Music, Oh Sweet Music: Soundtracks For Caregivers & Life


As described in Britannica, “it is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every human society.” 

At the same time, it would not be a stretch to say that in some way, on some level, music permeates the soul of every human being.

When you think about it – no matter what genres we enjoy, music is an indelible part of our lives from the time we are kids and will be until the day we leave this earth. We are outright moved by the power of a favorite artist’s voice, lyrics, rhythm, and melodies. Live performances, streaming services, CDs, vinyl records…we have many mediums to choose from. Over and above that, music is integrated within a myriad of things that touch our lives. Whether in movies, tv shows, commercials, video games, sporting events, religion, and much more, music is used to stir our emotions.

For me personally – and so many people I know – music has stirred my emotions, moved me, and been a soundtrack to life. My Apple playlist and Pandora stations reflect very eclectic taste, which have “been there” for me along the continuum of experiences from great joy to deep sorrow. This certainly includes along the roller coaster of life as a caregiver/patient advocate.

With that and November’s National Family Caregiver’s Month in mind, I thought this would be a good week to share some incredible music…well, to me, and maybe you, too. These songs have been comforting, validating, or uplifting along my caregiver/patient advocacy journey…and throughout life overall. My hope is that you and/or someone you care about may find them a meaningful complement to your journey, whether at this moment or in the future.

Appropriately, and gladly, I’ll begin with what appears to be a relatively obscure song from Celia (Farran) called The Caregiver’s Song. It could very well be an anthem to Caregivers everywhere. Incredible voice, poignant lyrics. As she’s quoted on her website, “My dream for this song is simple: for it to be heard by the people who need to hear it. With it I honor all Caregivers. It is love that sustains us through the difficult times. Know that you are blessed.”

We’ve all had to deal with loss and carrying on at some point, in various ways. When I’ve faced that along my life’s journey, I typically turn to the music from one of my favorite singer-songwriters – Carrie Newcomer. The juxtaposition of her raw and cathartic music with a beautifully soothing voice is so powerful. It has been supportive and healing for me many times over the past 25+ years. If you know Carrie’s music, maybe the same holds true for you.

In an interview on the website Read The Spirit, Carrie asks, “What do we do in the dark? What do we do in hard times? We can be afraid. We can spend way too much time focusing on the question: Why do hard times happen? Instead, I’m saying we should be asking: Who will help me heal the wound? How do I walk forward in this hard life?”

A song called Sanctuary off Carrie’s 2016 album The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays and Lyrics speaks to these questions in an undeniably moving way. What do you think?

Another of her albums, A Gathering of Spirits, was released in September 2002 – almost a year to the day after 9/11. Her adeptness at reflecting the human condition comes through so clearly. As stated on her website, “it’s an album about courage and change, about perseverance and bewilderment, tenderness and anger; it’s about being shaken to the core and where I stand, what we’ve lost and what lasts.” Surely, this applies to post-9/11 healing, as well as our overall lives. Here’s a video of the album’s title song for you to enjoy, A Gathering of Spirits.

Another of my “go to” singer-songwriters penned quite possibly the song that stands atop the all-time chart related to the depths of deep sorrow and healing. Sarah McLaughlin released Angel in 1999. I cannot do it justice with any words, especially in comparison to the comments below the Studio Recording and Live Recording – which I invite you to read after listening. Powerful is an understatement – and you might want to have tissues ready.

To lighten the mood a little – okay, a lot – I’ll point back to my previous post Friends Are Found On Every Road. Having special people along the caregiving/patient advocacy journey is a beautifully uplifting part of the experience. In that blog post, I used Elton John’s special song Friends as a guide and signed off with a link to Andrew Gold’s Thank You For Being A Friend. They both bring smiles.

While I could share infinitely more songs, I’ll keep it to two. One that I imagine most of you have not heard. Another you may have, as it’s been used commercially over the past few years and received lots of airplay.

Let’s start with the lesser known. I just came upon David Howley as I was working on this post. Unless I’m missing something (maybe he can let me know), the song he wrote/performed is available only on Facebook and called, A song for caregivers, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, partners, friends and anyone who is willing to sit in the shadows with someone who needs the help. (Note: you may need to turn the video sound on.) The song is quite lovely and hopefully will become more well-known in the caregiving/patient advocacy world – and everywhere.

This brings me to the final song – for today. Get ready…

I keep coming back to the artist’s undeniably beautiful voice, lyrics, and performance. The story depicted in the video makes the song even more moving and inspirational. The caregiving you will see – is the epitome of selflessness, caring, tenderness, and love. I have no doubt you’ll understand why this song stands right at the top of the list vying for the 1 Day 1 Week Caregiver’s Anthem award. Prepare to be moved…

Welcome, Andra Day – and thank you for Rise Up!


Caregiver/Advocate Takeaways

  • Music moves us.
  • Music comforts us.
  • Music uplifts us.
  • Music helps heal us.

Other takeaways this week would only take away from those infinite truths.

Lift someone up – share a comment below about any of the songs in this post and/or others that have had great meaning for your life’s journey.

Stay tuned for the November launch of 1 Day 1 Week’s new podcast series! This week I’ll be recording the first one, with it being posted on a date TBD in November. I’m very excited to share the episodes with you soon. Here’s a sneak peek at the guests:

  • A former journalist who recently received a PhD. She focuses on health literacy and provides caregiving/patient advocacy perspectives from many angles.
  • A corporate executive with a Fortune 100 company, who came to live across the country during Covid to be actively involved in helping her mom care for her dad. 
  • A nurse who decades ago founded a regional home health/nursing agency and continually deals with the challenges of a broken healthcare system.
  • An author who has written about the crossroads of caregiving and mindfulness, and has been advocating for caregiver well-being for decades.

Thanks for reading Music, Oh Sweet Music: Soundtracks For Caregivers & Anyone Who Cares. As with other 1 Day 1 Week posts, you’re welcome to share your thoughts below and/or share a story as a full blog post of your own. Whether you’re a caregiver, patient advocate, or involved in caregiving/patient advocacy in some way, the worldwide community of caregivers and patient advocates can benefit individually and collectively from “hearing” what you share about your experiences.