Billie Holdiay and “Holding Both”

I love to discover the naturalness of Wholebody Focusing in life itself, including in art and music.  I found something new listening to Billie Holiday’s version of Good Morning Heartache.

Focusing is based on the work of Gene Gendlin.  He worked with Carl Rodgers to research why some people thrive in psychotherapy and others did not. Their award-winning research found that whether or not psychotherapy helped a person with their emotional issues was not related to the type of therapy or the skill of the therapist.  It had mostly to do with the client’s innate ability to be aware of their emotional challenges in a meta-cognitive way.  Focusing and Wholebody Focusing are practices that help people learn how to become more aware of their inner emotional life in a way that naturally helps one heal.

Good Morning, Heartache is a wonderful example of how as someone becomes aware and accepting of what is there emotionally, healing begins. In this song, Ms. Holiday’s voice guides us through her experience of heartache. She starts with wanting the heartache to “get lost” and cycles through what comes for her by being with these feelings. She ends with lightheartedly offering her heartache to “sit down” next to her.  This song demonstrates an important practice in Focusing in which one can  hold both the heartache and the not wanting the heartache with equal regard as a part of the healing process.

Please enjoy Good Morning Heartache. This 1946 song was created through a collaboration of writers Irene Higgenbotham, Ervin Drake, and Dan Fisher.  It was sung by Billie Holiday with backup from Bill Stegmeyer and his Orchestra.

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Author: Diana Scalera

I am a Certified Wholebody Focusing Professional and Reiki Master Level III. I am interested in the cross-section between Wholebody focusing and energy work. I offer Reiki treatments in person and at a distance. I am also available to train clients in WBF. Please contact me at

3 thoughts on “Billie Holdiay and “Holding Both””

  1. Hi Diana sitting here in Eastman, Mitch and I going through photos of the wbf retreat and voila I saw your email about the most recent blog.

    Take care Melinda

    > — > Melinda Darer > Director, Focusing Initiatives International > > > (845) 356-1765 > > See our new training manual “Reaching Resilience” now available at >


  2. Dear Diana

    That beautifully fits the ability to be with what is there and to love it and to welcome it. What a perfect fit. The sound of the song, the music itself seems to make the pain bearable enough to just be with it in a caring way/
    Thank you. Kevin

  3. Yes, creating art is one way our bodies can be with what is there in a non-threatening way. I needed to search out who the artists were who brought this together. I began with the idea that Billie Holiday wrote the song. In fact, it was a heartfelt collaboration of many people who brought this song to life–from the writers of the music and lyrics to the band leader and musicians and Billie Holiday with her way of owing what she sang–something exciting and new came and stands as a record of that collaboration and a guide to emotional healing.

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