Music Monday: What’s the Best Way to Cope with the Pandemic?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal describes the results of a research study that examined which activities worked best to lift people’s moods during the COVID pandemic. Sex and drugs were among the 43 options participants could choose from, along with exercise, cooking, social media, video calls, and various types of entertainment.

The study involved 1,000 participants from the U.S., Europe, and Latin America and looked at what people considered their most effective coping mechanisms during the shelter-in-place orders at the beginning of the pandemic last spring.

The study found that music, exercise, and entertainment were the most potent stress relievers for the greatest number of people. But of those three activities, music, which includes singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or just listening to a favorite playlist—was the only one that led to a reduction of depression symptoms. A fifth of all the participants reported it as the most effective way to reduce their pandemic-induced blues. Music’s calming effects were particularly potent for people who were highly sensitive to rewards.

This suggests that the more pleasure you get from music, the more it reduces your depression symptoms.

It should be noted that the study has not yet been published and thus has not yet been peer-reviewed.

But the early signs are encouraging – if the pandemic has got you down, and you’re looking for a way to boost your spirits, music seems like a great option.

So I’ll try to do my part by sharing a song and video that always puts me in a good mood. Please note that it is about six minutes long. I’m not sure who I’d rather be – Brandon Flowers, the lead singer, or a member of that audience. Either way, it’s gotta get your dopamine flowing…

I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier…

58 thoughts on “Music Monday: What’s the Best Way to Cope with the Pandemic?

  1. I feel sad for all the people losing their livelihoods, but I wouldn’t say that I feel depressed. For me, coping with the pandemic involves being sneaky and breaking the rules. I always feel delighted when I can get away with breaking a rule. It’s kind of a fun cat-and-mouse game.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m part of that group as I listen to music nearly every night. I also walk each day. That is as much for my mental health as it is for the physical. I don’t watch as much television or movies as most people, but I love watching anything involving competition (preferably sports.) I guess that would count as my entertainment.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Before COVID, we were at a party, and people were playing cornhole the whole time. I’ve watched a few minutes of that on television and am astounded by how accurate the throwers are.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that there is a natural uplifting power with music, obviously somewhat dependent on what you listen to. But for me laughter is truly the best medicine. Whether it is watching a stand-up comedian work their magic, enjoying the latest comedic movie, or just sitting with friends and laughing at ourselves. It is hard to feel depressed when you are laughing from your gut.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You can probably guess that I’m in agreement with the survey results, as evidenced by the amount of posts I’ve devoted to music over the past nine months since we went into our first national lockdown.

    As for that Killers concert, my daughter and son-in-law were there and it really was as good as you’d imagine from the video – you can read my mind on that…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That must have been reconstruction, as it dates back to Victorian times: the clue is in the name…

        I hadn’t realised it had been recorded, but I’ll look for it on YouTube.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. “The study found that music, exercise, and entertainment were the most potent stress relievers for the greatest number of people. But of those three activities, music, which includes singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or just listening to a favorite playlist—was the only one that led to a reduction of depression symptoms. A fifth of all the participants reported it as the most effective way to reduce their pandemic-induced blues. ”

    This has been my experience too….dance music combined with movement (tennis), outside, with my son turns my mood and energy level right around.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Music had always been a stress reducer for me. Back when I had a piano you could always tell my mood by the song I would play and my interpretation of it! I might need to get a keyboard and bring that back into my life!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I would be the drummer – I have always wanted to bash away on drums of any sort and drums would be a great depression lifter. I thought the building looked familiar – The Royal Albert Hall – I wasn’t there that night though.
    Music of all sorts is definitely top of the list to boost ones’ feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, mainly for The Proms – world’s greatest music festival. One of the great creations of the Victorians in this part of London, South Kensington – all to celebrate the life of Prince Albert. His huge statue is opposite the Albert Hall in Kensington Gardens.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ahhh… that should familiar. I think you had told me about the Proms before. We walked past the front of RAH a couple of years ago, but it looked like it was having some work done on it at the time. That is a nice part of London…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Still coping and living here! I agree with the value of music (been listening to more). I also find peace from my writing (keep the ol’ mind working) and strength from my exercising (almost 65 but feeling much younger). Have a great rest of the week Jim.

    Liked by 1 person

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