Sometimes our strong wills and determination leave us when we need them the most, and these are the times when we have to search for motivation outside of ourselves. Family and friends can be a great resource to help us in times like these, but what about the times when you would rather just keep to yourself or be independent?
Here are eight songs to support you when you need comfort, encouragement, advice, and reassurance that you are not alone.
1. "Swim" by Jack's Mannequin
"Just keep your head above." Even the smallest things can seem overwhelming, so when you feel like you're drowning, take a minute for yourself and let Andrew McMahon from Jack's Mannequin (currently in the group Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness) guide you through your struggles and encourage you never to give up.
2. "Fix You" by Coldplay
"But if you never try you'll never know/Just what you're worth." It feels so much easier just not to try things that worry you or make you feel overwhelmed like doing something new or going on an adventure, but these are the kinds of experiences that will make you stronger and will help you build connections -- connections to people who will be there to support and comfort you. Even though it's hard, sometimes you just have to take chances to grow as a person and be a better you.
3. "Constant" by House of Heroes
"You never gave up, never gave in, never quite gave up on me." It's always important to take time to think of your constant -- whether it's a friend, family, a religion, or hobby, etc. There is something out there that each of us care about and know is part of what makes life worth living even if it is hard to pinpoint that constant on some days. When you're overwhelmed by negatives in your life and struggle to find the happiness, try to make a mental list of all of your constants and let yourself feel what they mean to you.
4. "Hello My Old Heart" by The Oh Hellos
"I add another stone/To the walls I built around you/To keep you safe." It is tempting to believe that you'll be happier if you guard your heart from emotions and situations that may potentially cause you heartbreak, but you're still hurting yourself. Don't prevent yourself from feeling anything -- be open, feel everything! There is so much you'll never know about yourself and others if you make yourself numb to the world, and there will come a time when you've stunted your emotions for too long that you realize it would be better to feel heartache and sadness than to feel nothing at all.
5. "Fear" by Blue October
"I used to fall, now I get back up." Fear -- of failure, of putting yourself out there, etc. -- will eat you up if you let it, and it just holds you back from living your life and finding your purpose. It is important to face your fears and confront them so you don't confine yourself to living as a slave to them. When anything knocks you down, don't let it scare you. You are strong. You can get back up, and you will be a better person for it.
6. "Through the Dark" by One Direction
"And if you wanna fall apart/I'd be there to hold ya." Yes, this is a One Direction song, yes, I am a fan, and yes, this song makes me cry. No, I am not ashamed to admit that. Who wouldn't want to know someone who loved them so much that they are willing to help you during the darkest moments of your life or are willing to hold you through a breakdown? That's all I'm saying... Really though, your relationships with those around you are so incredibly important, and you matter to people -- don't convince yourself otherwise!
7. "There, There Katie" by Jack's Mannequin
"But we all fade sometimes/I believe." Know that there are going to be times when you don't feel like yourself or you feel stuck and unable to find joy in things you love. Know, also, that you are not alone in this. I admire your bravery and strength, and so do the people around you. If you don't feel like there's a reason to live, I'll give you a few: live for the small beauties of the world, live for the people around you who need and love you, live for love.
8. "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World
"Live right now, yeah, just be yourself/It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else." This song holds a special place in my heart. My best friend and I pass it back and forth to one another when we know the other needs strength. You don't know the end of your story -- you still have to write it -- don't miss it!
I hope these words help anyone who needs it, and the advice is as much for me as it is for all of you. I've spent a lot of time listening to these songs while writing this article, and I really do feel that focusing on the lyrics, as well as the emotions and intentions behind the songs can truly lift spirits.
In case you haven't heard it lately, I love you all, and you matter!