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Music to Grieve To
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Does grief have to be depressing?

I know the widely misapplied Kübler-Ross model has Depression firmly locked in at stage four of five, but then she was talking about those receiving a terminal diagnosis - not those who’s partner just left them.

While death underpins many of the tracks on this playlist - heartbreak accounts for most of the rest - and it seems to my ears at least that lost love is way more melancholic than loss of life. I have some Pop-Pscyh theories on this…

There are two big difference between mourning the loss of life and the loss of love - when someone dies, first - they’re well and truly gone - removed from the planet - never to be seen again. There’s a finality about death that draws a line in the sand and forces you to cross it, no matter how uncomfortable it is. Secondly - unless you’re a murdering psychopath - it’s unlikely that you share responsibility for their death. And yes I know that people feel guilt - particularly with suicide and remorse for fractured relations while alive but - death is out of our hands - it’s something we can’t avoid and that we have to address and deal with.

But loss of love is different - in the first instance - the person leaving hasn’t left the planet - they’re still alive and capable of new behaviors and actions that can continue to cause grief. But I think the more dangerous one is the second point - with death you hold no personal responsibly but with a breakup - well - it’s kinda different isn’t it!

Breakups force you to look at yourself - to address the part of you that was responsible for the death of love - and yet - we’re not very good at doing that - we’d much rather do just about anything else - sometimes it feels like we’d much rather actually die.

And so we have Sink - a track that vividly paints the picture of a breakup - it’s a wonderfully depressing piece of music. If you know what it’s like to end the day with “Chin to Chest,” you’ll be able to climb inside and wallow in the self pity that always seems to accompany this stage of the process.

Those tail lights
from a drizzly night
as you leave for your mothers house.
It felt like a little boat
had left its shore and I’m on land.

Chin to chest,
all days conclude.
Chin to chest,
and just regrets.

For I will row my boat
in no direction now.
For I don’t need no compass
I just need to sink
In the sea...

Ending a week
is like starting one,
For I see nothing ahead.
An empty flat and frozen food,
and those pictures of you.

Chin to chest,
All days conclude.
Chin to chest,
and just regrets.

For I will row my boat,
in no direction now.
For I don’t need no compass,
I just need to sink.
In the sea…

In the sea…
— Sink - Elkvilla

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About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey

Andrew McCluskey musicto Playlist Curator

The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the Dark Forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top, they would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.

I’ve been fascinated by music ever since.

As a psychology graduate I studied how sound affects human performance.

As a musician I compose instrumental music that stimulates your brain but doesn't mess with your language centers, leaving you free to be creative and brilliant without distraction.

As a curator I research how music can improve your life and create flow - I can tell you what music to listen to when studying for a test and why listening to sad music can make you feel better.

As the founder of musicto I’m on a mission to inspire a global audience of music lovers and artists through the development of people powered playlists.