15 Songs I Owe My Mental Health To
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Health and Wellness

15 Songs I Owe My Mental Health To

“Music seems to hold everything together. It seems to make things not so chaotic sometimes." -Tyler Joseph

15 Songs I Owe My Mental Health To
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Any therapist worth their salt will tell you the first thing you need when you're feeling unstable is a coping method. There are unhealthy coping methods and there are healthy coping methods. One healthy coping method that I relied on heavily when I was in the darkest part of battling my depression and anxiety was music. I had a cycle that I didn't realize I was taking part in until much later: When I was really feeling the suffocation, I would listen to depressing songs - songs that made me feel like someone else understood me and was seeking desperately to feel a little less alone, just like me. The problem with these songs was that they often left me feeling worse than I felt when I started that playlist. Then when I started therapy, I realized a couple of things: 1) Light (natural and not) is my friend, 2) Junk food is not, and 3) Music that wants me to fight can get me to fight. So I started seeking out music that satisfied and validated my pain but also encouraged me to keep fighting for stability and life. Here are 15 songs from my over 90 song playlist that helped me want to stay alive when my mind and heart were warring against each other and I was left victim:

1. Migraine - Twenty One Pilots

Listen here.

"My mind’s ship-wrecked
This is the only land my mind could find
I did not know it was such a violent island
Full of tidal waves, suicidal crazed lions
They’re trying to eat me / Blood running down their chin
And I know that I can fight or I can let the lion win
I begin to assemble what weapons I can find
‘Cuz sometimes to stay alive you gotta kill your mind."

I could go on about Twenty One Pilots in extended essay form. This song in particular makes me feel understood - as a person, as an artist, as someone who works very hard to claim my own happiness each and every day. Stay alive, Clique. You gotta.

2. Light - Next to Normal (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

Listen here.

"We need some light / First of all, we need some light
Some ghosts are never gone,
But we go on / We still go on.
And you find some way to survive
And you find out you don't have to be happy at all
To be happy you're alive."

This entire show gets me. It's about a dysfunctional family, and confronts the fact that sometimes the hardest choice are the ones that need to be made in order to be a happier person. It always chills me out when I'm so deep in my mind I'm not sure I'll find my way out.

3. Safe - Phil Wickham

Listen here.

"You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made / He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms."

Gotta give props where props are due, and Christ deserves my props. Faith and religion have been big points of contention in my life, but God's love for me is constant and not conditonal on my failures and shortcomings, even though it's ridiculously hard for me to come to terms with a Savior who loves me as much as does. This song makes me feel safe.

4. The Sun Always Rises - Hearts and Hands

Listen here.

"Don’t try and solve a temporary problem
With a permanent solution
When you feel like there’s no one left to fight for
Look in the mirror and fight for yourself
You lost a battle but you haven’t lost war."

This song is a great reminder that I need fight for myself because I deserve to fight for myself. I deserve my own love and respect. I deserve more than what I put myself through and I deserve life. Relapse is inevitable but recovery is worth and you're stronger than your demons. Hope persists.

5. Warrior - Demi Lovato

Listen here.

"Out of the ashes, I’m burning like a fire
You can save your apologies, you’re nothing but a liar
I’ve got shame, I’ve got scars
That I will never show
I’m a survivor
In more ways than you know."

I'm freakin' strong, okay, and so are you. This song reminds me of what I've overcome and inspires me to keep going.

6. St. Christopher (On My Way) - Michael Logan

Listen here.

"Calling on Saint Christopher
Gonna need some help tonight
For the long dark road ahead
On my way back to the light."

Among other things, when I was at my darkest I felt like I had no purpose and that I would never find one. This song helped me in my search for guidance, and it's also very calming.

7. Recover - Natasha Bedingfeld

Listen here.

"We will recover
The worst is over now
All those fires we’ve been walking through
And still we survive somehow
We will recover
The worst is behind
And it hurts but in time
I know that we will recover."

This song is like an anthem to me. Recovery is hard. You can be told this a million times but until you go through it yourself, it's difficulty just doesn't seem so gargantuan. It is. Recovery is an every day battle. This song rejuvenates me and I listen to it whenever I feel a low coming on.

8. Skin - Sixx AM

Listen here.

"And when they start to judge you
Show them your true colors
And do unto others
As you’ve have done to you
Just rise above this
Kill them with your kindness
Ignorance is blindness
They’re the ones who stand to lose."

This song is helpful if you're dealing with self-esteem issues, body issues, or self-harm.

9. Iridescent - Linkin Park

Listen here.

"Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go, let it go."

This song helped me as I was reaching the point where I needed to come to terms with feeling fully in order to feel freer. Something that I find to be healing and helpful is to just let myself completely feel what I need to - and then bank it. Let it be a part of me but not become me. Let it go.

10. By The Grace Of God - Katy Perry

Listen here.

"Thought I wasn't enough
Found I wasn't so tough
Lying on the bathroom floor
We were living on a fault line
And I felt the fault was all mine
Couldn't take it any more
By the Grace of God (There was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put one foot in front of the other and I
Looked in the mirror and decided to stay
Wasn't gonna let love take me out that way."

Another song that helped me feel connected to my spirituality. I felt that line about lying on the bathroom floor in my soul. Sometimes no one wants to help you and you have to look yourself in the spirit and say "I'M saving you. Take MY hand. I love you. Stay."

11. Wrestling Israel - Flobots

Listen here.

"So whatever your tradition / Never stop wrestling
With precedent and privelige / Never stop wrestling
With flags and divinity / Never stop wrestling
With love for your enemies / Never stop wrestling
With faith and community / Never stop wrestling
With every god you worship / Never stop wrestling
Tryin’ to be perfect but love who you are
And divine your true purpose."

Yet another song about struggling with faith. A theme, no? John and Brer get me. Never give up.

12. A Time For Yohe - Between the Trees

Listen here.

"Saying “it’s my fault” doesn’t help repeated
Time, love, and Jesus seems to beat it
She’ll find out this is harder than taking medicine
This is your time to weep
This is your time to mourn
Not yet time to build up
Just a time to tear down old walls."

I love this song because it's message of taking time for what you're ready for is so crystalline. Not everything has to be a mad-grab climb to scale the mountain. Sometimes you just have to move some pebbles to see the path clearer.

13. The Angel Islington - Frank Turner

Listen here.

"By the waters of the Thames / I resolve to start again
To wash my feet and cleanse my sins
To lose my cobwebs on the wind
To fix the parts of me I broke
To speak out loud the things I know
I haven't been myself."

There's power in naming things. Name your problems. Name your fears, your insecurities, your demons. Then conquer them.

14. Heaven - Troye Sivan

Listen here.

"The truth runs wild like the rain to sea
Try to set straight the lines that I trace to find some release
This voice inside has been eating at me
Try to embrace the picture I paint and color me free."

Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself.

15. Scars - Jonny Diaz

Listen here.

"Praise God we don’t have to hide scars
They just strengthen our hearts and they soften our scars
They remind us of who we have been
But not where we are
So Praise God we don’t have to hide scars."

Whether your scars are physical, emotional, or mental, they are not something to be ashamed of, Love them because they have carried you through the worst of it. Be proud of your battles, after all, you won them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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