The term “music saved my life” is a term which is thrown around a lot. For me, my mental health hasn’t been incredibly stable, but music is one thing that has helped me a lot in that sense.
I’ve always been an “emo” and loved pop-punk/alt-rock and a lot of that sort of music has helped me through different things, for example, You Me At Six helped me through heartbreak, Knuckle Puck helped me through toxic relationships whilst nothing, nowhere helped me through times of loneliness.
However, something which can be seen as unusual for an “emo” has helped with my mental health, and that is K-Pop, in particular BTS, who have helped me learn to start loving myself. I feel as if learning to love myself is one of the final stages of recovery. I’ve gone from recovering from heartbreak, toxic relationships and feelings of loneliness, to now learning to accept who I am and loving myself.
BTS are a seven piece Korean pop band who have debuted in 2013. However, for me it was their 2018 album Love Yourself: Answerwhich helped me the most. This is a finale of a series which the band released, starting with a short film Love Yourself: Wonder,followed by EP Love Yourself: Her and then studio albumLove Yourself: Her. However, the themes expressed in the songs in the album have lead me to realise different things, which have helped me change certain things in my life in order to be a better version of myself.
There are two songs which stand-out for me, and the first one is “Epiphany” which is a solo track by the oldest member of the group, Jin. The most important lesson which I learnt from this song is that in order to able to love others, I must be able to love myself. The song begins with Jin expressing how he thought he loved someone, but had to change for them because he wanted his life with them, but he then comes to realise that he’s just hiding who he really is behind a mask, so therefore he is the one who he should love, even though he may not be perfect.
The other song is “I’m Fine” which is a song sung by all members. One of the smart things with this song are the references a track from 2016 track “Save Me.” There’s an image in a music video, where the words “Save Me” is written in a way so that when it is flipped upside down, it says “I’m Fine.” But the main message which the song portrays is that they don’t need to rely on someone to save them, but in fact, they should just love themselves in order to be okay.
Although I am not a Korean speaker, the fact that I can relate to foreign music proves that music is a universal language. Music is something that has helped me through a lot of obstacles I’ve faced in life, and as well as friends and family, it’s the only other constant that I’ve had in my life. I will forever be grateful for music.