Striking the Right Chord

“Hmmm. What could this be?” That was my thought several years ago when I spotted a small cardboard envelope from my daughter in the daily mail pile.

Quite odd for something like this to randomly arrive from a busy college student.

I ripped open the envelope and found a CD inside. It said “For Momma. I Love You!” Enclosed was a note explaining that the CD was a mix of songs she had put together to encourage me as I continued to make brave steps outside of my comfort zone. And to this day, that CD remains one of my all-time favorite gifts.

Why does it continue to mean so much? Those songs gave me courage when I doubted myself. (They still do!) It was the music I played while driving to an event or encounter that required confidence. Somehow, the songs helped me believe that I could conquer the mountain ahead.

Surveys show that people fear public speaking more than death! More than DEATH! And I had just begun to pursue a calling as a speaker sharing the message of Leave Nothing Unsaid.

There was no playbook for what I was doing. At the time, I did have the joy of having a smiling golden retriever to encourage me, but that was about it. Public speaking, print articles, TV stories, and live national interviews were all part of the opportunities that were unfolding. It was exciting. And terrifying.

And my thoughtful daughter had sent me a soundtrack to help slay my fear dragons. Studies show that when we listen to happy, joyful music, our brains usually produce chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel happy. Those songs certainly did that for me.

It’s the reason you’ll see athletes wearing headphones as they enter a stadium or arena before a big game. They’re tuning out the outside distractions and getting pumped up for what lies before them.

Here’s the big question: who can YOU encourage through the gift of music? Whether someone needs hope for the future, comfort for grief, peace and rest from an exhausting season or joy for today, there is so much beautiful music to share. Music can perfectly align with any need, hurt, hope or disappointment.

Try thinking outside the box when it comes to encouragement. Music is a beautiful, ongoing way to be a lasting reminder to someone you love. And with services like Spotify, you can quickly assemble a playlist and share it with others.

Here’s a Spotify playlist of songs that might help to encourage you!

“When words fail, music speaks.”

— Hans Christian Anderson