Healing Through Music

Posted on October 13, 2016

I wasn’t going to post this at all, and then I realized that that flies in the face of what I’ve been trying to do for the past nine years — break the silence and end the stigma around depression.

So here goes. My depression is back. Maybe only for a short stay. Maybe not. It’s been here a week now. A devastating sadness — “best friend died” sort of sadness. And nothing of the sort is going on in my life. My life is amazing right now, with more exciting things to come. And yet, my brain sometimes does its own thing.

I’m doing things that I find helpful and comforting in a depression, and I’m also limiting the things that lead to overwhelm. One of the things I’ve done is compiled a list — in a specific order — of music. My “Feel Better” playlist. And I thought I’d share an annotated version with you today, in case anyone else finds it helpful.

These songs are intentionally in this order, to be played straight through. I created it to form an arc, to start from where I often am, and gradually lead myself to a more powerful place.

1.      Crossroads” by Don MacLean
“Can you remember who I was/ can you feel it?/ Can you find my pain?/ Can you heal it?”

2.      Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
“There’s always some reason/ To feel not good enough/ And it’s hard, at the end of the day”

3.      Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M
“If you feel like letting go/ If you think you’ve had too much/ Of this life, well hang on”

4.      Try” by P!nk
“You gotta get up and try, and try, and try”

5.      Show Me the Way” by Styx
“Give me the strength and the courage/ To believe that I’ll get there someday/ And please show me the way”

6.      Crawl” by Thisway
“Faces I remember, I’ll still see/ And places in a memory, hold on to me/ I can’t wait to crawl out of my shell”

7.      Making It Up As I Go Along” by Marie Wilson
“Don’t want to be scared/ Don’t want to be weak/ Don’t want to be the last to speak/ I’m gonna be brave/ I’m gonna be strong/ I’m ready to take it all on/ Making it up as I go along”

8.      Brave” by Sara Bareilles
“Don’t run, stop holding your tongue/ Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live/ Maybe one of these days you can let the light in/ Show me how big your brave is/ Say what you wanna say/ And let the words fall out/ Honestly I wanna see you be brave”

9.      Come to Life” by Trent Dabbs
“Let it breathe/ It will be alright/ There’s gold in the ground where we’re walking tonight/ Just sit back/ And watch it come to life”

10.   Perfect” (Clean) by P!nk
“Pretty, pretty please/ if you ever, ever feel/ Like you’re nothing/ you are perfect to me”

11.   With Your Face to the Wind” by Peter, Paul & Mary
“Sometimes it takes the dark to let us see the light/ You can’t have that victory unless you’ve fought the fight/ Sometimes it takes a winding road to lead us home/ While you’re windin’ ’round my friend just don’t go windin’ ’round alone”

12.   Home” by Phillip Phillps
“Settle down, it’ll all be clear/ Don’t pay no mind to the demons/ They fill you with fear/ The trouble it might drag you down/ If you get lost, you can always be found/ Just know you’re not alone/ ‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home”

13.   I’ve Gotta Be Me” by Sammy Davis, Jr. (Cover by Ryan Tedder & Contraband; Lyrics by Walter Marks) 
“I want to live, not merely survive/ And I won’t give up this dream/ Of life that keeps me alive/ I gotta be me, I gotta be me/ The dream that I see makes me what I am”

14.   Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
“And when you smile/ The whole world stops and stares for a while/ ‘Cause girl, you’re amazing/ Just the way you are”

15.   My Way” by Frank Sinatra
“To think I did all that/ And may I say – not in a shy way/ Oh no, oh no, not me/ I did it my way”

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