This World Wellbeing Week, we’re sharing the ways in which a personalised playlist can improve your wellbeing, evoke memories, and strengthen connections with your loved ones.
Following a dementia diagnosis, it’s normal to feel like you might lose parts of yourself, but it’s important to remember that you’re still you, and you have many wonderful memories that should be celebrated. This is where personal music can help!
Music is neurologically special in the way that it stimulates many parts of the brain at once. This means that even if parts of the brain are damaged, music can still reach other parts.
Our emotional connection with music is entirely unique, and some people can experience a ‘flashback feeling’ when hearing the songs that take them back to a place, time or person before dementia was a part of life.
Research conducted by Playlist for Life showed that many people living with dementia who listened to a personalised playlist reacted positively, unlocking memories or positive emotions associated with meaningful songs. Creating a personalised playlist can be a fun and rewarding experience, and something that you can add to as you continue to make new memories throughout life.
Although we may look to the past to find music for our playlist, it’s not about dwelling on the past, rather looking at all the music and experiences throughout your life that make you who you are now. Listening to music from our past can help us connect with our present.
How a personalised playlist has helped me
Benefits of a personalised playlist
Research shows that listening to a personalised playlist can improve mood, reduce anxiety, and bring moments of clarity. Living with dementia can present its challenges, so it’s important to have tools available to you that can offer respite and calm. Your personalised playlist can be listened to any time, anywhere at the touch of a button!
Music is universal, so finding groups or organisations in your local community that run dementia-friendly sessions is a great way to meet with others to discuss shared experiences, have musical conversations, and enjoy memories from your past.
Many of our resources can be used with family, carers, or in a group. Our Conversation Starters are simple prompts that can spark memories from different life stages, taking you back to childhood lullabies, summer holidays, the first dance at your wedding – the list goes on! Sharing these moments with a loved one, friend or carer can strengthen your connection and give them a glimpse into your life, perhaps before they even knew you.
We know how important it is to maintain independence when living with dementia. That’s why we offer support through online materials and webinars to enable people with dementia to make a playlist and use it in the way that best supports them. We work closely with people living with dementia and those who support them to ensure our resources are clear and accessible.
How do I get started?
We offer support at each stage of your playlist journey, from finding the right music to how to listen to your personalised playlist, available in 12 languages. Visit our Resources page to find out more or explore the links below.