Music Has The Power To Move Us


Illustrated by Emily Cortes

Emily Cortes, Sports Editor

    Our self esteem is the overall opinion we have of ourselves. It’s how we feel about ourselves, the good and the bad. As a plus size woman, it was hard to have high self esteem. It was very difficult for me to see myself like other women in our society. I didn’t see myself as beautiful like others did. To improve my self esteem I would use positive affirmations, I would look at myself in the mirror and say anything that would make me feel better. But it didn’t work. What did improve my self esteem was music. Music helped me see myself in a better way. Listening to music created a positive environment for myself, where it put me in this really good mindset, which led to an increase in my self confidence. 

    Music and self-esteem are linked in a variety of ways. To connect with a listener, music does not require a specific language. In this sense, music speaks to the soul. It impacts the listener’s emotions and, depending on the type of mood it causes, can affect the listener’s self-esteem. Dopamine is a chemical that floods the brain when music is played. Dopamine is a brain chemical that is linked to pleasure, motivation, and reward. A melody, tune, sound, or lyrics may be associated with a memory that has been buried deep within a person’s psyche. The emotions linked with that memory could have triggered the listener’s low self-esteem at the time because of this, that particular song or music is like trauma. Yet, listening to it again months or years later can help you see how much confidence has grown. 

    Song artists now have created songs that help us improve our self esteem, to love ourselves, and love our bodies. Famous singer and rapper Lizzo, has become a body-positive icon to her fans and to all women who have struggled with low self esteem. In all of her songs, she promotes self-love, which has given us all the feeling of confidence at one point or another. In 2015, she wrote and released a song called “My skin” to convey her newfound confidence in herself and in her body. She said in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, “I am curvy, and I am perfect and beautiful.” 

    Lizzo isn’t the only artist who sings songs that give listeners confidence. One of the most popular songs that give everyone a boost of confidence is Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way.” The song is about self liberation and loving yourself every bit. No matter your race, gender, or sexuality. “Born this Way” became an anthem of self love and it still is. Jessica Caez, a senior, said, “When I listen to ‘Born this Way’ I feel free from everyone. For four minutes and 20 seconds I feel unfiltered. No one is judging me.” Lady Gaga wanted all her fans to love and find a way to express themselves. And she did that when she released “Born this Way” in 2011. The entire song is just about internalizing this accepting point of view, and learning who you are and loving that person, you. 

    Sometimes it’s not the meaning of the music that boosts our self esteem. It’s the sound or rhythm of the music. Music has the ability to empower the listener just as much as it does the artist. For members of less-represented communities especially, music offers a confidence boost for those moments when they feel powerless in the world. For me personally the song that helps boost my self esteem is “Earned it” by the Weeknd. The rhythm of how smooth and slow it is, makes the songs so perfect. The Weeknd composed this song trying to make it “sexy” and he did it. He said in an interview with Time Magazine, “‘Earned It’ was very important. It was slow and sexy and it was smooth.”  What also helps me is the moods of the songs. The Weeknd gives out this mysterious feeling in his songs, which makes me feel mysterious and confident. 

    At the end of the day, music is just another process that helps us raise our self esteem and our confidence. Music in the home produces a conducive setting for the creative process, and when we are creative or successful, it boosts our self-esteem. We can take the first steps toward a professional or life issue when we give ourselves this boost with music, and once we achieve that, we get more confidence and solve the next step, and so on. Every now and then, we encounter a situation that necessitates trial-and-error, discovering one’s talents, and gaining the confidence required to handle a certain problem. In this instance, you won’t be able to find anything more relaxing than music to allow you to examine yourself and begin trying. Building self-confidence is the first step toward achievement, and music is essential for this. It’s a well-known fact that going to music concerts boosts your self-esteem significantly. 

     Music just helps us see ourselves in a better way. It has helped us in so many ways.