The Power of Music

Noah Hapke - Ecuador


October 1, 2015

It’s no surprise that I’m writing this while listening to music. Sitting on my bed in my mom’s gigantic pancho, playing some Lykke Li with my headphones in my ears and the coldness surrounding the rest of me.


When I’m sad, or rather just thinking about home and people I miss, I always remind myself how incredibly grateful I am to be living in Azuay and part of the Global Citizen Year cohort. All of the fellows have heard the phrase “be present” a thousand times since the Redwoods, and it’s so applicable. We’ve all waited so many months to arrive in our country placements, and it would be crazy to wish I were to be somewhere other than where I currently am.


Sometimes, however, my mind, as with most people, can trick me into ideas that are too grand or negative to be real. How does one conquer this? How do I rid myself of these unwanted feelings? Well, I believe that music has the power to relinquish  any unwanted emotions. It’s true. Just this morning I woke to the rooster’s cry, looked outside to all the cows eating their  breakfast, and blasted some Katy Perry. True story; “Legendary Lovers” really gets me going.


Music also has something special to it. During recess break at the school, I heard Charli XCX’s “Break the Rules” playing off in the distance. Even three-thousand miles away from home, I immediately remembered the concert. My friends. California. And this is what music does – it brings people of different backgrounds and locations together to find something in common. It creates a spark that, no matter what language is being spoken, can be perfectly understood by anyone and everyone.


So my advice would be, when you may feel lonely or sad or terribly overjoyed, blast some music into those dusty headphones. And, like any good young adult fiction author, I have to include a playlist in this post. It seems only fitting:


1. “Jameson” by Zella Day
2. “Fall Over” by Banks
3. “Walk This Way” by MØ
4. “No Particular Order” by Oh Land
5. “Legendary Lovers” by Katy Perry
6. “Painkiller” by Jason Derulo & Meghan Trainor
7. “Confident” by Demi Lovato
8. “On My Mind” by Ellie Goulding
9. “Fool” by BØRNS
10. “Back of the Car” by RAC
11. “First Time” by Icona Pop
12. “Ghost” by Katy Perry
13. “Under the Table” by Banks
14. “Unrequited Love” by Lykke Li
15. “Flickers” by London Grammar


I am constantly making playlists for my multiple and different ranges of emotions. Thus I highly encourage you to try making one for yourself. 


And just remember, music cannot bring mountains together, but it can bring people to those mountains, and the rest is up to you.

Noah Hapke