schools Songwriting competition, which led to the song gaining radio play, television coverage, and multiple performance opportunities.
But that was just the shiny stuff.
The fact is that the act of writing a song is a form of self-expression, and when we share our work with others, it often validates our experiences and helps us feel heard. This validation can have a profound impact on our sense of self-worth, leading to a boost in confidence and a greater sense of accomplishment - which is huge for any teenager.
Additionally, sharing a song with others can also provide a sense of connection and belonging. When we share our work, we are opening ourselves up to feedback, criticism, and support. This can be a valuable learning experience, helping us to grow and develop as songwriters and as individuals.
Finally, sharing a song with others can also help us to build resilience and overcome any fears we may have around face to face conversations [which seems to be a massive fear for the Gen Z teenager], public speaking, performing, or putting ourselves out there. By putting our work out into the world, we are taking a step towards greater self-confidence and personal growth.
The process of songwriting is a unique form of self-reflection and self-discovery, especially during the teenage years when we are experiencing so many new emotions and navigating complex relationships. Writing a song like Soon: about my experiences and emotions: forced me to delve deeper into my thoughts and feelings, providing valuable insights into my own personality and character.
In addition, the process of songwriting helped me to develop my emotional intelligence and empathy. As I wrote about my experiences and emotions, it was important for me to attempt to see the world from other perspectives, and take into consideration the feelings of others. This mere act helped me to build stronger relationships in reality, both with myself and with others, and to become a more empathetic and understanding person.
Furthermore, instead of bottling up my feelings, I was able to work through them in a meaningful and productive manner. This not only helped me to better understand myself but also to develop coping skills that I could apply in other areas of my life.
In conclusion, the process of writing a song was a valuable exercise in self-discovery, helping me to reflect on my experiences and emotions, understand myself better, and grow as a person. The skills I learned through the process of songwriting have stayed with me and continue to shape who I am today.
As a youth empowerment coach, I see the benefits of creative expression and songwriting every day in the young people I work with. Whether you are dealing with love, heartbreak, or hope, songwriting can provide a powerful outlet for your emotions and help you develop important life skills.
I encourage all young people to explore the power of creative expression and to find healthy ways to cope with their emotions. Whether it's through songwriting, painting, journaling, or any other form of self-expression, it can have a profound impact on your mental and emotional well-being.
So, grab a pen and paper, turn on some music, and start expressing yourself! You never know where it might take you.