There will inevitably be times in life where we are forced to grow out of our comfort zones in one way or another, whether it is through starting a new job, moving to a new city, or even simply shifting from one circle of friends to another. These periods can be incredibly lonely, and we can be faced with great uncertainty. In my experience, I have found solace in songs with vulnerable, honest lyrics about these difficult times. Here are just a few songs that have been good company in my frustrations, sadness, fears, and optimism about an uncertain future.
1. "Shake It Out" by Florence and the MachineGiphy
This a song that I'm pretty sure most of the world has heard on the radio at this point. However, it wasn't until recently that I rediscovered it and really listened to the lyrics. Florence sings about her difficulties with moving on from her past and her old ways, feeling like there's no way out of the darkness that she feels is consuming her. However, she offers a feeling of great hope in the metaphor, "but it's always darkest before the dawn." She is finding the strength to "shake the devil off her back," move on and start over.
2. "Last Hope" by ParamoreGiphy
This song is about learning to be patient with the healing process during a period of suffering. So many times we wish we could take control of how pain comes and goes. This song touches on that, as well as how we wish that we could simply wake up one day and find ourselves completely healed and happy. However, this song reminds me that we must "let go of control" and "let it happen." It also shows that we are capable of learning to accept pain and must hold on tightly to that one thing that is giving us hope. As it says in the lyrics, "It's just a spark, but it's enough to keep me going."
3. "Let the Rain" by Sara BareillesSara Bareilles Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy
Sara Bareilles is one of my all-time favorite artists and has so many beautiful songs in her discography. This one, in particular, I love because it perfectly captures the frustrations and anxieties that come with feeling like you're stuck between who you are and the person you want to become. The chorus says "I want to darken in the skies / open the flood gates up / I want to change my mind / I want to be enough/ I want the water in my eyes / I want to cry until the end of time / I want to let the rain come down / make a brand new ground / let the rain come down/ tonight." I think we can all relate to this sentiment, the feeling that we want to be a force to be reckoned with and say what we have always been afraid to say. It expresses a deep longing to grow and blossom to our full potential.
4. "Learn Me Right" by Birdy and Mumford and SonsGiphy
This is a song that I first heard several years ago when I watched "Brave," the Disney-Pixar movie. I think the best way to describe this song is with the phrase "pure joy." To me, this song sounds like the conclusion that the previous three songs hope to one day arrive. A feeling of utmost freedom and happiness, and that "we will be who we are / and they'll heal our scars/sadness will be far away." It gives an impression of hope, but in the sense that you can already see the new day dawning. It makes us feel as if we are on the cusp of being completely healed from sadness and coming to terms with our newfound growth.
These songs, among many others, remind me that I am truly not alone in my quest for growth and becoming a new person. They remind me that change is not only necessary but crucial. There's probably a song for every single tiny distinct feeling that you experience during these times of suffering and transitions, so we're in good company. I hope these songs can be a source of comfort to you as well, and that you may also have many other songs you can listen to and find solace in during times of need.