In my life I have witnessed many people who have tried so hard to understand what it means to understand what it means to have struggles with mental health. I have also witnessed a few people who have chosen to accept that they will never understand what it means to have struggles with mental health. Its a hard position to be in. People with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. want to be understood, but it can be next to impossible to explain to those around us...
For awhile I have been someone who enjoys sad songs. I like how they make me feel. No this isn't some dark and twisty thing... but more something in comparison to that subdued yet refreshed feeling after waking up from a two hour nap. I like how certain notes release certain chemical reactions in my brain causing me to feel something. Then I realized that there was a lot of music out there that reminded me (explicitly or metaphorically) about what it means to live with mental health struggles. So I thought I would compile a list of my top songs that get mental health in order to possibly create an increase in understanding among those who want to learn more.
4. Gone Away by: Safety Suit
"Cause I'll be fine, oh don't you worry cause I'll be fine, you see I'm in a hurry to be gone away awhile."
This is more of a stretched interpretation but the beauty of music is that it can mean different things to different people. But the main theme is about escaping. It talks about memories and the desire to simply get away from it all. Yet the tones hint at a sense of anger which reminds me of times where we try to convince people we are okay when really we need help.
3. Breathing by: Ingrid Michaelson
"All we can do is keep breathing, all that I know is I'm breathing."
Another song that's not explicitly about mental health but encapsulates feelings that can be hard to articulate. The verses describe destruction going on around the world but then describe how all we can do is breath. Sometimes within the realm of mental health, there is not a lot that can be done during certain moments. But the biggest help one could give someone who is struggling is to remind them to keep breathing. They are here, they are alive, you are continuing to breath together.
2. Sour Breath by: Julien Baker
"The harder I swim the faster I sink"
If you don't know anything about Julien Baker, you really need to. She has experienced struggles with addiction and mental health. Her songs are devastating but oh so beautiful. This song speaks a lot to addiction and the toxic relationships that come along with that.
1. Appointments by: Julien Baker
" Maybe it's all gonna turn out alright and I know that its not but I have to believe that it is"
Yes Julien Baker is my top two. Because she gets it. Never has a piece of art understood depression so deeply. If you are going to only listen to one of these songs, make it this one.
Now I don't want you to look at this as just a mini playlist to make you sad. Yes it may make you sad but allow it to open your mind. Increased understanding is only a good thing.