The Inner Dialogue of a Mom With Depression

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Is it morning already?

I barely slept last night, my body aches. The alarm clock is about to beep, just a reminder of what awaits. My bed is warm. It’s comforting here. No one is needing me, yet. Maybe I could turn off the alarm clock and over sleep? No. My husband has to work and can’t take the oldest to school. 

There’s no need to shower. There’s nowhere to go. It’s wasted energy. 

Mornings are the hardest. They’re supposed to represent new beginnings. A do over. But, it will be the same. Mornings require too many decisions. 

Will it be OK if my son buys lunch at school? There’s no bread and his yogurt is expired. I need to go to the grocery store. 

I haven’t done laundry, and he only has a pair of ripped jeans and shirt that is too small. Why haven’t I bought him any new clothes? 

I should probably make him a hot breakfast. Oatmeal from the microwave is good enough, right? 

I hate carpool. My car is the dirtiest. Can they tell I haven’t brushed my teeth or hair for days? Do they know I’m depressed? I haven’t signed up for PTA or volunteered at this school.

I wonder if my youngest will let me lay on the couch as he plays. Thank God he’s potty trained so I don’t have to get up and change diapers. 

Sh*t. I haven’t taken him to the parks in weeks. He needs to play with others. But what if someone talks to me? No one talks at the library. I don’t think I have any overdue book fees. Undoubtedly, I’ll end up putting books away that he dumps out. He won’t stay quiet. How come I’ve never taught him library etiquette? He’s the only toddler that runs around.

No. We’ll stay home. 

Maybe I’ll put some paper and washable paint on the table. That should distract him for a little while. When is nap time? I really hopes he naps. I’m so tired. Perhaps he’ll lay down in bed with me while I sleep and watch a movie. He wouldn’t get out of bed if I’m asleep, but if he does, I’ll hear him. 

I should unload the dishwasher; the sink is full. I haven’t swept in days. Is my house starting to smell?

Oh! My friend Instagramed a picture of a Mommy and Me cooking class. I should sign up for that. No. I did that once. It cost $200 for several classes, but we never went. The car drive was too long. We’ll bake cookies tonight. Do I have all the ingredients? Do I even have a clean cookie sheet? Am I going to have to clean the kitchen first? Sh*t. I need to go to the grocery store. 

Did I return my oldest’s field trip form? They know I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I didn’t sign up to chaperone. I shouldn’t have mentioned wanting to volunteer at his parent-teacher conference. She knows I don’t keep my word. I’ll have to make an excuse to him about not going. It will hurt is feelings.

He should start riding the bus home. Carpool will see that I’m still in my pajamas. Maybe he can stay home with me tomorrow. He’ll help watch his brother. Then, I could sleep some more. Why would I do that to my oldest? He has to go to school. Although, it’s much easier for him to stay home. No way. He’ll just tell his dad and I don’t want to deal with that fight.

I’m so tired of helping my son with homework. Why does he need me to sit with him and watch him write out his spelling words? I want to lay on the couch and finish watching my show.

Damn it. I didn’t pick up cookie dough for tonight. I’ll let them pop some popcorn. Ah! Popcorn and a movie. I can lay down and they’ll be entertained. 

I need to make dinner. We’re having popcorn later, so it can’t have a lot of starchy food. Crap. I didn’t unload the dishwasher. Scrambled eggs would be fun, right? That’s healthy. And requires only one pan. I’ll unload the dishwasher tomorrow. We’ll use coffee cups as bowls. They’ll get a kick out of that. I’ll just tell my husband it’s breakfast night! I haven’t cooked a good meal in days. Maybe he’ll decide to cook. No. He worked hard today. I’ll call him and ask him to pick up some food on the way home. I hope he doesn’t notice the laundry pile. The boys’ toys are all over the house. I forgot to wipe up my toddler’s juice that leaked on the floor. I’ll just tell him I had a really bad headache. He’ll understand. 

