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11 Songs That Help Me Maintain Resilience Against Mental Illness


I come from a family of music teachers. From a young age, my family instilled in me — and in many others — the power of music to heal, support and elate.

But it wasn’t until 2017 that I gave music the credit it deserves for helping to relieve the symptoms of my depression and anxiety. Once I realized music’s unique strength over my illness, I began to proactively utilize it as a coping mechanism.
This strategy helped me to persevere through intense episodes of my chronic illness in 2017, and because of that, I’d like to share some of my favorite songs in the hopes that they might help someone else, too.
Here are 11 songs that helped me maintain resilience despite my mental illness in 2017:

1. “Praying” by Kesha

Like this brave artist, I aspire to say out loud to the world, “I’m proud of who I am.”

2. “My Body” by Young the Giant

Few words make me feel more in control of my illness than: “My body tells me no, but I won’t quit.”

3. “Piece by Piece” by Kelly Clarkson

My father left too, and it helps to know I’m not alone.

4. “Numb” by Linkin Park

This song allows me to grieve and remember Chester Bennington, who both shared my illness and gave beauty to this world.

5. “1-800-273-8255” by Logic

I volunteer with a crisis hotline, and I know that calling this number can truly help.

6. “Glorious” by Macklemore featuring Skylar Grey

 When I feel depressed or panicked, I need someone to remind me: “Another sprint, another step. Another day, another breath.”

7. “1080P” by Sammus

Like Sammus, I’m “glad I took my ass to some therapy.”

8. “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor

His words are filled with pain, and that makes me feel less alone.

9. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

Sometimes I need to dance in order to rally from the effects of my illness.

10. “For Good” by Wicked

“I know I’m who I am today because I knew you.”

11. “How Far I’ll Go” by Auli’i Cravalho

No one, including me, knows “How Far I’ll Go,” and that aspiration carries hope.

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Getty image via littlehenrabi