Let the Music Play!

Music is a powerful force. It can minimize pain, boost one’s mood, and help with relaxation.

With a breast cancer diagnosis, music can be an effective coping tool – for the patient, caregivers and children. Many aspects of cancer treatment can be painful or cause anxiety. Surprisingly, listening to music can help with this pain or anxiety. A review in The Lancet revealed that compared to patients that did not listen to music, patients who listened to music pre- and post-surgery, as well as during surgery, experienced reduced levels of pain and anxiety. This study was conducted with more than 7,000 patients over 73 trials. Those who chose their own playlists experienced less pain and therefore needed less pain medication than those who did not do so.

Dealing with breast cancer, regardless of the stage—before treatment, during treatment, or after treatment—can be difficult. Sometimes a person can get “stuck” in a way, stuck telling oneself the same story or narrative of what is happening, which can be negative, or maybe an individual can find themselves stuck in a negative or depressed state of mind due to the circumstances. These thoughts can play on a “loop”, kind of like a radio or song playing over and over inside the mind. These thoughts may be the product of many years or they may be more recent. Either way, “escaping” these thoughts and breaking free of this negative loop is possible.

Here are some tips to help you shift.
– Snap out of it! Music can help disrupt this loop; it can help switch the channel to a more
positive, upbeat loop, drowning out those negative thoughts and emotions. This way,
music can become a mood booster, filling one’s mind with more positive thoughts. This
can help distract from these negative thoughts, even for a short period of time, while
focusing on the lyrics or beat of a song. Also, this feeling can help the listener be more
present and in the moment, not focusing on the past or the future.
– Feeling disconnected? Turn on the radio. Listening to music can help one feel more
connected to others, and the world in general. Also, music can make people feel more
grounded and aligned to others emotionally. Being inspired by the lyrics of a song can
also help in feeling connected or understood by others.
– Dance it out. Sometimes those feet tap out the beat all on their own…dancing to an
upbeat, happy song with a great beat can improve one’s mood. Dancing and moving can
release endorphins and serotonin in the brain, which can make dancing feel great. Getting
moving, even to a song or two, can improve anyone’s mood.

Armed with this information, turn on the radio and tap those feet!

Or tune in to Tigerlily Foundation’s upbeat Warrior Spotify playlist to help brighten your day.