It’s bath time. How can I bathe my child when I can’t bathe myself? It requires focus. My arms ache with every stroke. Of course my kids don’t like taking showers. I wouldn’t have to sit in there and pretend to watch them play. Showers are fast. Why are my children so difficult and needy? I would like to sit in the bathtub for 30 minutes. It would be nice if they could manage to do something, anything without my help. 

I can’t breathe. 

Bedtime.

Please go to bed on time. I’m exhausted. I would like to watch a movie with your dad. And, for the love of God, try to sleep in your bed all night.

I’m tired of being touched. We haven’t had sex in weeks. He’ll want too. Why doesn’t he care if I haven’t showered in days? I hope he falls asleep while watching the movie; then I won’t have to turn him down again. Maybe I can remind him I had a headache today. 

Someone needs to read the boys a bedtime story. And start the laundry. No one has clean clothes. I wonder if I can get him to do both. No. That isn’t fair. I should have done the laundry. I’ll just wash what we need for tomorrow.

The youngest is up again. He won’t go back to bed without me. It’s always me they want. I’m never alone. Why are they so selfish? I can’t do everything. I wasn’t ready for bed. He won’t stop crying and he’s going to wake his older brother up. Netflix. I’ll put Netflix on and he’ll go to sleep. Of course he wants to watch that show again. I can never watch anything. It doesn’t matter. I’ll just go to sleep. 

Sleep takes its time. There are more failures to overthink, worries to pick apart. The struggles of the day are on repeat. The same and new will play out again tomorrow. Tomorrow is already cursed. The burden becomes heavier. The fight becomes harder. 

It’s an unachievable goal to be a passable parent while I fight this feeling. It spotlights the failures. The harsh light becomes so glaringly bright that it’s nearly intolerable to look beyond and into reality. It takes away my ability to thrive.

I can’t do this on my own anymore. I hope my husband won’t be ashamed. Will he make sure I call someone? I need help. Maybe my mom will take me if he’s working. 

I know I won’t go. But I need to go. I need help. I need help. Listen. I need help. Don’t make me do this anymore. 

I finally fall asleep knowing my depression will still be there in the morning.

Follow this journey on MOTHERfluff.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or illness during the holiday season, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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Dear Dave Grohl, Thank You For Saving My Life

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Dear Dave Grohl,

I’ve written many thank you letters in my life, but never have I received a gift as precious as the one you don’t even know you gave my family.

One year ago, my daughter told her counselor she wanted to end her life. Her plan was to stand in front of the 3 p.m. train that passes just south of our neighborhood. The pain of depression had become too much for her. She picked this time because no one would be home to stop her. She had been experiencing panic attacks, insomnia and anxiety for four months, but still this came as a complete shock to us. Could this be my daughter who mere months ago was giggling and silly? Whose life was this? I’m eternally grateful she decided to tell someone.

The reality of this still hits hard a year later. Maybe that pain will always be there. But thankfully things are better now. Medication, counseling, understanding and patience in abundance have been truly life saving for her. She can see through that dark heavy “wave” as she calls it. She knows there is a happy life waiting for her and that the wave always fades away.

So why do I share this with you, Dave?  Because I want to thank you for saving my life.

I have a husband, daughter, son, family, friends, pets and a job. Responsibilities. My daughter was in trouble and I had to get myself together. Thoughts of giving up crossed my mind, but it wasn’t my desire.

Then, something extraordinary happened. My husband and I started watching “Sonic Highways,” the TV series you directed and hosted. Your genuine, joyful, “let’s grab everything in life and love it” persona intrigued me. Watching this show inevitably led me to your music.

Specifically “These Days.”

It made me cry. Not just a few glistening tears. No, I completely lost it. You were singing about our life. Family and good friends who were trying to help would say “It’s alright, she’s a teen. It’ll pass. She just needs to snap out of it.”  I love these people, but they didn’t understand. Your song let me feel that. So I played it daily. The line, “Easy for you to say” got me out of bed. It motivated me to shower, work and live.

