Ep. 20: Music Heals the Soul, with founder & Dove Award winning songwriter Steve Siler

December 10, 2019

In last week’s episode, we talked about the magic and joy of Christmas music, and also the fact some of us have an emotional response to this same music that is more bitter than sweet.  The holiday season can certainly magnify grief and loneliness.  Last week’s episode touched on some redemptive ways to process the pain and discomfort that can be triggered by Christmas music.  If you are experiencing loss and pain this holiday season, or know someone who is (I imagine all of us fall into one or both of those categories), I hope you’ll find this week’s episode encouraging in giving hope and redemption even in life’s tragedies and challenges.


Joining us today from Nashville is Steve Siler. Steve is an award winning songwriter who has had over 500 of his songs recorded in the Christian, pop, & country markets. He is also a speaker, author, and founder and director of Music for the Soul. Through his Music for the Soul work he has been called “The father of the healing Christian music movement.”


  • I was introduced to Music for the Soul by a listener, and I’m so glad I was because its mission really resonated with me – it involves utilizing the power of music – and more specifically the power of a song – to be an agent of life-changing healing for those dealing with issues of trauma, grief, and other disruptive major life events.
  • “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.” Y. Harburg (wrote lyrics to “Over the Rainbow”)
  • Science behind healing of music (entire brain is involved in processing); words/language processed by left side of brain; trauma resides primarily in right side of brain, also melody is processed by this side.
  • Siler is the author of “Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart” and “The Praise & Worship Devotional.”
  • Music for the Soul offers healing songs and other resources on challenges including: miscarriage/loss of a child, substance abuse/addiction, fear/anxiety; Alzheimer’s; body image, eating disorders, suicide; and more.
  • I love Nashville — especially the food! If I had to pick a last meal, it would be the lamb shanks at Merchants (on Broadway); it was SO rich it was like eating a meal and dessert all in one. I went back the very next night and ordered the same meal because it was my last night there! I also loved Bartaco, Etch (their roasted cauliflower side), and Nashville Farmer’s Market (I had lunch at Chicago Gyro).


People tell me all the time that our songs put into music the things they feel but could never quite find the words to say. I call it “expressing the inexpressible.” I’d encourage people to find and/or think about 2 or 3 songs that articulate a “truth” or “deep emotion” for them, in a way that helps them feel known and understood. An instrumental piece can also do that too.  Then, if one is feeling courageous, I’d encourage people to consider asking a few trusted friends do the same thing and then get together to share the songs with one another as a way to learn more about each other.



Steve shares with us Becky Nordquist’s song, “Before We Said Hello,” a song written about miscarriage and loss of a child.


Thank you, Listeners, for joining us today. That song is available on musicforthesoul.org. You can also find a “Before We Said Hello Devotional/Journal” on that site, that comes with a free download of the songs Before We Said Hello & Heaven’s Playground. If you are experiencing loss and pain this holiday season, know that you are not alone. If you are listening to this in the middle of the night, and could really use a word — or song — of hope and encouragement, musicFortheSoul.org is available any time of day or night; and you can take comfort in knowing that someone else is most likely on the site at the same time as you — whether they are also up in the middle of the night, or just live in some other part of the world in another time zone! This episode is releasing on December 10 — right in the thick of the holiday season. If you still have Christmas shopping to do (as I do), or would enjoy a little treat for yourself (as I would), Schmitt Music has a final December gift card giveaway for one of you listeners. To be entered into a $50 gift card drawing, simply share Enhance Life with Music podcast on Facebook or Instagram OR write a review in whatever podcast app you use. Email a screenshot of your share or review to mindy@mpetersonmusic.com by the end of the day (11:59 pm) this Sunday, December 15, 2019, to be entered in the drawing. Schmitt is a music store headquartered here in the Twin Cities, with stores in 7 states. They are absolutely phenomenal at enhancing lives with music and at giving back to the communities they’re in. I recently found out about a pilot program Schmitt has going on where they are providing orchestra instruments for families in financial need in one of the school districts in the area. Schmitt does not broadcast these programs, but as a consumer, I like to know when companies are giving back and investing in their local communities, and I like to throw my support behind them. If you ARE thinking about buying an instrument in time for Christmas, Schmitt does have its biggest band and orchestra instrument sale of the year coming up this Saturday, December 14. You can visit their website for more information: schmittmusic.com.

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10 responses to “Ep. 20: Music Heals the Soul, with founder & Dove Award winning songwriter Steve Siler”

  1. […] And this week IS the week of Christmas! So to all of you who celebrate Christmas, let me wish you a very merry and blessed Christmas! I recognize that the holidays can be a very sad and challenging time for a lot of people. If the holidays are a difficult time for you or a loved one, you are not alone, and music has unique abilities to heal and comfort. You may find hope and encouragement in listening to Ep. 20, Music Heals the Soul.  […]