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The Sound That Takes Me Back…

Published on October 12, 2020

I was born in Copenhagen of a Danish mother. I grew up in Paris (hence my first name with the accents) but enjoyed many holidays the hyggelig (cozy) way with my Danish relatives.

Before Covid, I was able to visit my Danish cousin Sophia and her family in Copenhagen regularly. I enjoyed shopping Stroget, riding the roller coaster in Tivoli Gardens, and of course indulging in the yummy foods of my childhood.

So when I learned there was a highly rated Danish TV show on Netflix called Borgen (see below), I was eager to watch. While my Danish has suffered from lack of use and I rely heavily on the subtitles, I feel an incredible sense of warmth and comfort when I hear the Danish language —or even the Danish accent in spoken English.

It’s amazing how powerfully our senses are connected to our emotional memory, in this case via sound. Maybe it’s an accent or intonation that reminds you of your grandmother, the chirping of crickets that takes you back to summer camp, or the song that you remember playing over and over on your first record player (remember those?). Every time I hear Motown music like “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” by The Gap Band, I’m transported back to long nights of dancing at Duke SigEp parties.

Peter and I are on the third and most recent season of Borgen already and the fourth season won’t be out until 2022! But for now, I’m savoring our eves listening to the sounds of my childhood.

YOUR TURN: Are there sounds that take you back to warm and joyful feelings? How can you bring more of those sounds into your life?

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Hélène Stelian, the Midlife Empowerment Coach

I’m Hélène, the Midlife Empowerment Coach. I help women who are struggling in midlife—who wonder if their best years are behind them and what’s next for them. I show them how to put themselves first, reclaim their identity, figure out what’s next, and feel excited about their future.


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