Whenever I felt the tears and pain, which for months was daily, or when the overwhelming weight of our situation would bear down on me, I’d listen to your song to gain control. I felt anger instead of sadness. The anger gave me the power to push through.

A few things struck me through this whole experience — that maybe parts of our lives happen for a reason, that depression affects more than the person who experiences it and how we must find the strength to live our lives. The way you live your life tells me you understand, survive and thrive.

So thank you for your unbelievable gift. I can honestly say I was changed, touched and saved by your creativity. The members of my family are now lifetime Foo Fighters fans, and we plan to keep all four of our lives healthy, grabbing every experience we can and loving everything out of it.

Rock on, Dave — you’re my life coach and my “ordinary” hero.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

The Mighty is for the following: Write a thank you note to someone who helped you through your mental illness. What about that person makes him or her a good ally? What do you want them to know? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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45 People With Depression Who Aren't Just Sulking in a Corner

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What do people with depression look like?

Feeling blue
exhibit A
girl sits in depression on floor near the wall
exhibit B

According to Google images, stock photo sites and even some antidepressant commercials, people with depression spend all day sitting in dark rooms and sulking in corners. And while yes, depressive symptoms sometimes manifest in this way (hey, there’s nothing wrong with occasional corner sulking), this doesn’t represent the 14.8 million adults in the U.S. who experience major depression disorder within a given year.

So we asked our Mighty readers who live with depression to show us pictures of them, well… living with depression.

Here are some of the real faces of depression:

1.

12239410_10206974721878488_9130744008148115136_o
photo via Marlena Davis

2.

12227803_552596138222110_5685506347459702265_n
photo via Andrea Valiante

“Fighting the fight for my loved ones!” — Andrea Valiante

3.

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photo via Joe Scianna

“I won’t let the women be the only ones brave enough to post their pictures in answer to this question. I have dealt with debilitating depression for a number of years, and although some days are difficult, I still manage to care for my wife and children.” — Joe Scianna

4.

12249923_10156285748160002_651852495415911735_n
photo via Julianne Leow

5.

12226927_10154453055254968_5758696366379920129_n
photo via Christine Suhan

6.

12243236_10205087063920100_495757572135721298_n
photo via Barbara Audacity Johnson

7.

11222518_1815063732053719_2145464186109243570_n
photo via Carolynn Zalesak

“Gotta keep looking on. The beach is my favorite place to calm myself and bring a sense of solidarity into my life. Watching the waves roll in and out, boats go by, seeing the sunset…” — Carolynn Zalesak

8.

12219420_10206765780774367_7407822168827351172_n
photo via Meghan Croslis

9.

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photo via Kerry Ann Belford

10.

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photo via Amanda Talma

“I’ll entitle this one: depression atop a mountain.” —  Amanda Talma

11.

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photo via Lauren Landry Funderburk

“My husband suffers from depression and anxiety and still stands strong and faces the world every day. He is my rock, and an amazing father and husband.” — Lauren Landry Funderburk

12.

12227740_1236160809733914_4425763044041835690_n
photo via Dee J. Davidson

13.

12234874_958546624226529_4177650802572049937_n
photo via Bridget Paris

14.

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photo via Jen Sprague

“This is me battling more than depression. I also have anxiety, PTSD and a solid fear of heights.” — Jen Sprague

15.

12239502_10206957403367571_5237750384187644102_n
photo via Leah Larsen

“Severe postpartum depression/panic disorder which required hospitalization. Have been battling major depressive and panic disorder since then. Had to go to an urgent psych center this Sunday for severe panic and relapsed depression. Today I faked it til I made it for a job interview.” — Leah Larsen

16.

12227129_10207932777907373_3027087866430148839_n
photo via Nichol Flemister

“Depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia. New hair cut. Life is beautiful.” — Nichol Flemister

17.

