Brutally Honest: Therapy reimagined

Concerts can be therapeutic and more than just artists playing music.

Carson poses with the band Pierce the Veil, June 10, 2016. It was the second time Sophia’s seen them, it was the only tour where they played their entire album, Misadventures. Sophia Carson, photo provided.
Carson poses with the band Pierce the Veil, June 10, 2016. It was the second time Sophia’s seen them, it was the only tour where they played their entire album, Misadventures. Sophia Carson, photo provided.
Sophia Castro Head Shot

Sophia Carson is a freshman public relations major who writes "Brutally Honest” for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. 

I love concerts. So much.

That moment when the filler music before a show stops, and you know it’s show time. The venue lights go down, the screams rise, the intro music to the first song begins … and there they are: one of your favorite artists, if not your favorite, in the flesh. The artist or band that has lifted your spirits, quenched your bad moods and had you bopping from day one is directly in front of you.

Concerts are my therapy. I’m not much for going to traditional therapy, even though I know it works for so many others. Instead, I let all my emotions out while screaming at the top of my lungs and throwing the rock 'n roll hand gesture in the air like it’s nobody’s business. 

It could be considered a bad coping mechanism, but it’s all the physical exertion that happens during a concert that helps me destress and forget about everything else. I guess it’s comparable to someone going way too hard at the gym — everything hurts after, but it makes you feel like you’re truly thriving.

When you exert energy, your body releases endorphins. These endorphins reduce your perception of pain, and that’s why you don’t notice bruises or injuries until the next morning — which isn’t always the best thing for your body, but oh well. Endorphins also just make you happier in general, and a good concert experience for me could best be described as euphoric. There’s nothing quite like thousands of people headbanging in sync.

The happiest moment of my entire life was Warped Tour 2018. I saw some of my favorite bands for the second or third time and a couple for the first. 

One of my favorites, The Amity Affliction, played a song that wasn't originally on their setlist, “All F***ed Up.” As the song began, I remember looking over and seeing my best friend’s face light up. My friend is a very stoic person, and you only get to see this lively side if you really know her, so seeing her get this excited in public hyped me up, even though I didn't know the song. 

Carson meets Chris Fronzak of the band Attila during Warped Tour 2017 on July 22. After their set, Fronzak met people who purchased an Attila t-shirt. Sophia Carson, photo provided.

When I looked at the crowd behind me, my heart swelled with pure joy. It's so amazing to see so many people singing along to the lyrics that have gotten them through dark times — getting to see people against the barricade so carefree and those in the mosh pit getting down and dirty and then laughing and smiling about it.

In moments like that, I understand what true happiness is. Some people don't understand what I mean when I say concerts momentarily relieve my depression, but it’s much like an out-of-body experience. It’s a time when I get to step out of my own mind and forget everything. My brain is silent for once and filled with nothing but love for the artist in front of me and the people around me.

There's no way to fully explain why I like having my ribs crushed against a barricade for hours, why I find so much joy in having people's sweaty bodies shoving into me repeatedly or why I deal with a couple of idiots purposely throwing their elbows into my side with the intent to hurt me.

There’s just something about leaving the venue and being ready to collapse from exhaustion and possible dehydration. Your whole body is numb, your hair is positively messed up from the crowd surfers, whatever makeup you had on is gone from all the sweat, ribs are crushed and you can't talk because your voice is so raw from screaming.

The only thing I can do in those situations is to wipe the mascara from under my eyes and walk back to my car with an insane grin on my face. 

Every bad thing in my entire life is worth having these moments of pure freedom and ease at concerts. What's going through my head when I'm losing my voice and rubbing my throat raw can simply be described as genuine happiness.

Write to Sophia at


More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue