How Food and Music Are Good For the Soul

MARCH 16, 2020 By Greg Friedman

It’s a very strange time we live in to say the least. Aside the daily challenges we live with, events of late have caused us all to be concerned about more than every day life. Now, we have daily news reports that challenge our safety and sanity. Some of the news is down right scary.

So what do we do to keep our sanity? As a species we try to take control of our environment, that helps taking back a sense of stability. For most people there are three things in life that always help with that. These three things are always there for us and never let us down. There are the bands or artists we love (let’s count that as one), the songs we can’t live without (songs from the soundtrack of our life); and our favorite foods (the thing that we need whenever we need to cope with life). This trilogy helps us remember what really matters in life.

Blackwater by RAIN TREE CROW
Any one of the three are like a time machine. By experiencing any one of the them we can be propelled to any place, any time at any moment that made us smile. Anyone of the three have been described as music for our hearts, or food for our soul. These sources can combat dark skies, and help us deal with whatever is thrown our way.

Food in particular calls us home, to ourselves, to our roots, to our very soul (hence the name). We, every single one of us, is tribal in nature and we have more things anchoring us back to our true selves to our sense of self than most are aware enough and awake enough to realize.

Most of our taste is not in our mouths, it’s in our olfactory sense, our taste comes through our sense of smell.  And our sense of smell is also one of the strongest pathways to self-recognition.

Comfort food is similar to Soul food and yet like anything, it can have a light and a shadow side to it. In a balanced way comfort food can be grounding and liberating. In an imbalanced fashion “comfort food” can be a drug that we abuse to help us feel good or in the worst case scenario to help us avoid feeling what is going on in the here and now. Most often because we are overwhelmed or afraid. It can help us hide in the memory of something that felt good rather than deal with the reality we have created in the present moment.

Chocolate by The 1975

If we smell a certain perfume it can evoke sexuality or sensuality.  And who hasn’t smelled fresh cut grass and had a sense memory?  I’m a nice Italian boy, I know with the last name Friedman (yes, Italian, I’ll elaborate some other time), and when I walk into a home and smell garlic or a marinara my soul sings.

Whereas music, it propels us to a theater of the mind. We can be anywhere with anyone at any time. Music can make us laugh, cry and rebound. Music is very similar to the culinary experience, it take us on a different path, but in the end, we end up at the same destination. The duo are an exercise in character, which brings us to a place we dwell. It’s a place we call home. Despite all our own internal challenges, music or are favorite food can help calm us. More often than not, we land at our happy place; next to the person or people we love.

Pedestrian at Best by Courtney Barnett

Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Much like Michelangelo who believed that the statue already existed within the marble and his job was to chip away and until he released the beauty that was ever-present, my work with clients is designed to do the very same thing.
As a teacher my job isn’t so much to teach clients new things but instead, to help them remember who we are at our core and our olfactory sense, our sense of smell is perhaps the greatest keys to getting there. Each one of is perfect.  Each one of us is magic and in my work, I just help you realize it.
Soul foods propel us to a moment or a feeling and help us to uncover and connect to what is already there.   

Eat the Music by Kate Bush

And what are we yearning to connect to? Marianne Williamson said, “everything on this planet is either love or a call for love”. And Soul Food or Comfort food is deeply imbeded into our DNA as humans to be one of the most rapid and effective ways to connect or reconnect to our tribe, our love of life, our love of others and our love of self.

There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. Sometimes, the things that matter most are right in front of us. No matter which three gets us there, the end result is good for our soul.

In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat, Pray, Love”. Or in the word of my ancestors, Mangia!

Bring on the Dancing Horses by Echo & The Bunnymen
Home is a irrevocable condition of the mind, body and soul