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photo via Megan Ann Themm

“Depression and anxiety. My husband took this picture of me when we were on a date not too long ago.” — Megan Ann Themm

18.

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photo via Brian Broadus

19.

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photo via Tia Borkowski

“Depression, anxiety and PTSD. I am the face of mental illness and I still smile. It is possible for both.” — Tia Borkowski

20.

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photo via Amy May Moss

“Depression for me and anxiety for the boy. We still climb mountains.” — Amy May Moss

21.

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photo via Kayla Wientzek

“I have battled (and continue to battle) severe depression, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder since early childhood. I am in my early 20s now. Would you know it by looking at my picture?” — Kayla Wientzek

22.

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photo via Ashley Lawrence

23.

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photo via Francis Strait

24.

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photo via Katelyn Marie-Elizabeth

“The two of us battle together.” — Katelyn Marie-Elizabeth

25.

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photo via Maggie Justfan Downes

26.

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photo via Amanda Wright

27.

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photo via Laurie Newman

28.

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photo via Austin Lawrence

29.

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photo via Kirsten Marie Young

“Some of us have to keep going no matter what. And we have to cherish small moments like this.” — Kirsten Marie Young

30.

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photo via Allison Thompson

31.

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photo via Lori Plyler

“I live with depression and social anxiety. But nothing would stand in my way between me and that turkey leg at the Renaissance Festival!” — Lori Plyler

32.

11036411_1657712277842758_1215120641449472237_n
photo via Kristin Lynn

“I’ve lived with depression for 20 years. I consider myself a survivor. A fighter. I have been close to giving up but I am still here. This is me at a NAMI walk supporting a cause close to my heart and so many others.” — Kristin Lynn

33.

12240024_10208444586815579_8787690070922310661_n
photo via April Charisse

“Me on vacation. I love life! Have dealt with depression since I was a child.” — April Charisse

34.

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photo via Candice Diaz

“Anxiety disorder and depression sufferer. But I still try to keep a smile on my face. I will not let my mental health define who I am.” — Candice Diaz

35.

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photo via Kevin Walker

36.

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photo via Kristy Hindman-Cook

37.

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photo via Shannon Catledge

38.

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photo via Jessica Whisler

Bipolar, depression and OCD. All of us are born fighters.” — Jessica Whisler

39.

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photo via Paddy Ryan

40.

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photo via Cherice Marie

“Depression sucks. Chickens help.” — Cherice Marie

41.

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photo via Amber Kelly

Major depressive disorder and anxiety. I go to work every day and love and care for my patients. I smile, I laugh and I crack jokes and act goofy. I go home and love my partner and my cat. Some days there are less jokes and smiles and more nervousness and listlessness, but that’s OK because tomorrow is always new! My depression teaches me empathy and compassion — it makes me a better nurse. It’s hard, but it makes me a better person.” — Amber Kelly

42.

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photo via Nadia Melly Yanez

“Depression, anxiety and caregiver fatigue. And my son has severe autism and is non-verbal. But we keep going every single day.” —  Nadia Melly Yanez

43.

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photo via Olivia James

44.

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photo via Kim Morand

“I have these crappy things called bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, PTSD and chronic pain, but they don’t define who I am — a wife, a former nurse, a writer and a mom to an amazing kid. My life is beautiful despite what my illnesses tell me and I’m so thankful I have people who love me and remind me every day I’m worth the fight. So are you. Please don’t forget that.” —  Kim Morand

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Why I’m Finally ‘Outing’ My Depression to My Family

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Sometimes, I feel like a double agent.

In one life, I can talk about my depression freely and get help from those who support me. In the other, I keep it hidden, like it’s a kitten I’m not allowed to have in my dorm room.

For as long as I can remember, while I’ve been comfortable sharing my experiences with my close friends and even strangers, I’ve hard a hard time talking about depression with a lot of people in my family.

