How Listening to Rap Music as a Child Affected My Mental Health

I grew up in Miami in the 80’s where, I’ve later learned through watching Narcos, Burger King lent the Miami morgue their freezer trucks because there were so many dead bodies that needed to be picked up because of the drug cartels.  I grew up in a time when DJ Laz ruled the airways on Power 96 at 5pm on any given day.

Despite my parent’s best efforts to introduce me to their music (The Beach Boys and The Beatles), I had a blank tape in my boom box ready to record the best mixes DJ Laz had to offer.

As I reflect now as an adult on the music, I realize how inappropriate most, if not all of it was, even if it was on the radio.  I began to reflect on the possible toll this took on me as an adult and I came up with these conclusions.

I learned to be open and curious
I don’t know why I loved Uncle Luke so much as a kid and teenager.  Maybe it was because he was from Miami.  Maybe because the music was so upbeat it was meant to appeal to someone with equally high energy.   By listening to rap music as a kid, I learned that there are all types of people in the world, not just people who looked like me and it helped me to adapt in all types of situations.

I learned to embrace who I am
I always have and still do love rap music.  Most people that know me know this information.  I’ve learned to embrace it, as well as embrace other parts of who I am and what I like.  I also really enjoy Harry Potter.  Now if someone did to Harry Potter what they did to Hamilton, I would be on cloud nine.

I learned that what really matters in childhood isn’t the specifics
While I listened to some songs that were questionable, I had no idea what any of it really meant.  Some time in my teenage years, I purchased “The Chronic” by Dr. Dre.  I had no idea what chronic was.  What I do remember are really fun birthday parties where all my friends came over and we went swimming.  I remember going water skiing with my dad on our family trips to the Keys.  I remember hanging out with my mom and aunts on the weekends and just enjoying their company.


Music is such an integral part of my life and the lives of those around me, both at work and in my personal life.  Music feeds my soul and I hope that you’ve found music that feeds yours.  I am curious what type of music you listened to as a child.  Comment below with your favorite song as a child or teenager.


Amanda new business, the desired things

Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP , Mental Health Counselor of the Year by the Florida Mental Health Counseling Association,  decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Amanda has been a therapist for ten years and has a private practice in Wellington, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and substance abuse in teenagers and young adults. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here.

To schedule an appointment, call or text Amanda at 954-378-5381 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

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