Why This Song From ‘Frozen 2’ Is an Anthem for Dealing With Depression
Editor’s note: This story contains spoilers for the movie “Frozen 2.”
Six years ago, when Frozen came out on theaters, the song “Let it Go” became an anthem for those dealing with mental illness. After watching the sequel, I personally feel like they’ve done it again and created an extremely relatable song for those going through depression.
The scene is set up with Anna learning that something bad, though she doesn’t know what, has happened to Elsa. Olaf has been dusted into nothing and Anna believes Kristoff has just abandoned her. She’s alone in a dark, cold cave, crying in the fetal position. In this moment, Anna is feeling such strong grief, sadness and guilt I personally felt she was descending into depression.
Then the song begins:
“I’ve seen dark before
But not like this
This is cold
This is empty
This is numb
The life I knew is over
The light’s are out
I’m ready to succumb.”
This first verse describes Anna descending into depression, a feeling she has never had before. Feeling cold, empty and numb are common feelings of depression, which I myself have experienced. She sings that she’s ready to succumb to the darkness. She feels hopeless and doesn’t know how to get out of the cave both physically and emotionally.
“I follow you around
I always have
But you’ve gone to a place I cannot find
This grief has a gravity
It pulls me down
But a tiny voice whispers in my mind
You are lost, hope is gone
But you must go on
And do the next right thing,”
I have often felt weighed down by my depression, as Anna expresses in this verse. She is experiencing intense grief, something that can be a trigger to a depressive episode. She expresses that even though she feels weighed down, the world and life is still moving on and somehow she has to move on with these feelings, even though she doesn’t know how.
“Can there be a day beyond this night?
I don’t know anymore what is true
I can’t find my direction, I’m all alone
The only star that guided me was you
How to rise from the floor
When it’s not you I’m rising for?
Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing.”
Anna knows she has to cope with her depression and somehow continue on. This is where the song title, of doing “The Next Right Thing,” comes into play as a powerful message for the depressed. When experiencing depression, it’s hard to think how your entire life will continue beyond that point; you’re stuck in the moment. Anna decides to take baby steps and do the next right thing, even if it’s a little thing. With depression, you need to start with tackling the small challenges first. If you wake up in the morning and feel like you can’t go to work, then that’s OK, but try to find the next “right thing.” Try to take the baby step of getting out of bed. Maybe then take the step of having a shower. You may not be able to make it to work, but you did the next right thing and made some small progress. That is something to be proud of.
“I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath
This next step
This next choice is one that I can make.”
With depression, you can feel overwhelmed or hopeless about the future. Here, Anna decides to try and stay in the moment and do what she can do at that time to try and help herself because thinking about and tackling the thoughts, emotions and feelings of the future of her life without Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff are too much. She stands up and takes the small step baby step that she needs.
“So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
And with the dawn, what comes then?
When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I’ll make the choice
To hear that voice
And do the next right thing.”
She doesn’t know where her actions and emotions will lead her and what her future emotions will be. Having depression can really feel like blindly guiding yourself to the light, the peace and happiness you seek. Anna encourages herself and the viewer to listen to the sometimes very quiet inner voice that tells you to go on. Find the tiny first step you can make and celebrate that victory. Celebrate getting out of bed, showering, eating, going for a walk or any of the tiny things that are your next right thing when you are feeling depressed. Not only is this a song that those dealing with depression can relate to in terms of the dark emotions it describes, but it’s also inspirational to listen to for helping yourself remember that you don’t need to tackle all your feelings and depression at once. Just start with the next right thing that you can do in that moment.
And remember, if a Disney princess can feel depression, then it is certainly OK for you to feel it too.
Image via YouTube