But when I’m having bad days, my family is what keeps me going — I don’t want to hide it from them anymore. It’s part of me, like my brown hair. Sure, I can cover it up, but I can’t change it for good. I want my family to know that.

There are three main reasons why I’m “outing” my depression:

1. To show everyone depression isn’t something we should hide.

It’s not a weakness, and it’s not something I should have to keep to myself. Yes, I worry about how my family and friends might react to this. Some people will be supportive, others not. But I want them to know how much it took to get to where I am now. I want them to be proud of me. I also want others to know it’s OK to talk about their depression, too.

2. To raise awareness about what I’ve been through.

When I was diagnosed with depression, I had no idea I had it. Depression was manipulating my thoughts, making me think it was normal to feel this way. If I can talk to just one person who decides to get help, whether it be counseling (which I have greatly benefited from) or any other resources, that’s worth it. If I can raise awareness about mental illness to just one person in my lifetime, that will be enough.

3. I’m doing this for me.

I feel like I’ve been hiding part of myself from my family for the past two years, and I can’t handle it anymore. There are some things we need to do for ourselves. As much as I want to protect them from the darkness, I need to let it out.

We are strong. Every single one of us is strong. And I don’t want anyone to hide their strength by staying silently.

Related: 16 Ways Life Would Change in a World Without Mental Illness Stigma

The Mighty is asking the following: Tell us about the first time you reached out to someone about your mental illness. Whether it was a friend or a professional, we want to hear about why you opened up, how it went, and why you’re glad (or maybe not glad) you did it. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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A Letter to My Depressed Brain

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Hello dear friend, the little blob of nerves that sits on the top of my head controlling my every move and thought for the past 30 years.

I haven’t spoken to you in a bit. For the most part, you’ve been behaving like a good brain should. Last time we chatted, it was after we were feeling suicidal and spent some one-on-one time in the psych ward. The doctor told me you had post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. He advised I make a few lifestyle changes to cure the pain you were feeling.

And so I did. I moved out of my slumlord apartment, separated myself from my ex and eventually packed a duffle bag and my cell phone and moved thousands of miles away to pursue a better job and a better life, one where I knew the both of us would be happy.

It’s been about three years since we decided to make a run for it, you and I. We got promoted at work and eventually got full-time status. We it made, baby!

But for the last few weeks, you haven’t kept a level head. You’ve forced me into meltdown mode, making me panic over stupid stuff, the most recent being in front of one of my guests while I was working.

Come on, you can do better than that.

My managers, friends, boyfriend and family have noticed the downhill spiral we’ve succumbed to, and they’re worried because, let’s face it, this isn’t me.

You see, admitting I need help has been tough for me. It killed my pride, but I know this is for the best. Although I never expected it to kick me out of work on medical leave, leaving me in group therapy and with a list of new drugs.

I want to get through this, and I’d love it if you’d cooperate.

We’ve been through a lot, you and I. From the abuse we got as kids because of my other disabilities, to finding peace in loving myself despite feeling broken.

All I want is for us to feel like one. I want us to be strong when the world crumbles down on us. We are worthy of self-love and self-esteem.

I’m doing this for you. You are my conscience, the almighty knowing, the thing that rules my better judgment. I won’t give up on you — and I can’t have you give up on me.

Adjusting to the meds might be tough, but we need that little kick in the butt to get us back on track. Work with me and I’ll work with you, whatever it takes. I’m sick of this funk, and it’s time to kick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

Come on, brain. We got this. It’s now or never. And I refuse to settle for never.

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16 Songs That Have Helped People Through Depression

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Facing the world each morning can be difficult when you live with a mental illness. Depression, specifically, can make everyday tasks seem daunting. Getting out of bed and out the door can be a major accomplishment. And although music can’t cure depression (we wish), it’s scientifically proven to reduce stress and even depressive symptoms.

So, we asked our readers what songs and lyrics have helped them through depression. If you need an extra boost today, hopefully some of these can help.

