Music is one of the most wonderful things that you can turn to no matter what kind of mood you’re in. A lot of people turn to music when they are feeling low. Sometimes, when I am in a reflective or kind of empty mood, I put on a little playlist that has songs that remind me of how far I’ve come. The meaning of a song changes depending on who is listening to it and that’s what I love about music, that a certain song can have a different impact on different people.
These songs aren’t particularly written about struggling with mental health. Obviously the song writer wrote them with their own meaning, but lyrics impact individuals in such different ways. And for me, it’s these songs that can express what I’m feeling.
I have a list of 5 songs I turn to when I’m feeling low or empty and some of them are more self explanatory than others. I thought I’d share them with you so that maybe if you’re having a bad day, you could listen to one of these and see what the lyrics mean to you.
Ugly / Sugababes
This is a strange choice, I know. For me, this song isn’t about being called Ugly or anything. It’s the general message that every body is completely different and we are all beautiful in our own ways. If I’m feeling deflated about myself and my self confidence is pretty low, I always listen to this song. The lyrics that stick out the most to me are:
Everybody talks bad about somebody
And never realises how it affects somebody
And you bet it won’t be forgotten
Envy is the only thing it could be
I feel like everybody can relate to this and at one time in their life have felt them comparing themselves to others.
Keep Your Head Up /Ben Howard
I’m pretty sure this was one of Ben’s first singles released from the Every Kingdom album. This choice is pretty self explanatory. Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you can keep going and you’ve survived 100% of your bad days so far.
Who You Are / Jessie J
This song always gets me in all the feels. You should always stay true to yourself and don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s important not to cave when you feel like you need to go along with social pressures.
Although not the original meaning of the song, I feel like it really emphasises that it’s absolutely fine to have bad days and tough times. When I feel angry at myself for having a tough day, I try and remind myself that it’s absolutely okay and it will get better.
Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay.
Jess Glynne / Take Me Home
This is one of my all time favourite songs. Jess Glynne is top notch anyway but when she released this, I was crushing even more. I find it really hard to rely on people but now that there’s a couple of people in my life who I can completely trust, I feel like this song has so much meaning to me. There’s people in my life that help me so much by just getting me to talk which I feel can be a huge help. I love this song because it reminds me that there are people who care and that I can turn to in my lowest points.
The more you talk to me
You rationalize my darkest thoughts
Yeah, you set them free
Came to you with a broken faith
Gave me more than a hand to hold
Caught before I hit the ground
Tell me I’m safe, you’ve got me now
Emeli Sande / Read All About It
I was singing this in the shower one day and that’s when I put my own meaning to it. To me, this song represents how much a mental health illness can make you feel so alone and different to anyone else. You get annoyed at yourself and it makes you feel like you’re mind is strange. It’s fighting that thought that’s important and showing people that we are all similar but fighting our own battles.
Maybe we’re a little different
There’s no need to be ashamed
Another thing I take from this song is what it’s like trying to speak out about mental health illnesses and trying to stamp out the stigma. Compared to this time last year, so many people are speaking out and getting help sometimes that’s due to sufferers sharing their stories.
Let’s get the TV and the radio
To play our tune again
It’s ’bout time we got some airplay of our version of events
There’s still a long way to go so let’s keep doing our part to get rid of the stigma that is attached to having a mental health illness.
Do you have any songs that have an extra special meaning to you?