Pouring out the feels: My Music x Mental Health Journey

I’ve not had much time or energy to update my blog the past few weeks. I’ve had a few things on my plate, both personally and professionally. But, I wanted to drop a short note on is that I’ve been busy working on a very exciting and deeply personal project – launching a music album featuring songs about my mental health journey!

I discovered my interest in song-writing only last year, while I was in the midst of therapy.

Somehow talking about feelings, truly understanding how my brother’s schizophrenia had impacted a supposedly “unimpacted” me was that flint that kickstarted the song-writing spark in me.

It was also during that time that my musically-talented husband (he plays drums in his bands) decided that he wanted to up his music game by diving into production – composing, mixing, mastering, essentially, everything that goes into making a song.

But writing lyrics isn’t his jam, neither is singing, and so – I ended up being the other half of our alternative pop duo, Buddha in the Balcony.

You may have read my earlier articles on my experience with therapy. I basically summed up my issues to the fact that growing up with a mentally ill sibling will leave one impacted, no matter how okay we may seem.

I know for a fact that when I was searching online for answers to my feelings, whenever I read articles written by a sibling of a mentally ill person, the honesty, the conflict, the vulnerability, that’s what I connected with and what really helped me.

Sometimes it feels like an uber-exclusive club of high-achievers, forming their identities at work, an escape, even, but hiding their pain so, so deep inside.

It’s not uncommon to find strife and trauma in the families of the so-called successful.

Childhood Emotional Neglect is a very real thing.

I am planning to write another article about a very important concept that seems so intangible, almost laughable, but is a very real thing indeed.

Researched worldwide, only now am I understanding more about how childhood emotional neglect can have a debilitating impact on a person and, only now am I allowing myself to accept it.

This article though, isn’t to go into the details of that, it’s just to share how I’ve merged my mental health journey with music.

The EP is called This Feeling, completely inspired by the fact that my psychologist got me to see just how important it was to recognise and accept my feelings.

In the EP, there are 4 songs:

  • This Feeling: A letter to all parents, who may be coping with a mentally ill child, to not forget the other “okay” child.
  • Fade Away: A song written about my brother and his illness, schizophrenia, and how some of us siblings feel.
  • Won’t Let You Fall: A song written by my husband, for me. About unconditional support, about not letting the past or situations define oneself.
  • Always In Me: A song about resilience and finding support within oneself.

The album launches 1st May 2021. It has been nearly 10 months in the works, everything (save for guitars on two of the tracks) is done by the two of us and it has been a wondrous journey indeed.

You can find our music on all major streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, etc. Just search for Buddha in the Balcony! I hope you will enjoy listening to the songs!

2 thoughts on “Pouring out the feels: My Music x Mental Health Journey

  1. Dear Yasmeen,
    Frankly when I did come to S’pore I personally wanted to interact with you but somehow couldn’t. After I went through your write up, I can very well understand and relate to you.We all have our problems and issues but don’t speak much.Friends are a very good support and cushion for our emotions. I am into counselling and mental health too.I have done my Counselling g course and have joined an NGO here and do online counselling now due to the present situation.
    It’s wonderful to see the positive way you are handling the whole situation.I should laud your wonderful husband who is your support system without whom am sure you would have found it a bit difficult. God always gives us something if not all..He has given you a husband in compensation. All the best in your new venture and regards and respect to your husband.We are always there for you. You are indeed setting an example for the rest and am sure it will motivate them not to lose hope and handle situations better.God bless. Love.

    1. Hi Natasha (auntie)! Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful note. It means a lot to me to see such support and encouragement. Glad to hear that you are helping via online counselling, and do take care of yourself too 🙂 For me, I am just glad whenever someone or other sees my posts, and they open up as well, or they feel supported in some way and not so alone, that is my aim with my mental health advocacy. Mental well-being is a daily work-in-progress, it is something that we need to be mindful of and practice how we respond in a way that is best for OUR mental health, not ignoring our feelings and needs. Ok, once again thank you for the kind words!! 🙂

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