In episode 6 of Hope for Anxiety and OCD, I interviewed author and speaker Tim Ringold. Tim provides insight into how the brain and nervous system function when a person is stressed. Then, he explains how people can use music to calm down when they feel anxious.

  • Spiritual pain
  • Neuroscience behind how music calms the nervous system
  • Practical ways to utilize music when stressed
  • Difference between listening to music passively and engaging with it

Resources and links:

By The Well Counseling
Tim Ringold
Music Therapy
Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey (ACES)
Book: The Hard Questions

More Podcast Episodes

Transcript of Episode 6

Hope for Anxiety and OCD episode 6      

In today’s episode, I am talking to music therapist and public speaker, Tim Ringgol. Tim has a vast knowledge of how music affects the brain and how we can engage with music and utilize it in a very specific way to help us calm down. I learned so much from interviewing Tim. I’m really excited to share this episode with you. 

Carrie: Hi, welcome to Hope for Anxiety and OCD. 

Tim: Thanks so much for having me, Carrie. It’s great to be here.

What Does A Music Therapist Do?

Carrie: I know a little bit about you but I actually don’t know a whole lot. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? 

Tim: Sure. I’m a Board-Certified Music Therapist, which is someone like a physical therapist who uses exercise to help people in a clinical setting. I was trained in school how to use music in a clinical setting to help people. People help themselves with music all day long. Sometimes, it’s like tales of the obvious to people like, “Oh yeah, I do that all the time.” There are situations where the targeted use in the hands of a clinician where music really can help people in certain circumstances throughout the lifespan. So that’s what my training is. We all know it’s good for our mood and it’s good for our spirit. 

My training is really how music affects the brain and the body and particularly the nervous system. That’s kind of what I get excited about to kind of empower people to understand their nervous system and how to regulate it with music.

Carrie: That’s really awesome. I’ve been a therapist for over 10 years and I can’t remember ever actually meeting a music therapist. 

Tim: I know we’re a rare breed. There’s only about 8,000 of us nationwide. Contrast that with like there’s 900,000 members of the APA. I am usually the first music therapist someone meets. 

From Rock Musician To Music Therapist

Carrie: So how did you become a music therapist? 

Tim: I started out as a musician first. I started out on stage when I was four and started singing right out of the gate. I was pursuing a career as a rock musician because that seemed like a very healthy, stable financially, no, none of those things apply when it comes to rock music. If you want to get a degree in music performance, it’s either opera or musical theater and I wasn’t interested in either of those. 

So I went rock and roll cause I’m totally a rebel, but I grew up like Catholic, Connecticut, prep school. All the boxes of conformity and then I was just like, “I’m not any of this”  and I kind of exploded when I was 22 and I joke that I came out as a musician and my family was devastated. They were just like, ”Oh my God. It must’ve been the drugs.” No joke. They said that. So I was like, “I’m so sorry to disappoint you” and then there was an intervention with my family because “rock music is crazy and it’s unhealthy.” These things aren’t true. That was my lifestyle. 

When I wanted to settle down, I was engaged and I just couldn’t imagine the future being on the road and being in a committed relationship, having kids, trying to stay sober, trying to stay faithful on the road. 

One day, someone sent us this cute little book for an engagement gift called “The Hard Questions.” A hundred questions every couple should ask before tying the knot. It talks about career and family and yadda yadda.  

My wife, she had her MBA at that time. She could see her future like corporate clear- pie charts, graphs and I just looked into the black hole of the music industry and I was like, “Oh my God. What am I going to do with my life?” and she just encouraged me, “If you want to go back to school, we can afford it.”

I don’t want to marry like a grumpy never-was so I scrolled from A to Z in the index of majors at my local university. I just scrolled like, “Is there anything interesting here?” And sure enough, I bumped into the two words, “music therapy” on this scrolled list. I was like, “Oh, stop it.” I had been a musician and I was an athlete. I used to work in physical therapy, but I found it to be just tissue. It was like, I didn’t touch the emotions. I didn’t touch the spirit. It didn’t go deep enough for me. 

