I am what you call a manic depressive. I have my high highs and low lows. I believe everyone gets depressed just to varying degrees. Some can snap out of pretty quick while others can’t lift their feet out of a thickening mud. No matter what, music becomes a big part of my depression and I play the same songs over and over and over. Some songs are for deepening my depression. I love listening to someone that gets me. Nothing is like having a brother/sister in arms for your self despair party. Other songs are more upbeat. The ones that tell you that things are shitty and there’s a way out of the hole. Just take this ride with me and we’ll get there. And then there are the songs that just have a special meaning to you and are just beautiful songs. The list below were my go to songs for my last big low. Enjoy!! I sure did.
10) You’re So Cool | Hans Zimmer | True Romance Soundtrack
This is from one of my favourite movies of all time ‘True Romance’. Everything about this song by Hans Zimmer is represented by a quote from the beautiful Alabama “Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gun shots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you’re so cool, you’re so cool, you’re so cool. And sometimes Clarence asks me what I would have done if he had died, if that bullet had been two inches more to the left. To this, I always smile, as if I’m not going to satisfy him with a response. But I always do. I tell him of how I would want to die, but that the anguish and the want of death would fade like the stars at dawn, and that things would be much as they are now. Perhaps. Except maybe I wouldn’t have named our son Elvis.”
Do yourself a favour and walk down a busy street while listening to this on full blast. You’re So Cool – Hans Zimmer
9) A Letter to Elise | The Cure
When I was 9 years old, I remember being at my friends house and his sister had posters of all these U.K. bands that i’d never heard of before and I didn’t realize she was really into depressing music until I rediscovered them in high school.
No list would be complete without a song from The Cure or The Smiths. This song represents me in so many ways but especially at times when I’m in a hole and I’ve been resigned to change. Most of the time change occurs when something drastic happens and you go low. This song reminds me that I need to be okay with it all and embrace the change. A Letter to Elise – The Cure
8) Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – The Smiths
Like The Cure, no list would be complete without The Smiths. This one is a middler of depression level for me, as the tune of the song is upbeat, yet everything else is has the sky falling. I love it so. This one helps me laugh at myself. A lot of melodramatic swaying occurs and it’s terribly amazing. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – The Smiths
7) Everybody Hurts | R.E.M.
One of my favourite music videos of all time, let alone a go to when I’m in a low. As the song says “Everybody Hurts’. It makes me feel less alone in the world and always gets me to cry. By the time the big finish happens, I’ll be wiping away my tears as I’m reminded that I can live to fight another day. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.
6) O-O-H Child | The Five Stairsteps
Sometimes you just need your mom and for those that didn’t grow up with a mom or had a mother that you wish treated you better, this song is for you. For the inner child in all of us who just needs a good hug from someone you trust. Trust is so key. O-O-H Child – The Five Stairsteps
5) Mad World | Tears For Fears | Gary Jules
The original was by Tears for Fears but this song became even bigger when it was covered by Gary Jules. The video is beautiful and was directed by super director Michel Gondry. For me, this song always reminds me of the subway ride to work. The morning rush. The heard of people moving like cattle. Getting off at the same time, to go to the same place, to do the same thing, to make other people rich. Ha! You know I’m low when I’m listening to this song and I’m just thinking to myself ‘What’s the point of anything?’ It’s not good when I’m listening to this song. This one is a real doom and gloomer. Mad World (feat. Gary Jules) – Michael Andrews
4) Dry The Rain | The Beta Band
If you’ve seen the movie High Fidelity, this is the song Jack Black plays in the record shop knowing he’ll sell at least one album, as no one had ever heard of this hidden gem. Then in regular life I went out and bought this record too. When listening to this song, I’m often catch myself gazing into nothingness with a sad look on my face. For some reason it’s hypnotic to me and I stop thinking completely. Isn’t not thinking the best? Isn’t that mindfulness? The art of not doing anything. Just listen to this song. Dry the Rain – The Beta Band
3) America | Simon & Garfunkel | First Aid Kit
This song is one of the most beautiful songs ever made. It was originally written and performed by legends Simon & Garfunkel but we’re posting this cover because of the purity of the First Aid Kit voices. It hits you even harder than the original. It’s about a guy looking for his place in life. It’s sad yet hopeful. When you’re at a crossroads with your thoughts, listen to this song. It’s as pure as pure can be. America – First Aid Kit
2) Atmosphere | Joy Division
This song is for when things get bad and I need to cry. The lyric ‘Worn like a mask of self-hate,
Confronts and then dies.’ sticks with me everywhere I go. It just reminds to get to the bottom of the real situation and not what I’ve created in my head based on an old version of myself. Old wounds are being hit when I’m in a depression and I’m bouncing off them all like if it were a game of pinball. Sad but grounding. Atmosphere – Joy Division
1) A Better Son/Daughter | Rilo Kiley
I LOVE this song. LOVE!!!! It’s a fucking anthem. It’s heartbreaking yet strong. It’s empowering and it’s why I left it for last. When you’re ready to do something about your depression, start playing this song on repeat. LISTEN to it. It has a special place in my heart and hopefully it will have one in yours too. A Better Son/Daughter – Rilo Kiley
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