Music, bringing people together We all have our own unique story to tell about how we have all coped amazingly during lockdown. Some families have enjoyed quality family time and others have found it quite distressing, for many understandable reasons. Above all we need to keep safe to save lives to protect our NHS. This year our holiday plans have changed dramatically! Normally we would currently be on countdown, looking forward to spending quality time together with the help of Family Fund. Unfortunately, until the government gives us the green light we are staying at home and not going anywhere fast. I am a mother of a child with autism and constantly looking at therapies to use that the whole family can enjoy. Music is embedded in our culture and when we hear a certain song playing in the car or on the radio in the kitchen, we are then catapulted back to that year when that particular song was of great significance. If someone asks you; what song was at number 1 when you left school, got married, divorced or had your first baby… just like that you start singing the song, you’re transported to that exact point and remember happy thoughts (hopefully). During dark days when I struggled to manage my own mental health, I reached out for my music library. I would look for a song that took me back to a period in my life that made me smile. Whether it is a hit from my childhood, listening to Abba with my nan; the neon 80’s dancing round my handbag in a nightclub; or even my Indie music era watching the Stone Roses live at Spike Island. They definitely pull me out of a negative irrational headspace. The lockdown has inspired me to share my love of music with my son and encourage him to use it as part of his mental health toolbox. During this time, I have also enjoyed watching local singers’ dust off their microphones and entertain the street, virtual pub open mic nights and charity singles being released. Recently on social media, followers were asked to put up a picture of their favourite album covers without saying anything just a picture. Again, even though no music was being played, the visual picture of the album brought memories flooding right back. If you are struggling at the moment and feel helpless, in the current situation, my advice is put on a memorable tune, dance like no one is watching. With all storms, there are rainbows… Karen is a new Family Fund Blogger, read more stories from our bloggers here.