How Music Has Helped Me During The Pandemic

by Beth Shipley

8th February, 2021

Travelling back from a skiing trip in Italy in February 2020, the panic started to kick in as the realisation that the UK was about to be hit with a deadly disease sunk in. Coronavirus was brand new at that time and I didn’t believe it could affect my life the way it has done, especially my job.

Graduating from the University of Chester with a Music Journalism degree, I’d imagined easily becoming the next music writer at any well-known music magazine but as the over-crowded journalism market showed me: that was near impossible. I settled for working in a university campus on reception and I was comfortable there, until the craziness of furlough and working from home started.

Being on furlough for three months in Summer, you can’t complain at all… apart from the nagging feeling of ‘this is going to end soon and you’ll have no money’. And it did. That’s when the crashing realisation of ‘you have no money coming in’ hit like a tonne of bricks and it was terrifying.

Pre-pandemic, finding a job you A) actually wanted or B) just needed was hard enough, but adding most of the population into the mix all looking for a new job was really difficult. Thankfully, after six weeks of tears, phone calls to Universal Credit (who, by the way, thought £9 was sufficient payment for a whole month), and constant job searching, I landed a great job that perfectly suits me and makes me happy. It gives me the chance to show my writing and creativity too, finally!

In any big moments of your life you remember the music – bands you saw at that festival or the song of your summer that was on repeat, and some albums have been a great help during darker days of the pandemic.

Caribou’s 2020 album, Suddenly, really put a smile on my face every time I listened to it. The breezy, summery tones felt comforting as they were so easy listening and chilled. I didn’t fancy listening to angry, stomping music in a time where my head was stomping and angry with new news updates every 2 minutes. Reminder, delete the BBC News app. Artists like Fleetwood Mac and bouncy, soulful characters like Otis Redding and Chic will always have you dancing and forgetting the troubles of the world, they’ve become new favourites too. Music has always been an incredible healer.

In some way, I’m thankful for the pandemic. Yes, it’s been the most frustrating and difficult time we will hopefully ever go through but without it, I wouldn’t have had the kick to find a new, exciting career path or discovered new hobbies and a new appreciation for the people close to me. I think it’s a big achievement in itself that I’ve gone through the pandemic with six housemates and we haven’t killed each other too!

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