Music has always been something I can turn to in times of need or in times of joy. Without it, I honestly don't think I would be where or who I am today.

Growing up, I always LOVED music. I remember singing along to almost every song that would come on the radio, whether it was an old Johnny Cash song, or a song playing on the Top 20 Countdown. Back then, I didn't care about the meaning of the lyrics. I just loved how thrilling it was to sing and dance to a song and have my family join in with me.

As I've gotten older, music still holds a very important place in my heart. It's gotten me through the passing of my Grammy and Uncle, a few break-ups, fights with my family and friends; just about everything. It's been my saving grace when I thought nothing would make things better. I pay attention to the lyrics more so now than ever before. Music is so open to interpretation and finding songs that fit to what I'm going through helps me feel not so alone.

I don't care what genre the songs come from, as long as they make me feel something. Some days I listen to country, other days I listen to 80's alternative music for hours on end. Music has created so many bonds between me and the people I love. My mom and I can scream songs together while we're on road trips, my best friend and I bonded over the music in Camp Rock, and I became close with one of my favorite teachers because of our shared love of The Cure.

Music has such an important influence on so many of our everyday lives. It's what we bond over, what we apply to our lives, and what we listen to when we're alone but don't want to be trapped in silence. Without music, imagine how boring our lives would be. We wouldn't have anything to dance to with our friends. We wouldn't have a creative outlet to express our feelings in the ways music allows us to. Without music, I wouldn't be able to express how I feel, I wouldn't be able to bond with the people I've bonded with, and I honestly wouldn't be the person I am today.

I was apart of choir all throughout middle and high school because it gave me a way to deliver a message within the music, just as others had done for me my entire life. Getting to see how the message of our songs impacted the audience gave me an even greater form of appreciation for the influence of music, and I am forever thankful for that experience.

When you find yourself struggling, try listening to music. Find songs that apply to how you feel, and don't just stick to one genre. It's hard branching out when you have no idea where to look, but I have some advice. Look up playlists that describe your mood. If you're sad, look up sad songs, if you're angry, look up a playlist dedicated to angry songs. I've found some of my favorite songs this way, and it really gives you the opportunity to discover music you might've never listened to before.