The Power of Music Beyond Great Riffs and Grooves

One of the most beautiful things music can do is to lift us up when we feel down

This post is a bit different from what I usually write about, since it’s inspired by personal circumstances that just happened. Yesterday, my 15-year-old son was diagnosed with a chronic health condition. While no parent wants to hear their child is sick, my wife and I felt immense relief – we finally got an answer that helps explain his health symptoms, which for more than two years have prevented him from being a “normal” teenager.

The doctor also said something else – it’s fixable, though it may take time, and the journey to a complete cure may not be without challenges. One important aspect of what’s now ahead of us is to stay positive.

I’m convinced a positive attitude and hope can be very powerful forces to address a tough situation, whether it’s a chronic disease or another difficult challenge, even if the prospects are bleaker than in my son’s case. After all, it looks like that ultimately he’s going to be fine!

So what does all of the above have to do with a blog about music? Well, in addition to entertainment, I believe music can touch us in many different ways. Perhaps one of the most powerful things it can do is to build us up when we feel down. This made me think about songs I’ve heard over the decades I find very uplifting. Many of these tunes fall outside the realm of music I typically cover. Following are some that came to mind:

Christina Aguilera/Beautiful (written by Linda Perry; from Stripped, 2002)

Solomon Burke/A Change Is Gonna Come (written by Sam Cooke; from A Change Is Gonna Come, 1986)

Miley Cyrus/The Climb (written by Jessi Alexander & John Mabe; from Hannah Montana: The Movie, 2009)

Carole King/Beautiful (written by Carole King; from Tapestry, 1971)

Alicia Keys/Send Me An Angel (written by Alicia Keys; from Hope for Haiti Now, 2010)

Whitney Houston/One Moment in Time (written Albert Hammond & John Bettis; from 1988 Summer Olympics Album: One Moment in Time, 1988)

John Lennon/Imagine (written by John Lennon; from Imagine, 1971)

Ben E. King/Stand By Me (written by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller; from Don’t Play That Song, 1962)

People Get Ready/The Impressions (written by Curtis Mayfield; from People Get Ready, 1965)

Lee Ann Womack/I Hope You Dance (written by Mark D. Sanders & Tia Sillers; from I Hope You Dance, 2000)

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube

4 thoughts on “The Power of Music Beyond Great Riffs and Grooves”

  1. Well, bad news (diagnosis), good news (fixable.) So net-net as we say, positive. Best of luck with that. On the music side, I found the song you mentioned, “I Hope You Dance, ” very helpful. My own situation wasn’t devastating from a health perspective but a, shall we say, self-esteem one. I got laid off from a pretty high-level job. (This was years ago when it was a new song.) They tell you it’s nothing personal and then the first thing you do is take it personally. Much self-worth gets wrapped up in what we do. I felt like a loser for a time and that song helped quite a bit.


    1. Thanks, Jim! “I Hope You Dance” is such a beautiful and inspiring song. I’m glad it helped you deal what I can only imagine must have been a pretty challenging situation.

      The one tunevfrom this video that really goes under my skin is “Beautiful” from Christina Aguilera, one of the strongest female vocalists I’ve heard. Unfortunately, I find she doesn’t put her voice to the best use, but when she does, it’s sheer magic.


      1. Yeah, ‘Beautiful’ is a great song. I had pretty much written her off till I heard that. Neither of these songs are ones I’d buy or listen to ordinarily. But I’ll definitely listen to them if they come on the radio.


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