Songs of Loss and Healing lets people explore the age-old relationship between music, grief and loss through podcasts, articles, interviews, videos, music and events. Music is one of the most powerful tools we have in times of loss and has the potential to help us not only cope with our often traumatic experiences of loss and grief, but also to help us navigate that experience, grieve well, remember and even grow in the process. Music can give voice to the voiceless and express inner emotions we never knew we had.
Songs of Loss and Healing aims to grow into a valuable online resource with which people can explore music’s relation to grief as well as find help, guidance and community. It also aims to help open up conversations and remove taboos around death, dying and grief by using music as a way into starting conversation. With that we can also raise awareness of the power of music and how it can help people to grieve well.
Songs of Loss and Healing was founded by musician and composer Douglas MacGregor.
Douglas’s mother died when he was seven years old, but he didn’t grieve until twenty-five years later. When grief hit, he naturally turned to music to help him cope, process and find his way to the other side.
Douglas at his mum's funeral
At that time, he was also in the middle of studying a Masters in Ethnomusicology at SOAS university and he decided to focus his studies on the cross-cultural role of music in grief rituals. While studying he released that people all over the world and throughout time have used music at times of death to help them cope with loss. He also released that, although the link between music, grief and death is virtually universal, there was almost no readily available resources or practical help for people on the use of music.
Off the back of his personal experience and academic knowledge he decided to found Songs of Loss and Healing to fill that gap and explore the link between music and loss further while creating an online resource to help others through similar experiences.