I’m quite eclectic when it comes to music. I prefer to look off the beaten track. As a teen there was quite a bit of pride I associated with my choice of music, mostly rock/punk. Just left of mainstream. Something you wouldn’t hear by turning on the radio. Nowadays not so much, I’ll listen to anything; well almost anything.
Music has got me through some pretty hard times. It’s been there to say the words I could never say. To help me vocalise and understand feelings I struggled with. I definitely have a soundtrack to my life, so does everyone else. I have playlists for when I’m pumped and feeling energetic (usually at the gym!), for when I feel upbeat and want to let go, for when I’m nostalgic – usually musicals and disney soundtracks – and when I’m not doing so great. Music has done a lot for me. It takes the edge off now and then. It makes me feel understood.
Here are some of those songs (in no particular order):
Jess Glyne – Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
It might be a tad premature to list this song as I’ve never listened to Jess before and I’ve just finished listening to this song. But it got me here. It got me writing. It gave me something to say. It empowered me and encouraged me to share it’s message with the world. We all need someone to remind ourselves ‘don’t be so hard on yourself’. I could do with remembering this more often. Everyone has their own battles, moves at their own pace, has their own victories and defeats. No matter what, don’t be so hard on yourself. Life goes on and by virtue of the fact we’re still here, we have a 100% success rate. Are those good odds or what?
Simple Plan – Save You
For those of you who have read some of my other blogs you may be aware of my struggles, particularly in relation to my beloved grandmother. Her death was something I thought I could never recover from. Even today I still struggle. This song helped. It said what I couldn’t say. It expressed my agony in the inability to save her. This song was actually written about lead singer Pierre Bouvier’s brothers struggle with cancer. It spoke to me on a whole new level. It assured me I wasn’t the only one trying to save a loved one. At the age of 16 I needed to know it wasn’t just me. In this song, I found comfort.
Rachel Platten – Fight Song
I heard this song fairly recently. It was on a list of songs people listen to when they are struggling. I recognised the chorus; it resonated with me. It is my fight song. It reminds me that I can go on. I can stand up for myself. However dark things may get I can come out the other side. The lyrics remind me to come out fighting on the other side. It ignites a power and determination, even a stubbornness, in me to keep going, to not let anything keep me down.
Plumb – Cut
This is another song from back in the day. It meant a lot. It was a revelation to me to hear a song talk so blatantly about self-harm. It spoke of a loneliness and isolation that I keenly felt. It spoke of the release and relief to be found in self-harm. Although I never truly self-harmed I understood the need for release. The need to distract from the emotional pain that I felt no-one recognised. Hearing these words I no longer felt so alone. My pain became part of a shared experience. Through the lyrics I felt there was recognition for what I was going through.
Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance with Me & Sia – Chandelier
These songs are just pure great fun. They make me want to move. It may not get me on the dance floor (I’m not quite there yet) but they tap into something within me. They speak of a freedom I crave. Freedom to break out of the confines of who I am or who I have to pretend to be. In some ways they release me from being me. From the almost claustrophobic impact life can have. It reminds me of great nights out I’ve had where I’ve felt totally uninhibited, when my confidence has been on an all time high. I think we all need that from time to time.
Evanescence – My Immortal
Another song from back in the day. After an un-break up (the relationship had gone from friends to something far deeper without any evaluation) I felt very keenly that I had been left behind. Still only 17/18 years old I found myself sobbing as this song started to play. It tapped into something I either hadn’t realised I felt or more likely had been hesitant to identify. I felt abandoned. I felt I had given my everything only for them to disappear. In moments I lost my best friend and something undefined and far greater. It wasn’t just their loss but the nature of it. They had suddenly distanced themselves whilst still hinting that they saw a future for us etc. etc. I was being (I believe unintentionally) strung along. Who they were to me, the huge presence they had in my life lingered and I struggled to get away from it. I needed this song to show me how I felt.
This seems like a good place to start. I hope you will give the songs a listen; love ’em or hate ’em. The biggest struggle writing this post wasn’t opening up out the impact the music and more importantly the lyrics had but narrowing down the list. As you will notice my upbeat and dance songs are far more recent than those that tapped into something darker for me. This really is a soundtrack of my life.