I wrote a paper in college called music versus medicine because I thought I had to choose one or the other. Then I found a field where I could combine the two, and my life literally changed direction in a single moment. I have not looked back since. 

Tim Scaling His Impact By Traveling And Speaking About Music And Mental Health

Carrie: Wow, that’s awesome. So now you actually travel and speak to people about how to reach for music.

Tim: Yeah, that’s it. I noticed early on in my internship that I enjoyed speaking about music. I like doing music therapy, but I also really just love talking about it. One of my colleagues said to me, “You know, you’re a good music therapist, but the American Music Therapy Association should literally just hire you to go around and talk about music therapy because you’re just really good at talking about it” and I was like, “Thank you. I like that idea too.” 

So I got booked in. One day, I got an email and it was the National Hemophilia Foundation who had found my blog that I’d written about my special needs daughter, and then here’s a dad, a special needs dad who knows how to use a non-opioid based approach for pain management. So they said, “We’d like you to come speak at this summit that we’re doing and you’ll be faculty and we pay faculty.” It was like 15 times how much I made an hour as a music therapist. I am a speaker but this is a whole different world. 

That began this kind of quest that I’ve been on for the last seven years to just speak more and more because then I also realized that I could plant the seeds about how to use music yourself to really big groups of people really fast. For me, it’s always been kind of like this journey of wanting to help the most people. [00:07:29] It’s almost like a numbers game. I want to go wide. I like going deep with one person but after a while I was in the treatment room, working with one patient at a time. There are so many patients a week because there’s only so much of me that can go around. I don’t know what the right word is but just I couldn’t scale my impact. I couldn’t clone myself.

When I got up on a stage, I could have 800 professionals in a ballroom all getting the same message at the same time and I was like, “Oh yes, please.” That developed into what I do full-time now. Now I have a clinical staff that does the music therapy and I do all the speaking.

Carrie: Awesome. You’re also the second person that I’ve interviewed who said somebody else told them, “Hey, you should be doing this. You have the talent, skills, and abilities to be doing it” and they weren’t doing it at the time. It’s just always interesting how other people can see things that we can’t see in ourselves. That happens in therapy.

Tim: Totally. There’s a phrase that I use which is, “you cannot see the frame when you’re in the picture.” You have blind spots all around you. Your peripheral vision only sees so far but everybody else sees all that way around. They see a dimension of you, you just can’t see. That’s why being willing to hear what others have to say is a really useful ability because the listener can’t see this right now. We’re on zoom, I can wave my hand to you, but right now I can’t see my hand but you can. In my perception, there’s no hand except there’s a hand, right?

So how many times in life are we walking around and there’s something right there, everybody else can see it, but you’re like the last one to get it. That in and of itself is so much of my work in mental health. It’s because there’s such a stigma around mental health. Unwilling to turn and look and see that there is something amiss right next to him. 

The Importance of Recognizing Mental Health As Essential To Physical Health

I had one teen who told me once, he goes, “Yeah, that’s like addiction man. Everyone else sees it before you.” Oftentimes, we will feel discomfort, “dis-ease” symptoms in our body. We’re the first to know when it comes to our physical health, when it comes to our mental health because there’s such a different attitude about mental health in the culture. When we feel dis-ease or discomfort mentally, we don’t have the same freedom to just go, “You know what, I keep thinking about killing myself.” This is not normal because I’m designed to survive like my DNA is programmed for survival. So why do I keep thinking about killing? That doesn’t make any sense. Being able to have the freedom to just say that out loud and not be institutionally locked up for 72 hours. Your doctor, your physical doctor is not a mandated reporter if you’re having physical symptoms. They don’t physically lock you in a physical hospital for 72 hours for anything. You can get up and walk out at any time. You’re free to be called AMA against medical advice but physically you’re free to do what you want, mentally, it’s another story. 

We have a completely different relationship to mental health in this country than physical health. I think that’s a real challenge for people because the human experience, everybody’s having physical symptoms and everybody’s having mental symptoms.

