What is #SoundtrackSunday?

Music can send us through a journey in time.  When I was younger, I can remember recording songs from the radio on to blank cassette tapes so I could have my favorites songs at my disposal.  I remember calling the radio station to request ‘The Time of My Life’ from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack and then dancing around the house when my request was granted.  In high school, my senior quote was a few lyrics from Whitney Houston’s ‘One Moment in Time’; a song that matched my feeling that anything was possible and my future was bright.  I remember where I was when I first heard Erykah Badu and how mesmerized I was by her barefooted, incensed-filled performance.  Music has been my partner in crime, my counselor, my guide and my ever-present friend.  So, when No More Martyrs was launched, I knew that music would be a part of the community. 

What is #SoundtrackSunday?

#SoundtrackSunday is our form of music therapy.  Each Sunday, No More Martyrs posts articles, songs and videos through our social media that spotlight certain artists and melodies that play on the soundtrack of our lives.  Sometimes, they are songs of encouragement because that is what we need.  Other times, they are songs that capture our moods because it is not always sunshine and roses (let's be real about this).  Studies have found that music can be an effective means of treating a number of mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia.  According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy has been linked to stress reduction, increased relaxation and positive mood transition.  While No More Martyrs does not take a formal approach to music therapy, we do honor and celebrate the therapeutic nature that music has on our lives.

When I try to recall a certain memory, I usually find that a song and a mood are attached to it.  When depression and anxiety first began to rear its ugly head, India Arie’s ‘Slow Down, Back to the Middle and Strength, Courage and Wisdom were all songs that helped to center me.  CeCe Winan’s Alabaster Box reminded me that prayer, meditation and worship are healthy and necessary components to my wellness.  Forget trying to get me to exercise without a little Beyonce and Mary J. Blidge to get me going.  Alanis Morrisette’s So Unsexy and Precious Illusions made me feel less crazy when I was in college.  I walked down the aisle to Amel Larrieux’s Make Me Whole for my wedding.  When my daughter was born, I burned an entire CD of music to play in the delivery room from artists such as Goapele, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Alanis Morsette, CeCe Winan, Sade, Jennifer Knapp, Esperanza Spalding and other powerful female vocalists; what better way to welcome a spectacular girl into the world.  And now, with the current state of race relations and my involvement in various community efforts, Solange’s ‘A Seat of the Table’ is my daily battle cry. 

Music provides words when we can’t speak and reminds us of the power we have when our minds try to convince us otherwise.  It connects us when we feel alone and motivates us when we feel like giving up.  This is why we created #SoundtrackSunday.  It is another way for the No More Martyrs community to celebrate our sisterhood and prioritize our self-care.  It is our opportunity to turn the music up, say what we feel and celebrate US..…Flaws and All (see what I did there *smile*).   Join us every #SoundtrackSunday and let us know what songs play on the soundtrack of your lives.

- Nadia (Founder, No More Martyrs)