Back years ago, before I was born, my great-grandmother used to get the blues. She’d sit in a dark room in her flowered house dress, sigh about feeling “so blue,” sing sad Irish ballads in her slow and easy off-key voice, and have herself a can of beer.
Though we would now call her feelings depression, I wonder if she would see our Prozac and psychotherapies as improvements over sad songs and a good taste in your mouth. When you’re needing to lighten a heavy heart, she might say that medications only postpone the low feelings to a future time, and therapy is more work than the comfort your melancholy is searching for.
I know it is currently unpopular to use food as a treatment for life’s tribulations. But when you’re looking for pleasure, what better way to find it than by putting something in your mouth that compels you to exclaim, “Oh, that’s so good!” And if the pleasure is only fleeting? Well, what treatment for emotional distress isn’t temporary? Plus, we get to eat three times a day; three opportunities each day to find some joy.
When I feel blue, cans of beer and Irish ballads don’t soothe my low spirits, but a glass of complex and silky red wine accompanied by a slice of salty-sharp blue cheese or oozy camembert most certainly do. They taste so rich and delicious my world turns instantly brighter and right side up in short order.
What’s your go-to food cure for the blues?