A man looking out a window

The Healing Power of Country Music in Times of Tragedy

Anymore when a restless feelin’ keeps me up at night
Fallin’ on my knees is my new turnin’ on the light
I keep my faith intact, make sure my prayers are said
‘Cause I’ve learned that the monsters ain’t the ones beneath the bed.”

These words have been echoing in my head the past two days as the news cycle has once again been taken over by mass shootings. People are hurt, mad, scared, and looking for someone to blame. But mostly, people are just looking for answers.

But where do you turn when there are no answers?

For me, that’s always been country music.

When I was 13 years old and trying to understand the images of falling towers on TV, it was Alan Jackson reminding me that “faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us.” When I was 23 and my grandma passed away, it was Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton reminding me not to cry for her down here. And when I watched in horror as thousands of people fled from gunfire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, it was Eric Church at the Grand Ole Opry who managed to express my own feelings better than I ever could myself.

Country music has always been healing.

Maybe it’s because country music isn’t afraid to tackle subjects and address the emotions that we all feel – but don’t always know how to express. You can’t tell me that you didn’t tear up when the first time you heard “Dad’s Old Number” by Cole Swindell or “Heaven Bound Balloons” by Granger Smith – a song that’s no doubt helped him start to heal amidst his own unthinkable tragedy.

Maybe it’s because country music reminds me of all the good in the world. It’s good people singing good songs about respect, faith and family. It’s small-town Friday nights drinking beer with the boys and Sunday mornings in the church pew with family.

Or maybe, it’s because country music has always managed to put my emotions into words that I couldn’t find myself.

Whatever the reason, country music is my safe space. It’s my space where I can find a song to remind me that I’m not alone, to remind me that it’s fine to have questions, and ultimately, to remind me what’s really important.

Turn on the TV these days and you’ll see constant reminders that the monsters in this world aren’t underneath your bed. But turn on the radio, and you’ll get a reminder about what’s really important: Keep your faith intact. Make sure your prayers are said.

And that’s the healing power of country music.

A beer bottle on a dock


A beer bottle on a dock