What's the soundtrack to your life? Is it a happy one? Given the complex, at times paradoxical nature of happiness, it's perhaps no surprise that sometimes sad songs--the blues, Miles Davis, Radiohead--can induce wild feelings of euphoria. Meanwhile the theme tune to 2014, the utterly inescapable Pharrell Williams' song “Happy," has been so overplayed that it can make some people anything but. Regardless, music can have a powerful impact on our emotional world.
Now comes news of two psychiatrists using hip-hop to treat various psychological difficulties like depression and schizophrenia.
From today's story in The Observer:
To help promote the idea, neuroscientist Becky Inkster, of Cambridge University department of psychiatry, and consultant psychiatrist Akeem Sule, of the South Essex Partnership Trust, have formed Hip Hop Psych– which they describe as a social venture – to promote the use of hip-hop as an aid to the treatment of mental illness. Inkster and Sule will outline the ideas behind Hip Hop Psych next week at the University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas . . .
“One technique we want to explore is to get individuals who are seeking therapy to write out where they see themselves in a year or two and to use rap lyrics to outline their future histories,” said Inkster.“Many key rappers and hip-hop artists come from deprived urban areas which are often hotbeds for problems such as drug abuse, domestic violence and poverty, which are in turn linked to increased occurrences of psychiatric illnesses,” she added. “These problems are rooted in their language and in their songs.”
Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offence to you, don’t waste your time.