Anxiety and Depression Coping: Music

I use a lot of different methods to calm myself when I’m having severe anxiety or depression. Probably the most used is music. Music has been a huge passion of mine for a long time. I grew up dancing, singing and playing the saxophone meaning I’ve been surrounded by music my entire life. With this, I learned how powerful music can be and it always has had a way for me to express myself without having to say the words. Music can be extremely healing, hearing songs you relate to or lyrics that describe what you are feeling. I have been writing lyrics that I come across that have meaning to me in a journal that I can go through when I’m feeling very down on my luck. It is by far the method of healing I can use no matter what I am feeling. If I need to scream because of rage, cry because of depression or calm down because of anxiety. I wanted to share the songs that I find to be very healing and most inspirational to me when it comes to my anxiety.

“Who You Are”- Jessie J: I believe the first time I heard this song was in the Step Up 2 movie when I was younger. I didn’t notice it much when I first saw the movie, but did take particular interest as I was older. I found the music video and just bawled watching it for the first time and really listening to the lyrics. I still cry almost every time I listen to it. At its heart, the song is about self acceptance. People can break you down and make you feel you aren’t good enough as you are. In today’s society, it is so easy to forget who you are and try to be someone else to please people. It is a reminder that you need to be true to yourself and listen to yourself. And life is hard. Crying is not a sign of weakness. Everyone feels pain inside and its important to remember who you are.  I absolutely love this song and the message. It is something I have always turned to when I am feeling depressed. Jessie J sings it with such passion and heart. It is one of my all time favorite songs. Favorite lyric “It’s okay not to be okay, sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart, tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising, just be true to who you are”

“Try”- Colbie Caillat: If you’ve heard this song before, you know why it is an amazing anthem for those who have depression, anxiety and self confidence issues. The lyrics detail the lengths that we go sometimes to be accepted or feel beautiful according to others’ standards. But when you look in the mirror, is it really you staring back? Try is a call for self love and acceptance as you are. You don’t have to go to crazy lengths to try to fit in with what you think is needed. You can be yourself, love who you truly are and the world will follow suit. The music is also incredibly beautiful as it shows many different women, including Colbie herself, taking off all makeup, hair extensions and anything covering their raw beauty. When I feel low on my self confidence and spend too much time alone, I listen to this song and hope that one day I will love myself and people will love me for my true authentic self. Favorite lyric: ” Wait a second, Why, should you care, what they think of you, When you’re all alone, by yourself, do you like you? Do you like you?”

“Rise Up”- Andra Day: Oh man. First, Andra Day is an absolutely incredible vocalist. The emotion that she sings with is one of the reasons I love this song. The song comes from the perspective of someone who is not in the darkest place, but cares for someone who is. It is an anthem of support of being there for someone to lift them from this place. One of the hardest parts of having depression is feeling alone without anyone who can help you. It’s just a mentality that you easily get into, no matter the support you have. The song reminds me that someone can be there for me. Someone will go on this journey with me taking me back up to a better place. And it reminds me that I can be that for someone and I will be. I would move mountains to help a friend who was suffering from mental health issues since I’ve been there. It is just a song you need to hear sometimes when you are feeling at your lowest all alone. Favorite lyric: “When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe. And I know you feel like dying. But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet. And move mountains”

“Gravity”- Sara Bareilles: I first heard this song on the good old show The Vampire Diaries. I had to hunt to figure out what song it was but I was so incredibly glad I took all that time because this song is so emotional and touching. The lyrics follow the story of falling back into a toxic relationship over and over again. It is a force that you can’t help but follow. This is such an emotional song for me since I can relate it to my relationship with depression and anxiety. I keep thinking that I’m finally escaping, when it pulls me back in. I want to be strong but it’s just stronger than me. Unfortunately, that is how it works sometimes with mental health. In my opinion, I will always live with mental health problems, I just have to learn how to control them so that I don’t keep falling back into the darkness that lives in my mind. It is one of my favorite songs to sing because I can do with pure passion and emotion. It also makes for amazing choreography as can be seen on So You Think You Can Dance. It is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve come across. Favorite lyric: “You hold me without touch, You keep me without chains, I never wanted anything so much than to drown in your love, And not feel your reign”

I believe that music has immense power and can change a person’s life. It just takes the song, or the lyric to move someone in ways you never thought music could. It is why we idolize musicians so much, especially those who say something. These are just a few of the songs that I find very impactful for my mental health disorders. I hope that you may find hope, healing or anything else you may need from the songs I’ve shared. Let me know what you music you feel help you out when you need it!

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