If you’re not free to talk about the mental symptoms, the way you do with the physical symptoms, what people do is they wait until their body turns it into physical symptoms. Then they go try to treat the physical symptom which is the symptom, but not the source.

Carrie: That happens with anxiety all the time. People will show up at the ER, “I think I’m having a heart attack,” “I think I’m dying” and they will get fully checked out and the result will be, “We think you had a panic attack.” 

Tim: Yes. Anxiety attacks and “I can’t breathe. I physically can’t breathe” and it’s a somatic sensation.

Carrie: Absolutely.

Tim: Just like depression can be a somatic sensation of heaviness. Anxiety can be this somatic experience as well of being like, “I can’t catch my breath” and they physically can’t. You can see their shallow breathing and they’re starting to hyperventilate. 

My daughter has anxiety and I watch it and she’s 14. It’s kind of a fascinating journey of adolescence, puberty, hormones, and mental health, and like trying to navigate, when is this hormones of adolescence and puberty? When is this an anxiety attack?

As a clinician, I can tell you, there are times when I can see when we are crossing into the red zone where there were having a panic attack and she cannot recover her breath and I have to work with her and it’s really scary. If we took her to a hospital, they’d check her out and they’d be like, “there’s nothing wrong with you” and then they’d say something like, “it’s a panic attack. We don’t treat that here.” So it’s a real challenge in our culture. 

Tim’s Sex Addiction Experience And Its Connection With His Religious Orientation

Carrie: Absolutely. You talked a little bit about growing up Catholic and I’m curious what your experience of that interaction between mental health and the churches because that’s super interesting to me. 

Tim: I’m happy to tell this story because I think it’s instructive for a lot of other people’s experiences of growing up in a religious family. For me, I believe in a kind of a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of the self. You’re having this experience of being you in four dimensions and you can experience pain in all four dimensions but that presents in your brain the same way. It doesn’t matter if you’re suffering grief or you’re suffering from a bruise. Your brain doesn’t know the difference in terms of where it shows up as pain. The signal is pain. It could be emotional pain. It could be physical pain. If you’re getting bullied, it’s social pain. You can have spiritual pain. 

I didn’t really understand this until maybe my mid-forties. I’m in long-term recovery for sex addiction. My ACEs score is zero. So I have zero adverse childhood experiences which is a massive predictor of addiction and mental health in adulthood. If those who are listening have not been exposed to ACEs, it’s a really valuable tool to look at. It scientifically validated the adverse childhood experience survey (ACEs).

I would be in 12 step rooms and I’d hear guys talking about physical abuse, sexual abuse, and I felt like, “What’s the matter with me? I don’t have anything wrong with me” and then finally as I started to look in this four-part dimension of spiritual pain, I realized in my house, I was crying myself to sleep when I was eight years old, convinced that I was going to hell because I didn’t say my “Our Father” the night before when I was going to bed.

I had this imagery of me falling asleep. I equated it to falling to hell because I couldn’t stay awake. It was so hard to stay awake to say my prayers but it was so easy to just fall asleep. So I started to see images and arch of hell like they’re the most horrible, glorified, horrifying, traumatic visual things that I’ve ever seen in my life were pictures of people describing this religious thing called hell. So I grew up totally traumatized by the idea that I was going to hell because I was told there were these rules you had to follow. You get one chance and there’s this whole idea of sin. When you grow up in the Catholic and in the Christian world, you cannot walk five feet without having that word thrown at you. As a kid, it was like a math equation. At a certain point, I was doomed. I was doomed by the things that every human being does. I was like, “This is an equation where there’s no way I don’t end up in hell, and wait a minute, I’m not a murderer. I’m not a rapist.” I’m like, “If I’m ending up in hell, everybody’s ending up in hell.”

Now I have an eight-year-old and the image of my son crying himself to sleep because he’s afraid he’s going to hell, breaks my heart. Except that was my childhood and no one knew. I never told anybody because I was scared to death to talk about that kind of stuff.

