How Creating Music Helped Jillian Lee Antinora through Life’s Toughest Moments

Photo Credit: Jillian Lee

Music as medicine has been medically and scientifically evaluated for only the last 50 years. Still, the innate understanding that music is healing for body, mind, and soul is probably as old as the discovery of music itself.

Even with an incredibly blessed life, an ample support system, and a booming career, Jillian Lee Antinora needed more, something only music could provide. With the pandemic came a wave of struggles both in work and relationships, and she needed an expressive outlet.

“My songs reflect my struggles and questions that were going on during that time, some heartbreak and letting go of habits that weren’t helping me or my relationships.”

Jillian Lee Antinora, like many of us, was overwhelmed and unsure during the pandemic. But she worked hard to get through to the other side and knows that it takes grit, healing, and acceptance to reach those goals. Her songs show that it is well worth the fight to live an empowered life. Although she has been singing professionally since she was 18 and playing guitar for over seven years, the pandemic amplified her dedication, and she released two albums in 2021: “Make My Day” and “Joys of Christmas.”

It’s funny how the most obscure things can be a comforting inspiration, like finding inspiration in dying succulents. In the song “Give Me A Sign.” Antinora let us in on a little secret, the succulent did end up dying. The meaning of the song is a bit deeper than that though and became more about relationships than plant health, or lack thereof. Antinora has a special talent for empathizing and connecting with those around her. The inspiration behind her new song “Moving On” came from a connection she felt to the history of the depression.

“The initial thought came when I was watching footage of families during the depression moving West to find work. I was also going through a time when I just wanted to move on to better things. I couldn’t pack up and head West, but I certainly could make a mental shift and get moving out of a place where I felt stuck.”

This period of her life only increased her drive to make music. Antinora saw this as an opportunity to help others realize how to navigate their own lives. Her album is a direct message to her listeners that things will get better. “It’s trying to be honest about struggles but also show how to get through them.”

Antinora realized that making it through the storm was only part of the journey. The final hurdle was “learning to surrender to something better.” Her title song and album, “Wash Over Me,” is a dedication to the acceptance of a better life.

Music has the unique ability to unite us all through specific emotions. Her music provides a bridge that connects her to her listeners through our admitted and sometimes unnecessary suffering. By creating and sharing her music, Antinora found power in herself. This power allowed her to grow and move towards a new goal, making music.

“There’s nothing like going through a difficult time to remind you of what’s important and why you work through it all. We do it for our families. Every sacrifice, hard choice, or difficult moment is worth going through for the sake of kids.”

Antinora found a way back to what is important by writing and producing her songs. It allowed her to make deeper connections that felt more meaningful through creative expression. Her newest album will be released on August 9th on all streaming platforms, but you can get a sneak peek of two of her songs: “You’re Worth It” and “Lighthouse,” both available on Spotify.

Making an album is no easy feat, but Jillian Lee Antinora found that the hard work and dedication were just what she needed to see the light. Finding strength in the hard moments and using them to her advantage created something beautiful and worth the listen.

Written in partnership with Maria Williams