Brain Space: Video Game Music to Chill to

by Adam Leonhardt

I am a person who is prone to high levels of anxiety. It is something that I have struggled with my entire life. For as far back as I can remember I’ve been a worrier and a person who panics at a level that is not sustainable for a healthy life. As a young person this manifested in intense fear in social situations and in experiences that were new or outside of my routine. I would be terrified to go to school, would withdraw in any social setting and it completely cripple my ability to make friends. Looking back on it I can recall this being dismissed as being “shy” but now that I am an adult and many of these same feelings remain as obstacles in my daily life I can see that it is much more than that. Now that I am an adult I exhibit elevated heart rate, oppressive and irrational fears and obsessive thoughts that distract me from being productive in my day-to-day life.

A couple of years ago I finally got tired of not being in control of my thoughts and feelings and I sought help. As people who suffer from depression and/or anxiety well know “help” is not something that comes wrapped in a bow to solve all your problems and take your worries away. Help is a process and a system that you have to institute in your life in a multitude of ways. For me help took the form of honest conversations with my wife, an admission that I wasn’t ok with who I was, a forceful desire to reclaim myself as an individual and medication. Those were the keys to opening the door for me to start getting help, and I’m happy to say that after a lot of hard work and an unshakeable determination to get better, I am a much happier, satisfied, and calm person than I can ever remember being in my entire life.

But getting better is not a destination. A person doesn’t arrive at wellness and live out their days happily ever after. I have to continually keep myself and my thoughts in check so that I don’t lose control like I had for so many years. There are many tools in my kit that I use to make sure I’m staying the course and one of my favorites is music, in particular video game music. You see, video games bring me a lot of joy in so many aspects of my life. Many of my favorite memories in my life can be framed in the context of my journey as a player because games have been with me throughout my entire life. I love to look back on happy times and wrap that warm blanket of nostalgia around myself through memories and thoughts of playing my favorite video game experiences and one tool that always helps to trigger those memories is music.

So in this first week of Brain Space I thought I would share some of my favorite video game music playlists with you. I put these on nearly every time I’m working whether it’s at my day job or at home here in my office. When I need to decompress, relax and chill out I will cue up one of these playlists and feel the weight lift from my shoulders. This is just a small sampling of some of my favorites that I hope you enjoy. We’d love to hear what some of your favorite music to chill out to is. Leave a comment below or tweet at us @themegadads to let us know what helps you.

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