I think a lot of people leave the church when they get old enough to physically leave the church for a really good reason because well-intentioned people put the fear of hell into them. I mean, we talked about put the fear of God into somebody. I can’t square myself with anybody who thinks that the idea of an all-loving God and the fear of God at the same time can hold the same space like, “Cool. That’s for you.” Great but I’m not signing on to anything where I am afraid of my creator, that I am afraid for my eternal soul like that has no place in inspiring me to be a good person. It didn’t work. All it did is it inspired me to find pornography because as soon as I found it in pornography, I found relief. I found something that captivated my imagination. It took my mind completely out of the terror for a period of time while I was in the very same place that I was crying myself to sleep, alone in my room at night. 

So when people have to understand that addiction is not a problem, addiction is a solution to a problem. People who don’t have a problem, don’t have an addiction. Most adults recreationally use drugs and illegal substances and alcohol and then they spontaneously stop using it after a 10 year period. The data on it is overwhelming. 

Carrie: And food. 

How Does Childhood Trauma Impact The Nervous System?

Tim. And Food. They come to a decision, “Oh, this isn’t working for me” and they just stop whatever it is. They just stopped doing it. For a small percentage of people who have adverse childhood experiences who have trauma, who are chronically stressed, their nervous system has been hijacked by past events and current events, and they’re now reaching for something in an attempt to self-soothe their nervous system. It becomes a feedback loop where they reach for something to self-soothe. It works in the moment. It causes problems afterward. They feel shame, guilt, pain of some sort, disconnection. So then once again, they’re in a stress response their brain craves to be self-soothing. So then they reach forward again and it becomes this vicious circle that they can’t get themselves out of.

When I work with people to help them understand this cycle, it’s like the stressed brain craves relief by design. So when you have depression, when you have anxiety, you have this in your brain and in your body, you feel discomfort. The brain’s job is to comfort itself. A craving is a design, it’s well-built.  The reason we can’t withstand cravings is because they’re supposed to work. We want to self-soothe. We want to self-regulate. 

Our nervous system has three gears. It wants to be in what we would call a safe-default-relaxed-aware” state which would be identified as the ventral vagal state. That’s where our nervous system is running. The parasympathetic aspect of our autonomic nervous system is running the show. Our prefrontal cortex is online. We’re able to be creative. We’re able to connect emotionally. We’re able to consider the past, consider the future, all the best parts about being a human being. Why we’ve dominated the world in terms of the natural landscape. They’re all available to us when we’re in that state. Most of that goes offline though when we are called upon to either outrun a tiger or fight off a tribe. 

We have this second gear, this sympathetic nervous system response, the fight or flight gear where the amygdala suddenly activates and takes over and kicks the prefrontal cortex to shotgun and says, “I’m going to get us out of here.” Now we are in reactive mode. We’re not in creative mode and it changes our body physiologically like blood sugar changes, blood pressure changes. Hormones are released in that moment. That’s really great in the moment and then the moment is designed to pass, but in our chronically over-scheduled, overstimulated 21st-century world, we’re now getting that stress response chronically daily, multiple times a day. 

The brain and the body are not designed to work that way so it’s overwhelmed. It gets stuck. It gets in this feedback loop, and now it’s like, “Oh, I’m stressed out. Why am I stressed out?” Because I’m so used to being stressed out.  

That is a real challenge. It presents huge physical problems like type two diabetes, massive connection to chronic stress because what it does to your blood sugar like the same diet if you’re stressed, versus if you’re not stressed. Your body metabolizes the same diet differently. So it has real health implications, heart implications, stroke implications, addiction, low libido, anxiety, depression get exacerbated. All of these when we get stressed are at risk and we live in a culture where there is no break. There’s no slow down. 

The Science Of Music And Its Impact On Mental Health

For me, my job is to teach people where are these moments happening in their day and then how do we insert music into these moments. The funny thing about music in nature and with our nervous system is that when we make music in some way with our body, or we listen to music that we enjoy, our nervous system regulates. So it turns the stress response off fast. 

Carrie: It’s incredible. 

