End Your Bored-At-Home-Blues with a Quarantine Music Mix!

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Drawn by Alice Tan

Sophia Venetis, Staff Writer

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, we are all temporarily on lockdown amid the pandemic. Some of us are in good spirits, but others are bored and might be afflicted by some anxiety with all that is new and uncertain. Although panic during this time is to be expected, fear or apprehension shouldn’t control our lives. In times like these, a great way to ease the pain, rid the boredom, and connect with others, is through music!

The Guardian featured an article on April 6th that spoke to the power of music across millennia to heal during pandemics.  For thousands of years, music has been embraced by many cultures as a means of bonding and healing. The ancient Babylonians, the Greeks, and the Egyptians used music as an intangible, yet fool-proof source of soul-soothing during times of disease and grief.  Accounts include poets serenading the people when the plague struck 7th century Sparta, and Medieval Italians chanting from window sills and balconies during the death and despair of the Black Plague. Even during current times, melodies echo in the ailing streets of Milan.

The question is, “Why music?” How does it heal? How does it maintain and create social connections? According to Tom Barnes, the answer lies in music’s effect on the brain. Listening to music activates all four lobes of the brain simultaneously, evoking reactions, memory, and emotions. During this process, music releases powerful neurotransmitters called dopamine, the brain’s “happy chemical.” That is why when we listen to upbeat music, we feel like we are grounded and at peace, much like we were before quarantine when we were content and surrounded by our friends. In order to feel like we have returned to those times, or to just take a break and pass some time, we need a solid playlist.

In case you have trouble starting, I created a Spotify playlist called Quarantine Music Mix (linked below). This playlist includes upbeat throwbacks, some early 2000’s music, and a few of today’s hits to bring it all together. Some song titles even match the pandemic theme! For example, “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer for those who need to practice social-distancing, “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bees Gees as a reminder that we will all make it through this, and “The Cure” by Lady Gaga so we can remember that the world is working to find a cure for COVID-19. I hope you enjoy this playlist, but if that’s not the case, find some music you like to keep a positive attitude. Stay groovy and happy listening!

Spotify Playlist: Quarantine Music Mix!