Music often has positive effects on people’s lives and K-pop is no exception. Here's some of the ways that K-pop has influenced people's lives for the better.
Hopeful and uplifting messages
Not all K-pop songs follow the typical ‘love song’ format. There are a fair share of uplifting and motivational tracks with important messages, and for some, these messages provide a great deal of comfort during difficult times.
For example, the lyrics from BTS’ ‘Tomorrow’ say: “Because the dawn right before the sun rises is the darkest,” and ‘Not Today’ says, “But today’s not the day / No no not today / It’s too early to die.” It’s a small gesture, but for someone listening to these songs when they’re struggling, it can go a long way.
Other songs, which follow similar themes include B.A.P’s ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Goodbye,’ Bang & Zelo’s ‘Never Give Up,’ Amber’s ‘Beautiful,’ XIA’s ‘Flower’ (“Everyone goes through this / I tell you it’s okay / Even if it’s a small light, the darkness can’t swallow it”), HA:TFELT’s ‘Iron Girl’ and Lee Hi’s ‘Breathe,’ to name a few.
Escapism at its finest
K-pop isn’t all about the music either. It’s unique in the way that it presents a whole new world for fans to dive into, as a distraction from the stress of everyday life. It's not a new concept, as all entertainment are essentially a form of escapism; everyone uses different avenues to ‘escape’ from reality, whether it’s through watching TV, reading books, cooking, playing games, or being involved in K-pop.
K-pop content is presented in a way that makes this immersion in a world away from reality a lot easier. Idols are often instantly accessible through things like backstage videos, YouTube channels, variety show appearances, and V LIVE, which create an intimate one-on-one experience and a sense of closeness. Even though fans may not know them personally, and are fully aware of that, it still feels like a strong personal bond. The sheer amount of consumable content also makes it easy to be immersed for hours.
A sense of community
Some people form communities around cultural activities like sports, others form communities around K-pop, which are unbounded by physical barriers and country borders. For introverted or shy people, this is fantastic as this makes it easier to find like-minded people who enjoy the same things as them.
It’s exciting to find a group of people who are excited by a music video or album from your favourite group dropping, to get together and practice choreography to a K-pop dance, or to chat to while live-streaming a radio appearance or variety program. The closeness of these K-pop communities often transcends just musical discussions, and can turn into strong, lifelong friendships.
It’s easy to dismiss K-pop as something silly and childish, but many fans feel that without K-pop, they would not have made it through difficult times in their lives. It’s time for people to realise just how important music, and the community around it, can be.
How has K-pop positively impacted your life?
Please note that while music can be a useful tool to alleviate stress, depression, or anxiety, professional help and counselling is always recommended. If you or someone close to you needs help, there are many confidential resources available:
Lifeline Australia provides 24-hour crisis support at 13 11 14
Kids Helplineon 1800 551 800
Suicide Call Back Serviceon 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
Headspace on 1800 650 890
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