Tim: It is incredible. We know this intuitively like you’ve been in a funk. A song comes on and there’s transformation like the science behind it. You know how we are in the Western world, we have to study it and then tell you it happened and we’re like, “thanks, I already knew that” 

My whole degree, Carrie is tales of the obvious, chapters one, two, three, four. “Let me tell you about music,“ “I already knew that,” “but here’s how it works,” “Oh, okay. Now it’s real.”

A lot of times I’m telling people what they’ve already experienced and what they already do, but now they understand like it’s legit. That this isn’t wishful thinking. This is a real stimulus-response experience in the body happening at a preconscious level.

I used to work in the hospital where I would go into the ICU. I was referred for patients who had elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rhythm. Even though they were in a coma I would slow their heart rate, their blood pressure, and their respiratory rhythms down just with my guitar. 

Carrie: Wow. That’s great. 

Tim: That’s really, you know, really? They’re in a coma but their ears are still receiving these auditory signals from the environment and our bodies is a rhythm machine. You can slow down your body’s rhythms by introducing a slow tempo in the environment around it.

I would just look at their heart rate on the monitor like it was a click track or a metronome, and I’d start playing along with it. After about five minutes, I start to slow down my guitar and their body would slow down in response and that was when I really was like, “Okay, this is legit.”

How To Use Music To Relieve Anxiety

Carrie: Do you encourage people to listen to certain types of music when they’re anxious or when they’re depressed?

Tim: It’s a really great question. People will want to know what’s the right and wrong stuff to listen to. So there’s a couple of things one is with anxiety, a lot of times your focus is no longer in the present. You’re kind of wrapped up. It’s a kind of a disembodied experience as a trigger to an embodied extense of panic. The disembodied part is you’re up in your head, perseverating over a future that you’re convinced is going to happen.

Carrie: A bad future.

Tim: Yeah, not an exciting future because the brain is designed not to thrive, it’s designed to survive. So the brain defaults to a negative scenario out of survival because a false positive keeps you alive, a false negative, “You’re a lunch for the tiger.”

The way that our nervous system and our brain designed itself for survival was to default to a negative potential. This could be bad. We have a very old operating system. It’s designed to do that. So people naturally default to the negative. There’s nothing wrong with you. That’s your survival instinct. The problem is they get caught in a feedback loop about it and they believe the thought. It’s just a thought and it’s designed in a certain way, but we believe it as the future and then we get stuck in it. Then now we’re no longer present. We’re out of our head. We’re out of our body. We’re up in our head. 

The first thing we want to try to do is when we reach for music the style of music isn’t so important as that it’s something that is enjoyable to me. It’s very personal. It’s like flavor. It’s very personal, but I don’t want to stop with just reaching for it to listen to it.

I want to make music with it. So if I’ve got my phone and I’ve got my earbuds in and I put on a playlist of music that inspires me, that I’ve already put in there for just such an occasion. What I want to do is I want to either tap along on my body with the beat, with the music. I want to hum along with the melody. I want to actually audiate, which is like when you sing in your head but not out loud. So you can sing along with a song in your head and you’re not actually using your mouth but your brain is doing all of the calisthenics to produce the pitch and the tempo and the words in your head. Then what happens is you just activate your vocal cord. If you want to release that out into the environment, you can just sing along in your head. You can sing along out loud, even better, but in any way that you can activate your body to match the music, then your body is involved. That’s a huge component for people with anxiety is because getting back into your body brings you back into the present moment because the only place your body is, is in the present moment. 

So the challenge with remembering that is you got to remember it, but if you just turn on music and you try to play along with the beat or tap along with the beat, you’re just trying to keep the beat and by virtue of trying to keep the beat now you’re back in your body and you’re back in the present moment because music is time-based. When we play music in order to keep the beat, we have to be present. The challenge with listening to music is listening to music can become a very disembodied experience.

Carrie: Passive versus active. 

Tim: Yes. It engages your imagination and your memory. So you can be listening to a song and you can float away. The song can take you to where the song is. It’s a disembodied experience when you just listened to the song. You’ve had this experience where you listened to a song that you have heard before and you have a memory associated with that song. So suddenly you’re no longer in the present moment. You are a back wherever that was, and it could be good, could be bad. 

