Keyed In: Emotional Baggage Check


By Megan Cohen

In the words of Bob Marley, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Music has this strange effect on us, especially when it relates to an emotion you’re experiencing or a tough time you’re going through. But Googling “songs to listen to when you’re sad” and trying to find a relatable song is a next to impossible task.

Emotional Baggage Check (EBC) is a site for people both seeking advice and those willing to give it. You have two options on the homepage: “check” and “carry.” When you click “check,” you are given a decent-sized box where you can type a current situation you are dealing with, or just an emotion you’re burdened with. You include your e-mail address and send the message.

Afterwards, your message is saved on the website until someone clicks on the option that says “carry.” Whatever you wrote will appear on the screen (your e-mail address is omitted), and there will be a space for the person who receives your baggage to give the name of a song that personally relates to you. Their recommendation is sent straight to your e-mail for your enjoyment.

EBC does not ignore the fact that some problems are deeper than others. In the bottom left hand corner of the site is a link that reads “Heavy Bag?” Once clicked, you are provided with links to sites such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Psychological Association.

A song doesn’t seem as though it could make a huge difference, but you would be surprised how many people have left concerts feeling better than they ever have in their life. Some can even numb their pain simply by putting their earbuds in. Does music solve the problem entirely? Not likely. But it can be a huge aid in doing so.

In regard to carrying someone else’s baggage, it can definitely be a rewarding experience. The knowledge that you’ve responded to someone’s cry for help can help you just as much as receiving someone’s reply to your own. That’s what makes EBC unique: No matter the side you’re on, you benefit.

With teen suicide rates skyrocketing (approximately 4,600 people from ages 10-24 annually), a site like this can definitely serve as a useful tool in today’s society. Again, it’s not exactly a solution, but you can find one faster with something as simple as music. Whether it be relatable or just upbeat, a song is a small thing that makes a big difference.

Music has been proven to help with anxiety, even to a point where it is used in dental, pre-op, and radiation settings to help calm patients’ anxiety. There is also strong evidence that music helps you fall asleep, improve moods, and deal with stress. The facts are there, so you might as well take the opportunity to find a song that’s best for you.

In addition to giving a music link, carriers also have the option to write a few words of their own advice. I’d say one of the biggest roadblocks people face while having depression or anxiety is feeling as though you have no one to talk to. While your communication with your carrier is short-lived, it can still make a pretty decent impact on your life.

There’s not too much to this site, and therefore not much to say about it except for the fact that this is definitely something you ought to try. You may think of it as a waste of time, but who knows what song you’ll find yourself listening to? Maybe it’ll be the one thing that keeps you from spiraling downhill.

Visit and see for yourself if Bob Marley was right.