As many of you know, I suffer with various mental hiccups that make a day to day life difficult for me and I know i’m not alone in that. I think music is a powerful tool to help with the sensations of being mentally unwell or just when having a bad day. I have made a long playlist of songs that help me for various reasons, some help me feel less alone with my struggles, some help me express myself and others give me hope to a brighter future. I will be sharing you these songs overtime and hopefully will bring some assistance to others through music, 5 songs at a time (in no particular order).
Ok so I’ve never been the biggest fan of Logic, I always felt he wasn’t the most original, creative or interesting artist out there yet I was always a massive fan of him as a character when watching interviews from him. I learnt after a short while that he struggles with anxiety and heard about his major rough patch with it, then I heard this song. This song gave me such a powerful feeling on my first listen, the beautiful intro detailing a happy structure life so simply to then get Logic enter the track playing the role of Anxiety, crashing into the track with some almost James Brown like vocals screaming “I’ma get up in your mind right now!”, he then details what he (anxiety) will do to you when inside of your head, it was a relatable moment for me. He (logic) then gives a different way of looking at anxiety, almost as if it’s a good thing? Almost like its a way of telling us to get our shit together and live a healthy life. As the track progresses it leads to logic detailing his experience with anxiety and derealisation, he goes on to explain how he felt and what it made him do to his current lifestyle to get to the point of recovery, by the end of the track I was brought to tears from hearing so much of what I was familiar with and hearing him describe himself overcoming was so powerful to me, especially with the gorgeous instrumental. Humanising a mental illness made me feel more human for having it.
If you know me at all then this song won’t be a surprise to you as to why it’s in here. This song makes me feel so alive and so unstoppable by the end of it. The way Archy describes his feelings and situations in life so poetically with his raspy British vocals over a sweet sounding guitar is not only engaging but also relatable when you break down some of the core meanings of some of the things he says, for example the part where he shows his distress for his sandwich being out of date and Tesco “stealing” his money not only shows how he is in a point in life where things that small would frustrate him but it also acts as a metaphor for his life in general. I think the main reason this song gets me going so well is because it’s a song I wanna jump up and sing along with, shout every word and feel amazing while doing it, especially the last lyric where he shouts “and if you’re going through hell, then just keep going” though it may sound simple it is said in such a beautiful and passionate way in the song that you feel so strong after hearing it, it’s almost like a nice reminder to keep moving which in times of stress and blues can be overly powerful.
Frank Ocean has often done songs that made me feel deep emotions towards his music and have often spent many an evening having a welp to his music. This song is special to me though, very special. When I got into a slump and had to take some long time away from college, my friends and family I was trying to find some light in listening to music I loved before the sunken place, this song was never too special to me although the album was one of my favourites of all time yet now I was vulnerable and listening to the lyrics I was taken back and brought to tears. The song is Frank detailing his unconditional love for somebody despite there mistakes and downsides, in a time I felt so alone I was picturing Frank playing the role of my friends who I hadn’t seen for so long and it spoke to me like nothing else at the time did. Frank was saying some things I needed to hear, as well as seeing it as my friends I also began singing the song to myself and it helped give me the love for myself I was lacking at the time.
Jonwayne took a big hiatus from music until returning to music in 2017 with his sophomore album Rap Album Two, when he returned he posted a description of an incident that he was lead to due to alcoholism and mental health issues (read below).
This song (Blue Green) is essentially a musical representation of this incident and where it took Jonwayne, the whole album has beautiful, open and emotional moments throughout but this song in particular makes my eyes water, my breath go and my emotions outburst just from the rap verse alone. Jon’s open and poetic lyrics tell the story in such an incredible way with an intense beeping sound in the song that almost sounds like its a hospital beep to represent his life line going down as he dives deeper into alcoholism which leads into one of my favourite musical transitions of all time with Low Leaf layering a harp onto the main melody which then turns into her own wonderful melody and beautiful lyrics to take the song into an amazing end gorgeous ending to the track which leaves me in tears after every listen.
Right ok, I almost don’t want to say much about this song/performance, I think it is one of the most beautiful pieces of music of all time, it is the ultimate expression tool for me to progressively ooze out my feelings. The rawness, the passion, the feelings it brings out of you, how Nina starts off so low key and ends with such an amazing back end to the song that made my jaw drop and replay the whole thing multiple times on my first experience with it. I think anyone who cares about realness, authenticity, emotion or just beautiful music needs this experience, a performance so old yet so relevant and still so special to this day, I beg that all of you reading this checks it out.
I know I only gave short descriptions of the song and its relevance to the list but I want you to check them out and experience them for yourselves in the same way I got to. There will be multiple parts to this list and look forward to sharing them with you.