The same thing can happen in the future. You can hear a song and it can trigger your thoughts and your feelings and your emotions about the future because there’s nothing holding you. The song itself isn’t holding you in the present moment unless you try to engage with it with your body.

When You Have Anxiety, Choose Music That Lifts You Up

So that’s why for people with anxiety, it is really, really critical that you have music you enjoy that you know that lifts you up.  When you put it on, you go move your body to it. What I tell people to do is to have a power playlist. It’s three songs that fire you up. When you feel the anxiety strike, you put the playlist on, put in your earbuds, get up and go for a walk and you walk to the beat because everybody walks in rhythm.

If you can’t go walk to the beat and you have to be stationary then tap along with it or hum along with it, but be in the present moment, making music with the music. You don’t have to be a musician to do this because when you clap to the beat, you don’t consider yourself a musician. If you tap your leg to the beat, you don’t consider yourself a musician, but you’re doing the very same thing. [00:30:55] You’re activating your body in the present moment. I think that’s more important than the actual material that’s in the music.

When it comes to the material, that’s in the music, here’s what we know from research. Typically, if you are struggling with depression or anger particularly, what’s going to happen is the music you reach for might do one of three things. Typically, people will reach for music that matches their mood. That’s normal. We want to validate where we are intuitively. So angry people, if they listen to angry music, it may do one of three things. It may reduce the anger because they now have this resonance with something they feel validated. It’s cathartic, so it actually reduces the anger. Sometimes it doesn’t do anything to the anger. It has no effect at all. They just engage in the music and they feel as angry as they did beforehand. Sometimes it actually exacerbates the feelings of anger. I would submit that anger and anxiety are more related than anxiety and depression, because I feel like anger and anxiety are hyper regulated, hyperactive states. Whereas depression is kind of a hypoactive state. There’s this correlation, but not identical but correlated. So if you’re in a hyper-regulated hyperactive state, there’s the chance that you could exacerbate that. 

We’ve read from research with teens were the same with depression they listen to sad music when they’re depressed. The music doesn’t make them sad. They were sad and they reached for the music that matched their sadness.

The music either makes them feel better, it doesn’t change the sadness, or actually exacerbates it makes it worse. It’s really important for people to notice what’s happening in their body. As they’re listening to the music they reach for because there’s no stamp of this than that when it comes to music. 

We’ve even had anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is like an oxymoron but case studies where kids will say, “I used this music at one time to actually make myself feel worse” and then the song changed. The meaning of it changed. I felt better. Then the song became like a badge of survivorship that I made it through and the song took on a new meaning. And now when I hear the song, I actually feel more inspired and it’s like, “Wow, that’s really complex.” People don’t want complex. They want simple solutions. 

Difference Between Music-Listening And Music-Making

So when it comes to music listening, music listening is very nuanced. It’s very complex and that’s why I try to encourage people music-making because music-making is a motor cortex embodied physical experience happening in the present moment. It is not really subject to these nuances of context. It’s just, “Here’s the beat.” “The beats happening now.” “Oh, the beats getting faster.” “Okay. I got to keep up with the beat right now.” There’s no emotional discussion about the beat. There’s the beat. I’m going to tap along with the beat.

If you’re feeling elevated and you want to slow your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rhythm down, the principle we use is called the ISO principle and the law of rhythmic and treatment.

So you start with music, that’s uptempo to match how you’re feeling, and then you pick music that gradually slows down. Your playlist would be like the first song is the fastest of the three. The second song is a little bit slower in tempo and the third song is a little bit slower than that but not shocking.

Carrie: Sure. Just gradually going down. 

Tim: Yeah. If you’ve ever been to any kind of cardio class or DJ, if you really pay attention, the music they pick usually starts slow during the warmup and then it picks up but gradually it peaks. Then at the end, during the cool-down, the tempo, the speed of the music slows down. The intensity of the music slows a little bit because we’re warming down or we’re bringing down at the end. That kind of tempo arc or speed arc, if you will, that’s really what your body responds to more than anything. It’s going to respond to that. 

