Music, Time and Privacy: An Effective Combination for Clearing Emotional Clutter

I just figured out why I’ve come to love the weekly hour and a half trips to and from my mother’s house in Kilmarnock, Virginia. Unconsciously I have used that private time in the car to clear emotional clutter.

I make that drive every weekend to make sure Mom is doing OK living alone since the her husband’s death in January. She has dementia, but is still able to live alone with a little assistance from me. I also want her to have company at least once a week, and I want to be available to help her through her grief. I’ve thought of it as a time to help her, but I too have benefitted from those trips. I play music I love and allow my thoughts to drift. As my thoughts drift, so do my feelings.

Like most people, I repress feelings during busy, focused times when dealing with them would not be appropriate. Most recently I lost my step-father after a very stressful period when I came face to face with the extent of my mother and my stepfather’s dementia. I couldn’t afford to grieve the loss of my step-father or feel the range of feelings that come up when beloved parents are declining mentally because I was the only person who had a good brain. I had medical care to coordinate, my mother to support and help, and eventually a funeral to plan. Did I mention that much of this difficult ordeal occurred during December when I was getting ready for Christmas?

Once the dust settled after my step-father’s death, I began making my weekly trips to visit Mom. I played music on Pandora (internet radio), choosing the type of music that suited my mood. Much to my surprise and relief I found that music that I associate with my parents helped me release old thoughts and feelings associated with my childhood. Country music love songs helped me let go of deep feelings of sadness about my step-father being gone from my mother’s life and come to realize how much I missed him. Most recently I found myself crying tears of gratitude for my dear husband’s support and tears of sadness about Mom’s mental decline.

The combination of music and time alone in the privacy of my car have worked well to help me release so much sadness, more than I even knew I was carrying. I’ve come to look forward to my trips for the opportunity to clear out any accumulated feelings. You might be wondering if all this crying and focus on losses is really a good thing. I found myself questioning whether I am being self-indulgent, enjoying the pain, a behavior that could keep me stuck in pain.

When I asked myself what was really going on, I came to the conclusion that I had inadvertently stumbled onto an effective way to release accumulated emotional clutter. How do I know that what I’ve been doing really is a good thing? After my weekly releases I feel better, lighter and open to receive good things like guidance, inspiration, excitement, and clarity about my purpose. Clearing old emotional clutter has made more room for joy! What a gift!

If you are normal, and tend to push uncomfortable feelings away, consider allowing those feelings to come up and out when you are in a safe place, either alone or with a safe person. Know that you will be clearing emotional clutter with each tear that flows. It’s often the emotional clutter that is the biggest obstacle to successful clutter clearing.

© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie

“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in your life. If you’re ready to finally clear the clutter from your life and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at

2 thoughts on “Music, Time and Privacy: An Effective Combination for Clearing Emotional Clutter

  1. Debbie

    Oh, yes! Movies are a great way to release emotional clutter! Hadn’t put together the connection between repressed feelings and sinus headaches, but it sure makes sense to me! It’s sad to me that in our culture we have so little permission to be authentic with our feelings. The norm is to “buck up.” What a bunch of junk! Life hurts sometimes and tears are completely appropriate when we hurt! Nice to know there are others who have found ways to get the feelings out! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Madeleine Lawrence

    Hi Debbie,
    I clear out my emotional clutter by watching movies. Like you say, it’s not always appropriate to experience our emotions as they arise. My kids find it hilarious the way I can cry during a sad/romantic movie! As a side note, I discovered most of my sinus headaches were a result of keeping my emotions in – a good cry is usually enough to stop a bad bout of sinusitis for me.

    After my divorce I also had a period of tears ‘leaking out’ when I was in the car driving to work – usually in response to particularly beautiful classical music on the radio. It was very therapeutic.

    Have a beautiful day, Madeleine


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