1. “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

rachel platten quote: my power's turned on. starting right now i'll play my fight song. and i really don't care if nobody else believes, 'cause i've still got a lot of fight left in me.
photo: RachelPlattenVEVO

“My power’s turned on. Starting right now I’ll be strong. I’ll play my fight song. And I don’t really care if nobody else believes, ’cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.”

 

2. “Now Is the Start” by A Fine Frenzy

fine frenzy quote: Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of the lost gone found. It's the sound of a mute gone loud. It's the sound of a new start.
photo: AFineFrenzyVEVO

“Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of the lost gone found. It’s the sound of a mute gone loud. It’s the sound of a new start.”

3. “I Choose” by India Arie

india arie quote: Because you never know where life is gonna take you, and you can't change where you've been. But today, I have the opportunity to choose.

“Because you never know where life is gonna take you, and you can’t change where you’ve been. But today, I have the opportunity to choose.”

4. “Swim” by Jack’s Mannequin

jack's mannequin quote: You haven't come this far to fall off the Earth.

“You haven’t come this far to fall off the Earth.”

5. Let It Go” from “Frozen”

frozen quote: Here I stand, and here I'll stay. Let the storm rage on!
photo: Walt Disney Animation Studios

 “Here I stand, and here I’ll stay. Let the storm rage on!” 

6. “Let Me Be Myself” by 3 Doors Down

3 doors down quote: I'll never see the light of day living in this cell.

“I’ll never see the light of day living in this cell.” 

7. Firework” by Katy Perry

katy perry quote: You don't have to feel like a waste of space. You're original, cannot be replaced.
photo: KatyPerryVEVO

 “You don’t have to feel like a waste of space. You’re original, cannot be replaced.”

8.  Empire In My Mind” by The Wallflowers

the wallflowers quote: Well, there is trouble in my mind. There is dark. There's dark, and there is light.

“Well, there is trouble in my mind. There is dark. There’s dark, and there is light.” 

9.  People Like Us” by Kelly Clarkson

kelly clarkson quote: Hey, everybody loses it. Everybody wants to throw it all away sometimes. And hey, I know what you're going through. Don't let it get the best of you. You'll make it out alive.
photo: kellyclarksonVEVO

“Hey, everybody loses it. Everybody wants to throw it all away sometimes. And hey, I know what you’re going through. Don’t let it get the best of you. You’ll make it out alive.” 

10. Collide” by Howie Day

howie day quote: Even the best fall down sometimes.

 “Even the best fall down sometimes.” 

11. Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley

bob marley quote: Don't worry about a thing. Cause' every little thing gonna be alright.

“Don’t worry about a thing. Cause’ every little thing gonna be alright.”

12. Alive” by Sia

sia quote: I had a one way ticket to a place where all the demons go. Where the wind don't change, and nothing in the ground can ever grow...But I'll survive.
photo: SiaVEVO

“I had a one way ticket to a place where all the demons go. Where the wind don’t change, and nothing in the ground can ever grow…But I’ll survive.” 

13. Beautiful Day” by U2

u2 quote: It's a beautiful day. Don't let it get away.

“It’s a beautiful day. Don’t let it get away.”

14. Overcomer” by Mandisa

mandisa quote: You're an overcomer. Stay in the fight 'til the final round. You're not going under.
photo: MandisaVEVO

“You’re an overcomer. Stay in the fight ’til the final round. You’re not going under.”

 

15. I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

tom petty quote: I'll keep this world from draggin' me down. Gonna stand my ground.

“I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down. Gonna stand my ground.” 

16. Breathe” by Alexi Murdoch

breathe by alexi murdorch: Keep you head above the water, but don't forget to breathe.

“Keep you head above the water, but don’t forget to breathe.” 

Check out our Spotify playlist with songs chosen by our readers. What songs would you add?

16 Songs That Have Helped People Through Depression
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