We tend to associate songs with certain events or people. Unfortunately, those memories can be destructive in some cases. I feel as though I've lost a lot of songs recently. Some of them are not even attached to a specific event or person, but take me back to the numb headspace I was in when I had them on repeat. That sucks because they’re absolute bangers. The worst place to lose a song, in my humble opinion, is in a former relationship. I’ve had my share of those too recently. So how do we get our music back? Can we? Should we?
I'll use Drivers License by Olivia Rodrigo as an example. Even though the song came out after my failed situationship was months over, it was a heartbreak song, and I was still heartbroken. Being a long time Olivia fan, I of course listened to it once and watched the music video because I have to support my girl. However, I was planning on largely avoiding it in order to keep myself from reminiscing about a boy who didn’t want me. That seems like a perfectly logical and reasonable thing to do, right? Then I realized that I love Olivia, and I personally feel that she deserves my streams. Why should I let this heartbreak control my life? Why shouldn’t I listen to whatever I want?
I decided that if I stuck with my plan I’d always remember how I avoided a song that swept pop culture off of it’s feet because of a boy. Was that really what I wanted to associate with Olivia Rodrigo’s first release? Absolutely not. So, I decided to address the situation head on by playing and singing it myself, in order to work through the emotions and get the song back. I ended up in tears and I still haven’t listened to it alone, in full since then. This might not sound like a success story, but I wouldn't consider it a failure either. At least now, when I hear the song in the future, I’ll be reminded of how I tried to fight through the pain for myself and for Olivia. (How incredibly dramatic of me, but I digress.)
A large part of what makes music so special and important is the memories and feelings attached. That being said, if a song that’s important to you has been associated with a bad memory, maybe start working through that, re-associating it, or making peace with that memory. For many of us music is an escape, possibly the only escape, and you should be able to keep your music. Reclaim that ish. You got this.