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  • Maya Bell

Introducing a Space to Drop off your Emotional Baggage: A Guide to What Emotional Baggage Radio Is.

Written By: Maya Bell

Still from Movie: Les Passsagers de la Nuit

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been hosting a radio show called Emotional Baggage. Every week, listeners and I get together for a late-night exposition exploring emotions such as peace, fear, and loneliness. Each show follows this flow:

  • Start by, defining the emotion of the week.

  • Next, start our playlist.

  • In the first break, we talk about a piece of media that relates to the content being shared.

  • In the second break, I introduce the journal question of the night.

  • At the end of the show, I share tips on how to manage the emotion we discussed.

It sounds serious, but it’s light-hearted—sometimes funny. The goal of each show is to reflect on the feelings that came up from the music or conversation. We journal to release any emotion that may have come up in within the hour, in hopes of starting a journey toward personal growth. I like to think of myself as a chairwoman for change. Every week, I emphasize that we’re on this journey together, there’s no need to feel shame for being emotional, and we’re learning to manage our emotional sides in a healthy way. 

I know listeners may have some burning questions, and today I’m here to answer a couple. I’m gonna get personal and share where this idea stemmed from, what qualifies me to talk about this information, why I think you should listen every week, and the most important question—do we ever “turn up”? 

What inspired me to make this project?

My life experience. I’ve struggled to understand emotions within myself for most of my life. I thought something was wrong with me, but the problem was I wasn’t addressing the things that I felt. The way that I was raised played a big part in this. I was often told that I was exaggerating things or being dramatic when I tried expressing myself. It got to the point where I just shut down and ignored what I felt. I would let stuff sit inside of me and tell myself that I didn’t feel a certain way because I didn’t want to make anyone mad or hurt or annoyed. I let things boil up until I became sick and was forced to face my issues. 

On this journey, I learned that feeling and expressing your emotions are the only way to get rid of the unwanted pain that arises from them. Ignoring them or not being able to recognize them causes your mind, body, and spirit to be misaligned. You become confused and sometimes reckless towards yourself or others.

In my case, I was tired of letting things slide and not speaking up for myself. This project was born from all the

things left unsaid. I wanted to tap into my internal world of emotions and release everything holding me back from being my truest self. 

What qualifies you to talk about emotions?

I think anyone can talk about things they experience on a day-to-day basis. I wasn’t always in tune with my emotions, but over the years I’ve become more aware of how I express certain feelings. All the information I share is from personal experience or things that I have researched and read in preparation for this show. I try not to share personal opinions too much. I like to back things up with facts.

Obviously, I’m not a licensed professional and if you really want to learn to handle and understand your emotions there’s therapy where you can unpack yourself down to the bone and get those skills. Emotional Baggage exists on a friendly level. It’s for friends and strangers who want to listen. The goal is to connect with people who are also interested in understanding and managing their emotional side.

Why listen to Emotional Baggage?

This is the new turn on, tune in, and drop out. We’re turning on our sensitivity to ourselves, friends, families, and strangers. We’re tuning in to our triggers and engaging with them instead of avoiding them. Lastly, we’re dropping out of this mindset that dealing with and understanding our emotions or the emotions of others is too much. I know that not everyone is interested in engaging with content like this, but I think it’s the most important thing that we can learn when it comes to navigating life. Our emotional experiences rule our lives. It’s easy to get stuck in a feeling and not realize the damage created by it until it’s too late. I want to help people recognize and understand their emotional world so that we can have a brighter future and create deeper bonds with ourselves and others.

Are we going to turn up?

This is more of an end of a long day, contemplate life sort of radio show. I hope that people have a good time listening to these playlists, but I didn’t go all the way up making them. My goal wasn’t to turn up. I want people to be able to tap into what they are feeling when listening to these songs. If we turn up, we’re not going to be able to tap into what we are thinking or feeling.

I believe music is the greatest healing tool and the greatest thing about it is we all have access to it. I more so hope that I’m able to put people onto songs that help them move through whatever emotion they find themselves struggling with and taking away something from listening to the artist I play or the things I share. THE MUSIC IS GOOD! But the short answer is no...we’re not turning up (yet). I want to incorporate “breaks” from dealing with emotions and listen to music we can have fun to. Life is all about balance, right? (This is something coming soon.)

I hope everyone understands Emotional Baggage Radio, at this point. It’s a project that I’m truly passionate about and want to spend time perfecting. Let’s build ourselves a better future by working on our shadows and moving our minds and bodies to a healthier mental space!

For more updates and content, you can follow me on Instagram @emotionalbaggageradio.


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