Gretel Khan

I’m a Family Relationship Coach + Trauma Therapist

I help neurodivergent single mums running a business embrace their uniqueness, feel less stressed, and be more supported so they can dance to their own beat contributing their gifts to the world and creating a life they truly love on their own terms.


via her website and/or social networks


BY Craig Pruess & Ananda

Singing has been something I have loved since I was a child, whether it be humming softly to myself, belting out show tunes in the car on road trips or regaling the household with my vocal prowess in the shower. I love the sensations of the sounds themselves and how good it feels in my body when I make the sounds.

Several years ago when I was struggling beyond separation & divorce I was feeling quite stressed and dysregulated one day. As I set out on a 4-hour car trip with my children, heart-racing and breathing shallow, I put on some music we all loved in the car. We all spontaneously sang along to each song and before long we were all laughing and talking about how much we loved some of the songs, singing out loud and making silly noises and voices and all. It was fun, and by the time we reached our destination, I was feeling so much more relaxed and breathing deeply and easily. The stress in my body was completely gone.

I also noticed, to my delight, how relaxed and happy the kids were too.

The whole experience was so simple, spontaneous and thoroughly enjoyable, and the result was a pleasant surprise at the time, I had just learned an important lesson about somatic work for healing. The love, connection and regulation that was present in all three of us after the trip was just wonderful. There were deep sighs, sleeping, laughing, smiling and connecting on the trip. It is interesting that the kids never touched their electronic devices either.

It is worth noting here that we have had long stressful car trips that were the total opposite where there was arguing about what music we wanted to listen to or not listen to and fighting between the kids about being touched by the other or hit or looked at. On those trips, I have arrived at the destination almost in tears or fuming with rage.

It is so interesting how the trip where we connected and sang was different somehow. I consulted with the kids gently about the music first and whether we wanted it or not, to test the waters to see if there was anything we could agree on.

It seems that they were open to experiencing something other than the stress they had been sensing from me at that time. Funny how healing and regulation happens when you just allow it and how children are so willing to just allow it too and follow our lead when there is nothing by acceptance of what is.

That day the music really touched us, and we sang and hummed all the way. The trip went pretty quickly too!

These days in my work as a somatic trauma healing practitioner, music, singing and dancing are often a big part of the work I do with clients for regulation and processing of sensations & experiences that are causing distress.

Music is an incredible resource. Whether you are actually singing, listening to a song or bringing to mind the experience or sounds that bring up a sense of safety, calm, joy, or stillness in your body is powerful and if this resonates, I encourage you to experiment with it and see if you can discover what feels good for you too.

Music and singing is a full body experience too so don’t forget to include it by feeling the vibrations and the sound in your body and allow yourself to sink into the sensations it produces in your body, and include movement and dancing too if it feels good.

To illustrate this, I have another story from those days of emotional stress beyond my separation that some of you may relate to as well where I got into a routine of putting on headphones and dancing to music in the dark living room like no one was watching. Sometimes I sobbed, sometimes I screamed into the cushions, and other times I moved with joy and a sense of empowerment. It was the most wonderful way to process a lot of the feelings I was experiencing at the time.

If I had done it alongside some somatic trauma therapy at the time I would have moved through the stuff coming up for me a lot faster that is for sure.

The experiences of singing in the car and dancing in the living room were where the seed was sown for me and sparked further investigation.

Music is life and singing is life too. You don’t need to be good at it, you just need to allow your authentic voice to come out of you in a way that feels good.

I have a playlist of songs for different purposes, and my favourite go-to song for listening to, singing out loud and humming in the shower is Devi Prayer by Craig Pruess & Ananda.

The kids don’t like it (ha ha) but it is powerful for me and feels like it comes right from the depths of me when I sing it or hum along to it. And it goes perfectly with the hum of the fan in my bathroom when I’m having a shower. The perfect way to regulate and de-stress before bed.