Integrating Music With Spirituality

Carrie: I’m curious about if you could integrate spirituality in that because as someone who’s gone to church her whole life, typically you start out with the fast praise and worship song, everybody’s clapping. Typically nobody starts a worship set with a slow song unless they’re really trying to stir you up.

Tim. No, but I will submit that the band or whoever’s running the soundboard oftentimes has prelude music before the opening song. That prelude is usually lower, slower tempo intensity than the opening song. There is usually some sort of entrance, if you will into this experience and it doesn’t start here. At least that’s been my experience.

Carrie: Yeah. I would agree with that.

Tim: It’s so funny how different aspects of the world of music don’t necessarily talk to each other. In music education, they teach a certain way, but if they knew the research that is in neurologic music therapy, they would teach music completely differently. The two worlds don’t talk to each other. Music ministry doesn’t talk to music therapy. There are two completely different silos. They take completely different classes or we don’t exchange notes. We don’t exchange research like, “Hey, here’s how to use tempo.”

They probably do it intuitively but if you knew, then you would really do this, I would submit that intuitively if I think about the music director at our church. I’ve subbed as the music director and I’ve played in the praise band on and off for several years like there is an ebb and flow of tempo and intensity of the songs based on where we are in worship that tend to match where the worship is.

When we’re doing the anthem either right before or after the message It’s not the fastest tempo song we do. The fastest tempo songs are usually the opening and closing. We’ve kind of more in like a contemplative. It’s like where the ballad is. The anthem is the ballad. It’s the feels where all the feels come in. It’s like back in growing up in music, your first record, the first single from the pop star, it’s upbeat, it’s fun. Maybe the second one’s like that and then they introduce their ballad. It’s like the second, third or fourth, but no artist ever releases their ballad as the first track on their record.

Carrie Absolutely. It’s been absolutely incredible having you on the show. I appreciate so much you taking the time to do this and talk to us about a variety of different things. It was neat to see the interaction between all of them. 

Tim: Cool. Thanks for having me. 


I really appreciated Tim’s vulnerability and being willing to talk about spiritual woundedness and spiritual pain.

I think that there are going to be other people who listen to this episode and really relate and resonate with that. If you’re in that situation, I just encourage you in Jeremiah 29:13, it says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” That’s a promise. 

If you are looking for God with your whole heart, I believe that you will find Him.

How Music Helped Carrie In The Midst Of Divorce

I made a critical blunder on this podcast, just kidding. It’s not a critical blunder but I did forget something. I forgot to ask him,

“What was the time that you received hope from God or another person?” So I thought I would share a little bit with you just personally if you needed a hope story for this week because quite frankly, we’re living in a world where we need more stories of hope.

I wanted to tell you about how music has given me hope. There were a couple of songs in particular when I was going through my divorce that were popular at the time. One was The Kari Jobe song, “I Am Not Alone.” That meant so much to me because at that point in my life, that’s exactly how I felt. I felt completely alone and the song just reminded me that God was always with me. 

The other song that was popular that really resonated with me was a Jeremy Camp song called “He Knows.” It was this sense of Jesus knows like every pain and every suffering and every hurt that you’re going through and He can relate to that. He can relate to you in that human nature of suffering. 

Every time those songs would come on the radio and I was driving around for work. I would just sing at the top of my lungs and it was like those words provided such a level of hope and encouragement to me like, “I’m going to get through this.”

So I just want to encourage you. What songs are meaningful for you in this season of your life right now? God can really use music to speak truth over our lives if we will just engage with it. 

You can find helpful resources at Feel free to hop on over to the contact form. I would love to hear from you. I want to hear your story of hope and let me know if we can share it on the show sometime. I would love to compile some of those together. What’s a time for you that you experience hope from God or another person? Hit us up on the contact page and let us know. 

Thanks so much for listening. 

Hope for Anxiety and OCD is a production of By The Well Counseling in Smyrna, Tennessee. Our original music is by Brandon Mangrum and audio editing is completed by Benjamin Bynam. 

Until next time. May you be comforted by God’s great love for you.