Taylor Swift and Adele against the emotional ravages of the pandemic

Times have changed so much that the arrival of Adele’s latest album or the premiere of Taylor Swift’s musical short ‘All too well’ at the end will be the best news of the year and not only for those involved in the recording industry. Adle and his exciting live performance of his hit ‘Easy on me’ at the French NRJ Music Awards gala brings to the global audience the story of a personal, autobiographical crisis, with an artistic force very much in line with the tastes of the moment. Who is not going to connect with those feelings if they are expressed with that torrent of voice and that music? Pop music, belittled and manipulated by the industry and critics, is the one that has the most capacity to influence and not only matters to move money, it can also move the masses. Just what a traumatized society needs the most, the first to experience such a global shock without the need for a war to break out.

The Neuropsychology Expert at Trinity College Dublin Simon McCarthy-Jones explained a few days ago in an article in ‘The Conversation‘why listening to Adele’s songs, and sad songs in general, is important right now. Some scientific studies that revolve around music therapy point out that music can stimulate neural connections that release hormones such as oxytocin, what makes you feel good without having actually experienced the trauma that the lyrics that a singer interprets. McCarthy-Jones, apart from these analyzes, explores in the power of empathy, how songs allow us to rehearse extreme feelings regarding unreal situations in what he calls an “emotional gym”. “They give us a safe, controlled space in which to explore simulated sadness, they are the emotional equivalent of Neo training with Morpheus in the film. Matrix.

Music therapy for sick children

This week that we have celebrated International Music Day, the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital was committed to promoting music therapy in some treatments of child patients it cares for, in an at-home experience that it has launched for children with serious or chronic diseases that require palliative care. For everyone else, the youth plagued by the confusion in which the pandemic, the long confinement, the restrictions and the new forms of social interaction have plunged them, popular music gains integers as a way to channel emotions.

Global exorcism

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Such is his strength already evident that the video clip of Taylor Swift in which he recounts a bad courtship that all fans have identified as the one who lived with Jake Gyllenhaal, although he does not give his name. The story recreates the range of feelings that invades a very young woman who has a relationship with an older man, from the initial dazzling, the learning and then the small rejections and dislocations precisely due to the age difference, the fights and the painful misunderstanding that ends in rupture.

Such a story, nothing new and reissued in history in numerous cultural formats and readings with variants of the Pygmalion myth and the Lolita of Nabokov, has in the video-revenge of Swift a new twist: Thousands of women have recognized themselves in history, with their variations, they have empathized with the pain and frustration that such unbalanced relationships can generates, and above all, they have made it public in talks on social networks, in comments to YouTube videos as a form of collective exorcism. Do not stop the Music.


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