Let’s talk about being sad.
No one wants to be sad, but sometimes, life is too much. There are days when it feels like we’re carrying an elephant on our backs, or it’s sitting on our chest, keeping us from getting out of bed. This happens to some of us more often than others, but I’m sure all of us can think of a time when we felt weighed down by life.
Not long ago, I found myself “stuck” in one of these periods, when I felt like what I described above. There were a number of things that helped me push through, but I relied on my music a lot. Music in general has always been a comfort to me, but there are certain songs that help me the most when I’m going through a hard time. I know we all have different tastes in music, but today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite songs to listen to when times are tough.
Perhaps the most overtly religious song on this list, I chose “Erase” more for the way it sounds rather than what it says. I’m by no means an expert when it comes to music, but Kevin Young’s vocals on the chorus just sound uplifting, regardless of what he’s saying. Even so, the lyrics make an impact too. “I will erase your yesterday / you’ll be okay / my love is greater than your mistake,”
I kinda missed out on the whole emo phase (though I guess that depends on who you ask), but I still enjoy some of My Chemical Romance’s music. “Famous Last Words” was their first song I heard, and it still remains one of my favorites. I love the bold bravery of the chorus: “I am not afraid to keep on living.”
I really only have one thing to say about this song, and it’s a few lines from the chorus: “Hold fast to the hope of another day / hold fast, it can’t last forever.” There have been many a dreary car ride with this blaring from my speakers and me shouting, because I can’t sing. It’s something I like to say to remind myself things won’t always be awful.
“Therapy” is a little mellower, but I like the way it feels reflective. The speaker is trying to figure things out, and they’re thinking out loud. There are days when I just need to get out (surprise surprise, I can be a hermit sometimes), so I’ll just drive somewhere, listening to music. To me, this song is a way of saying, “I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing, but I’m gonna keep trying to figure it out until I do.”
Like “Erase,” this song also has some religious connotations. As a Christian, it reminds me that God still loves me, despite the flaws I see in myself and the mistakes that I make. It’s easy for me to get down on myself for not being everything I feel like I’m supposed to be, but this song is a good reminder that I’ don’t need to be perfect in order to be loved.
Perhaps it’s different for you, but sometimes I just want to listen to something LOUD. It’s easy for me to get stuck in a Sad SpiralTM, so loud music can help break that, or at least distract me from it. “When Everything Means Nothing” is one of my favorites for this, because it just sits with you. It doesn’t try to say happy empty things, it just says, “Yeah, I feel that too.” It’s honest, and sometimes honesty is the greatest comfort.
I don’t usually reference songs from musicals, since it can be hard to listen to them without context, but this is an exception. Even if you don’t know the story of Dear Evan Hansen, “You Will Be Found” is a beautifully encouraging song. The lyrics remind us that even when we’re in a dark part of our life, it’s not something we have to go through alone – other people have been there too, and they’re available to lend a hand when we need it.
If you’re going through a hard time, please remember that you’re not alone. If you need help, you can reach out and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.