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Music and mental health
I want to talk about music and mental health. Music is really closely linked to our emotions, right? We all have songs we listen to when we’re happy, or when we’re sad or stressed out. We all have songs that are linked to certain memories or moods. I know I do, anyway.
Those of you who have read my previous posts will know that I’m definitely not into “one size fits all” solutions for mental health, but even if it doesn’t help, listening to a bit of music when you’re having a bad day can’t hurt, right?
I thought I’d share some of the songs I love that really lift my mood and help me manage my mental health. Maybe give them a listen and see if you agree with me.
Bif Naked – I Love Myself Today
If you don’t already know this song, go listen to it. Now. Or just read the lyrics here. I sing this song to myself when I’m having a low self esteem day or when someone has made me feel bad about myself. The lyrics are a bit silly, but the chorus is like the best affirmation ever. For it to really lift my mood, I have to sing into my hairbrush while bouncing around like a fool.
Steve Carlson & Rosalee – I Believe
This song was written for a fertility clinic and the video features families at various stages of their journey to becoming parents. I listened to it every day for such a long time while we were going through IVF, after a very dear friend recommended it (she knows who she is), and it reminded me to focus on the big picture and stay hopeful. You can find the video on YouTube here and I dare you to watch it without crying. If you succeed, your heart is probably made of stone. Even now, when I hear it, I feel hopeful and so grateful for my miracle babies.
Backstreet Boys – If You Want It To Be Good Girl (Get Yourself a Bad Boy)
OK, OK… you can stop laughing. Don’t judge me. The laughing is kind of the point with this one. I LOVE the Backstreet Boys. I have loved them for as long as I can remember and I will love them, without shame or apology, until the end of time. But this song is ridiculous. If you don’t believe me, listen to it here and then come back and tell me it didn’t make you laugh. I laugh every time I listen to this song, because it reminds me of 13 year old Becca dancing around and singing about things that 13 year old girls probably shouldn’t sing about.
Tsunami Bomb – Say It If You Mean It
I think this is probably Tsunami Bomb’s best song and it always lifts my mood. You can watch them perform it live here. It’s just a really great song and it speaks to me from the very beginning – “Don’t walk on eggshells for me, I’m not as fragile as you think” and the whole song just makes me jump around and sing out my frustration.
Kane – Crazy In Love
I wonder how many of you know this one… maybe not many. You can listen to it and look at Christian Kane’s pretty face on YouTube. I just love how upbeat this song is. And it reminds me of really happy times. I once saw Kane perform live, surrounded by great friends, and I’ve loved this song ever since.
The Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
I don’t need to link to this one. You all know it. And you’re all singing it in your heads right now. And you’re probably smiling. Admit it. It’s OK. It’s an awesome song.
Coyote Shivers – Sugar High
Preferably the version that appeared in Empire Records (because that film is awesome), but the soundtrack version works too. It’s just so upbeat and impossible not to bounce around to. You may have noticed that maybe bouncing around is what improves my mood rather than just the songs that make me bounce!
The Greatest Showman soundtrack – This Is Me
Surely this is on everyone’s list now? This song has been everywhere for the last year and I can’t listen to it without singing along and dancing. It just has an amazing message of self-acceptance and love. I am always in a better mood after listening to this song.
The Foo Fighters
There are so many Foo’s songs that help lift my mood. The Pretender, Learn to Fly, Everlong… they just produce such great rock music and when I’m feeling low, I just stick my Foo Fighters playlist on shuffle and all my stress just melts away.
I could carry on with this list forever, but I won’t. I’d love it if you’d tell me what you think about music and mental health and what songs do the trick for you!