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27. Music, Mental Health and Harmonious Communities

Ever thought about how singing helps us connect?

Episode 27 of the podcast is an interview with guest Emma Baylin, founder of Shared Harmonies, a business focusing on the power of human connection through singing. Em believes human connection and its power to influence positive change is the passion and thread that links all of her work.

You can find out more about Emma here:

Emma’s LinkedIn:

Shared Harmonies LinkedIn:

We talk about how live music can create a shared energy and experience between the audience and singer, how connection has deteriorated in society somewhat and how our ability to hear others, feel a sense of influence and authentically connect with others is more valuable than anything else in the work that we do.

We also discuss:

(1:20) Introductions, who Em is and what her business Shared Harmonies does

(2:30) Quickfire questions

(4:05) Live music and how the singer’s connection with their music comes across, gives a shared energy and experience and how it contrasts to ‘overproduced’ studio music

(7:35) How society has somewhat prevented connection as people don’t speak about subjects they they aren’t ‘experts’ in

(9:20) How singing is in our heritage and how that was a way for us to share our experiences and gain a sense of connection and community

(10:45) We’re spending more time in work than ever, yet more people report feeling lonely and disconnected from those they work with

(12:25) Intentionality and why it’s important in how you approach your work

(13:55) Em’s LinkedIn posts and how she seeks authenticity, particularly around subjects such as being a single mother, also the impact of sharing such experiences

(18:15) Wrestling priorities, such as times to connect versus family time

(24:40) The connection between mind and body and how this presents in singing, including how breathing impacts health

(31:45) Self-validation and ways of keeping yourself happy and why that matters

(37:30) The awareness that comes with tuning into others, including hearing them sing (even how our heart rates can synchronise when singing with others)

(46:00) How Shared Harmonies came about due to multiple passions colliding

(47:55) The effects of digital advancement on our ability to connect, including the effects on communities such as the elderly that may visit the GP just to have a social connection

(54:20) The ‘hustle’ culture of being seen to be busy, even though it is actually detrimental, instead of slowing down and feeling a sense of connection and influence

(56:25) How ‘perk box’ type rewards are only truly effective for those who already seek to improve their wellbeing

Welcome to Dark Coffee, the podcast that starts engaging and approachable conversations around mental health.

Join wellbeing advocate, Alice Lyons, as she attempts to normalise the conversation around mental health, from suicide to satisfaction and everything in between.

Dark Coffee aims to create an open environment to explore dark topics with curiosity, compassion and courage to empower people to build their mental strength, resilience and sense of connection.

Join the conversation by sharing this episode, subscribing to the podcast or following Alice on LinkedIn.

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Suicide and Emotional Support Organisations – UK

Samaritans: Confidential suicide discussion and emotional support. Free helpline available round the clock. Text – 116123.  Call – 08457 909090  Email – Website –

Mind: Support and information for anyone suffering from a mental health issue. 0300 123 3393 Website –

Saneline: Practical information, crisis care and emotional support to people affected by mental health concerns. Helpline: 0845 767 8000, open daily from 6pm – 11pm.


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