Hi everybody, today I am really excited to be sharing with you a very special post…
Let me tell you a bit about a website called hopethroughmusic.com, Hope through music is a community where people from around the world can share their stories about how music has had an impact on their life.
I was lucky enough to have been sent a T-shirt and loads of stickers by the lovely people at Hope through music in order to spread awareness, I think it’s an amazing website and I cannot wait to see the community grow.
Hope though music was founded and is run by two lovely people named AK and Flo, they were kind enough to answer some questions I sent over so instead of hearing me talking about their fantastic website let’s hear about it from the people that know the most.
Firstly, please explain your role.
Well, I am AK and I am one of the two Co-Founders of “Hope Through Music”. Next, to filling our website with content and taking care of the community, I reply to emails and messages we get on Tumblr/Twitter and also take care of our Social Media content.
What Inspired you to create a place and create a community where people can share their stories?
Since I turned 18, I used to spend all school and University summers and sometimes even the weekends during the term to work in a factory for a local car manufacturer. I used to listen to a lot of music during night shifts in order to get me through the night and all these memories popped up in my head and one night the idea just hit me. The website started as a Tumblr blog with a logo created by my dear friend Flo, but in summer 2014, we got together and decided to go bigger and turn it into an actual website.
I think once people get together and share personal experiences, we can only learn and benefit from each other. It shows people that they are not alone in whatever they are going through and even though it does not always feel like it, there are still people who care and share the same passion which in this case is music. Even Flo and I have tons of memories together that are connected to music as we met online about 15 years ago and spent so many days together going to concerts across Europe or just share new songs with each other and once to take some time out of your day to listen to a song which is recommended to you by someone you care, you create a much deeper sympathy and empathy to each other. You can learn a lot about people by simply listening to songs which are important to them.
Do you sometimes feel that the effect of music can be downplayed for example people not realising the effect or help it can provide?
I think downplaying the importance of music, in this case, is connected to the stigma of mental health. It does not necessarily have to be music, but the moment someone finds purpose in something it offers hope and isn’t that what we all struggle with at one point? To find our purpose?
We cannot hear what other people think and we cannot always see how someone feels which underlines the importance of someone finding purpose in something that is so important that it offers hope and a friend when reaching out is difficult.
Do you think building a community around one focus point can inspire people to speak out and be more open?
I think our main focus is to offer a safe space where people can come together and share their experience. It is one thing to say “You are not alone” and another to live up to it which we try to do by offering a safe online community. We live in a time in which hands are used as guns and cyber bullying is real. What people want to talk about on our page is up to the people, all we can do is protect them by letting them share their story anonymously if preferred. Additionally, some people like to read instead of talk, so they do not necessarily have to become part of our community and may find hope in the stories shared. In this case, I do think the community is important and inspires people to speak out.
Do you feel there is still a stigma surrounding mental health, if so what do you think we need to do to try and reduce it and make society a safer place for people to speak out?
I do feel there is still a stigma surrounding mental health and I do believe that we are still at the beginning on working against the stigma. There are no laws or rules that are going to change social behavior, but rather an education and therefore I believe this is the only way we can work on eliminating the stigma. We have to go and start at a very young age to educate humanity and empathy in order to expect change in the future.
On a more personal note, I think we have to understand the power of words and silence again. Words do matter as well as silence in the wrong moment. Due to the fast pace of life and the constant influence of social media, we forget what paying attention means which can be crucial in relationships. We have to come to understanding that maybe our life goal shouldn’t be to find ultimate happiness as it is only an emotion, but rather to be satisfied with the here and now with the things we have.
What are your plans for the future regarding the community, do you aim plans to grow bigger?
To be completely honest, we are already overwhelmed with everything that happened within the last three years and the love and support we’ve been given from around the world. We organised our first event this year which was focused on LGBTQ+ which we want to continue in the future as well as other important social topics. Furthermore, we want to open our Merchandise store so people can spread the message around their hometowns. In general, we want to continue sharing stories about people who found hope in music and tell them, we understand you and we are with you.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Ak and Flo for taking their time to answer my questions and I hope that it gave everyone an insight into what they do and it would be really cool if you took a moment to head over to hopethroughmusic.com to read peoples stories and maybe even share your own.
You can stay up to date with Hope through music on social media their links are below:
I love you all so much and I will see you in my next post… Bye.
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