Ah, the magic of music!
Music therapy has proven to have great benefits for several mental health conditions, including depression, trauma, and schizophrenia. Music is a good medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief — and can also be used as a calming tool for anxiety or dysregulation.
A method called lyric analysis is one of the most commonly used music therapy interventions with those struggling with mental health. It is a less intimidating approach involving deeply understanding and analyzing lyrics to better process and describe emotions that are otherwise hard to explain. Uplifting music is also used to motivate listeners to apply its positive message to their obstacles in life! Here are some throwback songs you can try analyzing to lighten your spirits if you’re feeling down:
1. “Unwell” by Matchbox Twenty
Memorable lines: “I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell… I’m just a little impaired”
Why you should listen: There’s no reason to feel that no one will ever understand what you are going through. The lyrics perfectly describe what anyone with a mental illness is going through, so if you need something to make you feel less alone, this song is it.
Listen to “Unwell” by Matchbox Twenty on Spotify
2. “Shake it out” by Florence + The Machine
Memorable lines: “And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back; so shake him off!”
Why you should listen: Many people with mental illness hide their issues because they feel they have conform to societal norms or avoid stigma. But bottling up your feelings can lead to worse consequences in the future. Instead, try to find healthy outlets to express yourself.
Listen to “Shake it out” by Florence + The Machine on Spotify
3. “Let it be” by The Beatles
Memorable lines: “There will be an answer, let it be!”
Why you should listen: Life goes on and that change is a part of that life. So when everything seems hopeless, remember that nothing lasts forever. Instead of worrying over the future, just focus on what you can be grateful for today.
Listen to “Let it Be” by The Beatles on Spotify
4. “Titanium” by David Guetta ft. Sia
Memorable lines: You shoot me down but I won’t fall, I am titanium”
Why you should listen: When the going gets tough, it’s your mental strength that will get you through it. Cultivate habits that build positivity and resiliency so you can manage difficult situations better.
Listen to “Titanium” by David Guetta ft. Sia on Spotify
5. “Flashlight” by Jessie J
Memorable lines: “I’m stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight / You’re getting me, getting me through the night”
Why you should listen: No one can battle a mental illness alone. Do not be afraid to ask for help, surround yourself with supportive people, and avoid those who only add toxicity to your life.
Listen to “Flashlight” by Jessie J on Spotify
6. “Wounds” by Kid Cudi
Memorable lines: “When you cannot find the version of yourself you seek /
You should dig deep / I’ma sew these wounds myself”
Why you should listen: Wounds is a great song for people fighting depression. In the song, we hear questions why we doesn’t feel “whole”, but it’s also talks about acceptance and learning to heal.
Listen to “Wounds” by Kid Cudi on Spotify
7. “Firework” by Katy Perry
Memorable lines: “Cause baby you’re a firework / Come on show ’em what you’re worth / Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” / As you shoot across the sky-y-y”
Why you should listen: You can be an inspiration to others, even if you are struggling with mental illness. By sharing your story, you can encourage others to open up about their own issues and in the process seek support or treatment, thereby easing the loneliness and despair that they are most likely feeling.
Listen to “Firework” by Katy Perry on Spotify
Listening to music has been proven to help regulate emotions, improve mood, and create happiness and relaxation in everyday life. Do yourself a favor and plug on the earphones a few hours a day. Your mind will thank you for it!
Written by Jac of MindNation