I Can See Clearly Now

I Can See Clearly Now

Mel Cossins

I had been running Sing It Out! Virtual Choir online through Zoom and each week focused on a decade. This was a song I chose for the 70s, which I remembered from my childhood. It is a lovely song and the words have such meaning to me after suffering depression several times in my life. It reminds me to try and stay positive and look for ‘blue skies’.

When lockdown began I threw myself into things feeling a need to keep busy. I find change difficult and being in control of what I can change helps me. My two children are home educated, my youngest is ASD and very challenging so that has been difficult to cope with in particular the last few weeks. My teen suffers from anxiety so I guess I have been trying to be everything to everyone during Lockdown which is exhausting. The last couple of weeks have been particularly hard, where I have felt drained and worried about the future.

Singing has always helped me. In fact I do go as far as saying it saved me through a particular bad period of depression in my mid 20s. When I feel low or anxious it is something I don’t often feel I have the energy to do however if I push myself to sing I find that it uplifts me, takes my mind away from things that are causing stress and helps regulate my breathing – there is something very therapeutic about the physical aspect of singing.

From working with many people in different settings I do think singing helps people mentally and physically. For me, our bodies and minds are interlinked and singing is a physical exercise – a lot of people don’t realise that! In the past people have commented that the feel better after singing, that they feel more confident and happier and that they end up singing more at home.

During stressful times like this it is inspiring to see so many people come together and help each other out. We live in a very individualistic society where often everything is about competition, being better than someone else, getting what you want. I love it when people become more of a community and help, look out for and support each other – after all we do need each other. Frances and I recorded some songs which have been posted on our page on Fridays which are the songs that speak to me through their lyrics – From a Distance, Stand By Me (we also recorded that acapella with some lovely people from Wakefield) for the Postcards project, True Colours.


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