Can music save someone’s life?

This controversial idea has blown up in the world of music. Fans and artists alike are swearing that music has saved them, while others say it’s impossible. Music is powerful in many ways, but can it really save a life? 


Jordyn Meade-Baxter
Jordyn Meade-Baxter

The idea that music can save a life came to me at quite the young age. I was in Grade 9. It was the height of my love for bands and I was experimenting with a lot of different genres. I used music as my escape, and eventually believed that it had saved me. To this day, I’m not overly sure anymore if it did, or if it just turned into the lifestyle I’ve chosen for myself.

I said it did because I nearly self-harmed in high school. I was sitting in my room, trying to find some sort of tool to do it. I found a broken bobby pin and went to start pushing it into my skin. Just as it did, “Beside You” by Marianas Trench came on.  And that was it. I stopped. It never cut through. I sang along, and eventually started crying.

Then one lyric jumped out at me… “Nobody will break you”.

From that moment, I wouldn’t let anyone hurt me enough to make me want to hurt myself. Not the bullies, not the gym teacher who gave me a hard time about my inability to run for 20 minutes straight, not my step dad who I argued with on a nearly daily basis, and not the so-called friends who started to make high school the worst experience I have had yet.

So there’s an example of how I thought music could save me. But did it really? The notes didn’t jump out of the radio and made me stop trying to cut. I had made the decision not to. The music was just a distraction. It was an escape for a few minutes.

I have talked to many people over the years, seen many tweets and interviews with bands and people just seem to keep being on either side. No one can come to an agreement. Some bands are saying they don’t want be credited with saving people because they want to put the focus more on the individual’s strength. And then there are others who say that maybe they wouldn’t have been here today if it wasn’t for the music they have listened to and their interactions with the artists who sang it.

But who is right?

I feel like it is possible, but not in the way I originally thought. Yes, it gave me the strength in that moment but, more importantly, if it wasn’t for music I wouldn’t be who I am today. I have made some of the best friends from listening to certain bands. My roommate and I even met at a concert. My interest in music was the major influence in my career path. Without music, I wouldn’t have made some of the contacts and choices I have that would take me there.

It may not have saved me from dying, but it made me live. It was the driving force behind me living the life I wanted for myself. I love going to concerts. I have interviewed some of the bigger names in Canadian music like David Myles and Finger Eleven. I’m getting myself deeper and deeper in the entertainment journalism field with every day.

For others, I guess it depends on their idea of what saving their lives means. Music is one thing that people can interpret differently and means different things to different people. I can’t be the one to dictate what has or hasn’t saved someone’s life if I don’t see it the way they do. The one thing we all can agree on is music is a powerful thing that can affect your life, with or without saving it.