5 Songs That Keep Me Going During a Flare-Up

Over the past few years, music therapy has become vastly prominent in the field of treatment for chronic illness. I’d like to share some of the songs that keep me going when I find myself in the midst of a flare-up. This week it has done nothing but rain. April showers might bring May flowers, but they also bring pain, fatigue and an increased risk of a depression spiral. I have my “Flare-Up Soundtrack” saved in my iTunes library, and I’d like to highlight my “Top 5.”

1. “Praise You in This Storm” by Casting Crowns



This song has been my go-to therapy since it was released in 2005. There are days when I look up and want to scream, “Fix me! Lord, why am I still living this way? Why haven’t you swept in and saved me? I can’t handle this!” I need this reminder that He holds every tear I have cried and though it may not make sense to me now, I will praise His plan for my life through every storm.

2. “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten


I think the title says it all, but my favorite line in this song is as follows: “I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion.” I may not have all the strength in the world and I may have darkness creeping into my mind, but that small ember inside that wants to fight can cause a fire if I give it the strength to do so.

3. “I’m Still Here” by Mandisa


Mandisa’s new album comes as the result of her own fight with depression and feeling defeated in the darkness. This entire album has helped me to keep fighting, to remind me why my attempts at ending my pain were unsuccessful, why my life matters. “There’s a reason I survived / There’s a story still to write.” I’m still here for a reason, I still have more to do, to be; my story isn’t over.

4. “The Comeback” by Danny Gokey


Another new track, and I’m sure by now you’ve sensed that I’m a huge lover of Christian music. I’d say that more than any other genre, Christian music has a vast number of songs regarding surrender, and in turn, motivation. This song in particular says: “After a season of nightfalls and pushbacks / After the heartache of wrong turns and sidetracks / Just when they think they’ve got you ‘game, set, match’ / Here comes the comeback / This is your time, your moment / The fire, the fight, you’re golden / You’ve come so far; keep going / Here comes the comeback.” I have fought so hard and for so long. I refuse to give in now after all I’ve done to get to where I am. I’m making my comeback!

5. “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato


Going back to 2011, but this song has resonated with me nonstop for the last six years. The lyrics, centered on a broken relationship, hit home in that I like to sing along as if I’m singing directly to my pain. “You can take everything I have / You can break everything I am / Like I’m made of glass / Like I’m made of paper / Go on and try to tear me down / I will be rising from the ground like a skyscraper.” My pain pushes me to my limit. It knocks me down so hard I can’t even imagine my life without it. I ache and mourn for the person I used to be, but that does not mean I am down forever. I will rise out of the ashes of this darkness, and I will stand taller than ever.

These five songs are just a few of the dozen tracks I listen to on rotation during my worst pain days. Some days we need songs as melancholy as our mood while still showing strength (songs #1 and #5). Other days we need something to start in the almost numb place we find ourselves and bring us to the place of perseverance (#2), and other days we’re feeling as high as the clouds, ready to tackle the pain we feel and remind the world that we’re still here, making our move and refusing to give in (#3 and #4). I would love to hear some of your favorite songs you use to persevere through your tough days. Here’s to the warriors!

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Thinkstock photo via nyul.

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