Remember when we used to make mixtapes to people we liked, and send them in the mail - as in... put them in an envelope and send them? These days people mostly send youtube links, chain emails and maybe share the occasional spotify playlist...
But listening to music can help relieve chronic pain- which is awesome, cause it's something you can do even when the pain is so bad that you can't actually do very much at all. Music can be used both for distraction, relaxation and to help soothe the stress response that usually comes with a pain flare up, so it should be a part of every patient's flare kit.
Whether it's a happy dance mix or a collection of blue songs, for me a big part of the experience when listening to music is associating it with memories of people I've shared that music with. Music is a way to connect and experience - even when your body is not functioning.
Oftentimes friends and relatives of pain patients don't know how they can help or assist the person who is suffering, and they may come with all kinds of advice for things you should or shouldn't do, which is rarely a help, and quite often a burden. So my best pain reducing Christmas gift tip this year is to ask for music. Tell your friends and family that you'd love a CD/tape/playlist with personalized musical medicine for your flare kit this year.
(PS I find it can help me through a pain flare to combine listening to a personalized musical medicine mixtape with running a screensaver with pictures I've taken while documenting good days. The combination helps me remember that there's more to life than pain even while I'm going through a bad flare)