Music has been my therapy for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, Hannah Montana got me through my crushes and un-true friends. In middle school, Demi Lovato reminded me that I'm the s*** whether the boy I liked liked me back or not. In high school, my problems began to be about more than just indecisive boys and fluctuating friendships. I began to dread getting out of bed every morning, I had lost interest in the things I used to love, I became someone who I didn't recognize, and I pushed away the people closest to me. These intense feelings called for a new type of music.

Most of my new therapy music was not uplifting, bubbly music. It was dark and deep and I needed to hear it. Instead of making me feel even more down and sad, this music made me feel strong. These songs had a positive beat, but the dark lyrics were able to put my exact feelings into words, which was something that I couldn't do myself at the time. Each song was a journey that expressed how even though life beat me down, there was light in the days ahead, there was hope in the future, and there were limitless possibilities for the next day— I just had to make it there.

1. "Truce" by Twenty One Pilots

"The sun will rise, and we will try again. Stay alive, stay alive..."

After every bad day, every bad night, I knew that tomorrow was a new day. I knew that if the sun would still rise even after the darkest night, then so would I. Seeing the sunrise the morning after a bad night reminded me that I had another chance to try again.

This past summer I got a tattoo of the phrase "the sun will rise again."

2. "This is Gospel" by Panic! At the Disco

"These words are knives that often leave scars, the fear of falling apart."


Sometimes I think we're more scared of falling apart than what is hurting us. We can handle hurt. We know that whatever is hurting us will heal with time. The hard part is that when you fall apart, you feel like you'll never be put back together. All you can think about are the words they said that felt like they cut into you. Finally, you find the strength to stitch up your wounds and glue yourself back together. Scars aren't a symbol of falling apart, they're a symbol of coming back together.

3. "Drown" by Mayday Parade

"Who will save me now? Dive in when I'm down, save me from myself, don't let me drown."

I was looking for someone to save me, and then I remembered that I can swim on my own. I swam to the shore on my own and knowing that I was able to save myself made me feel capable of anything.

4. "Black Parade" by My Chemical Romance

"We'll carry on, and though we are broken and defeated..."

This song starts out very dark and slow, but then it picks up. Listening to it when I was really down made me feel like I wasn't alone and the band's pure emotion can be heard through the song. It's like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like hope, and makes you want to carry on.

5. "Hallelujah" by Panic! At The Disco

"You'll never know if you don't ever try again, so let's try, let's try, let's try."

Often after experiencing heartbreak, disappointment, or rejection, we are scared to try again. We don't want to be hurt so we close ourselves off. You know you're healing when you're finally not afraid to put yourself out there again.

These songs carried me through my worst days and I am so thankful for the power of music.