Home » VulnerABILITY Podcast » Episode 54 – The Healing Power Of Music (ft. Tim Ringgold)

In this episode of the VulnerABILITY Podcast, Marisa connects with Tim Ringgold MT-BC—a speaker, author, and music therapist—to discuss the healing power of music. In Episode 54, they discuss pain and healing, high and low moments of life, and how music (or whatever else we listen to) can become a powerful catalyst for energy, healing, and self-love.

Highlights from the Episode:

[1:45] “Music was just this wonderful expression, it was this form of entertainment, education… but it wasn’t really until I hit rock bottom that I really let the real power of music be revealed.”

[2:45] “I’m twenty-two. It’s April 18th, 1995, and while I’m at a concert (ironically, shouting my head off to music), about ten minutes away, my five best friends were just murdered.”

[3:50] “No amount of drugs, alcohol, porn food… like, I’d tried all of it, I’d stack behaviors to try to numb the pain. Nothing worked all week. But the music did. And since that moment, basically, I dedicated my life to helping others reach for music in their lowest and toughest times.”

[6:15] “Grief is qualitative, not quantitative.”

[7:20] “I think that’s just how we are, as a culture. We don’t know what to do with it [grief]. And complex grief, of course, then we just bury because no one talks about it. No one wants to share it. And we live in such a happy-obsessed culture that we don’t want to process it. But that doesn’t mean it goes away; it’s just a scab. So then you have something else happen later and it triggers the unprocessed grief from before on top of the current grief.”

[8:05] “Sometimes life sends you such a challenge you can’t ignore it, and you can’t pretend, and you can’t attempt to rely on your existing coping skills to solve the current problem because the problem is literally too intense.”

[9:00] “Our body changes gear almost instantly when processing music.”

[9:30] “Think about the time music saved you – and automatically people have a story… This is a very common experience. We have all been the recipient of the transformative power, the healing power of music.”

[10:25] “How do you use music, not to just entertain yourself, but to really get by? How has music helped you get through? How has music helped you get over, or get past, or get beyond?”

[10:40] “What’s beautiful is that my music does the same thing for me as your music does for you.”

[12:20] “For me… music has always been such a release. I don’t have to put on a front, I don’t have to take care of anybody, I don’t have to look, or feel, or act, or be a certain way. I’m able to just show up and listen and that’s such a weight lifted. And with the pandemic, not having the ability to do that in the same capacity… it’s just so different.”

[13:20] “The live music is the energy that the artists are physically just generating through the music that we, as the audience, feel in that moment. Because we are in the same time and the shared space. It’s a shared moment. And being human is a shared experience. So there’s this humanness in the collective giving and receiving and music for the audience, and then the audience giving it back.”

[15:30] “The psychological effects of engaging in live music-making. It creates an altered state of consciousness for the body. It doesn’t just regulate the nervous system and bring it to a relaxed state. It creates a transcendent state.”

[21:20] “Music is this unconditional, authentic voice in our life. And so we trust it, oftentimes when we don’t trust people. That connection is still alive and strong, and it’s really important right now for people to reach for their music, and stay connected, one-on-one, with their music.”

[25:20] “Our screens are designed to capture and keep our attention for longer and longer periods of time. So what happens when we get stressed? We reach for something. That’s the stress response. We want to self-soothe. And so screens are the easiest way to self-soothe.”

[26:50] “Let’s reach for music instead. Let’s go on a fifteen-minute, guided journey. The slow-tempo music will slow down your nervous system. The prompts will take you back to someplace where your nervous system was at a peak state, you’ll experience it like it’s reality, and you’ll come back at your best.”

[30:05] “We use music as an escape, but we don’t use it all the time intentionally.”

[31:40] “Perhaps thinking about music in this different way and using it as a vehicle for healing, as a vehicle for a different mindset could be really powerful.”

[33:25] “You don’t need to be musical, you don’t need to consider yourself a musician. But when you bring the music on center stage, even as a fan, and the music takes the stage – that can just be, in the moment, what you need.”

[33:50] “Think of your music as a part of your self-care toolkit.”

[38:30] “How are we being intentional with what we have? Maybe it’s different, maybe it sucks, maybe it’s incredibly difficult… but how can we be intentional with what we have? With people? With relationships? With music?”

[39:00] “How can we be active listeners? How can we music as a tool rather than something in the background?”

Recommended Resources:

  • Check out Tim’s website to learn more about the healing power of music! While you’re there, sign up for the free “Relaxation Vacation!”
  • Take a listen to his Podcast and follow him on Instagram & Facebook!

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