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25 Songs to Help People With Depression During the Holiday Season

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Even though the holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, for many people living with the depression, this is not the case. Depression affects people year round, and its immobilizing effects can be felt even when the chestnuts are roasting and the mistletoe is hanging.

To find out what music helps those with depression cope, we asked our mental health community to tell us one song that helps them get through the holiday season.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “How Can It Be” by Lauren Daigle

“It’s a powerful song that reminds me every day is a battle, but I believe Jesus Christ is always with me and with him I can do everything.” — Rocio P.

“I’ve been hiding/ Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt/ That You still love me/ But in Your eyes there’s only grace now.”

2. “Keep Breathing” by Ingrid Michaelson

“A year round song that gets me through everything.” — Allison L.

“I want to change the world, instead I sleep/ I want to believe in more than you and me/ But all that I know is I’m breathing/ All I can do is keep breathing/ All we can do is keep breathing.”

3. “Looking Too Closely” by Fink

“Honestly, I think (it’s) the best song I’ve ever heard to help depression for me.” — Stuart M.

“This is a song about somebody else/ So don’t worry yourself, worry yourself/ The devil’s right there right there in the details/ And you don’t wanna hurt yourself, hurt yourself.”

4. “Someday at Christmas” by Stevie Wonder

“This song acknowledges the challenges in the world while envisioning a better future. It’s a song about hope. As long as people have hope, they can endure anything.” — Alicia M.

“Someday at Christmas there’ll be no tears/ All men are equal and no men have fears/ One shining moment my heart ran away/ From our world today.”

5. “Don’t be So Hard on Yourself” by Jess Glynne

“During this time, I tend to feel alone and like I’m not good enough, but this song really helps me through those tough times. It reminds that I’m good enough and deserve happiness.” — Erin W.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, no/ Learn to forgive, learn to let go/ Everyone trips, everyone falls/ So don’t be so hard on yourself, no.”

6. “This Is My Wish” by Kevin Ross

“Best commercial holiday song ever. It keeps me feeling calm and I enjoy the message behind it.” — Erin C.

“This is my wish, my wish for the world/ That peace would find it’s way to every boy and girl/ This is the time, the time for harmony/ Let love be the song/ That everybody sings.”

7. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey

“When it comes on, I go full diva and forget everything else! All I want for Christmas is to be content.” — Bee N.

“I don’t want a lot for Christmas/ There is just one thing I need/ I don’t care about the presents/ Underneath the Christmas tree/ I just want you for my own.”

8. “Last Hope” by Paramore

“This song reminds me to search for and hold on to the little spark in every day, to not give in to the darkness.” — Amy H.

“It’s just a spark but it’s enough to keep me going/  And when it’s dark out and no one’s around it keeps glowing/ It’s just a spark but it’s enough to keep me going/ And when it’s dark out and no one’s around it keeps glowing.”

9. “Breathe Me” by Sia

“I’ve fallen asleep to this song on repeat for many years. Sounds like a sad song but it has a calming effect for me.” — Eleigh M.

“Be my friend, hold me/ Wrap me up, unfold me/ I am small, and needy/ Warm me up, and breathe me.”

10. “If We Make It Through December” by Merle Haggard

“My grandfather was dying of cancer, and he knew I was bring home my future husband home for Christmas. He told my grandma he wanted to, ‘make it through December’ like the song says.” — Julie B.

“If we make it through December/ Everything’s gonna be all right I know/ It’s the coldest time of winter/ And I shiver when I see the falling snow.”

11. “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles

“(It) always, always brings hope that it will be sunny again, and I’ll be here waiting for it to come out.” — Catherine B.

“Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter/ Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here/ Here comes the sun/ Here comes the sun, and I say/ It’s all right.”

12. “Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays” by NSYNC

“They make me feel warm inside.” — Michelle P.

“It’s the best time of the year for the family/ It’s a wonderful feeling/ Feel the love in the room/ From the floor to the ceiling/ It’s that time of year/ Christmastime is here.”

13. “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

“It’s not upbeat. It’s not cheerful. It’s haunting in a way, but it calms.” — Angela T.

“This is my winter song/ December never felt so wrong/ ‘Cause you’re not where you belong/ Inside my arms.”

14. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole

“(It) is nice to listen to when you’re looking to destress. It’s slow and steady tempo and smooth vocals are very relaxing.” — Ben B.

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire/ Jack Frost nipping at your nose/ Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir/ And folks dressed up like Eskimos.”

15. “Worn” by Tenth Avenue North

“I’ve made mistakes/ I’ve let my hope fail/ My soul feels crushed/ By the weight of this world/ And I know that you can give me rest/ So I cry out with all that I have left.”

16. “Who You Are” by Jessie J.

“It’s OK not to be OK/ Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart/ Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising/ Just be true to who you are!”

17. “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley

“No matter my mood, (it) makes me smile.” — Chris W.

“Don’t worry about a thing/ ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right/ Singing’ don’t worry about a thing/ ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

18. “Let It Snow” by Michael Buble

“Can’t help my tap your toes, dance around the kitchen and maybe even smile as you sing.” — Brandee F.

“Oh the weather outside is frightful/ But the fire is so delightful/ And since we’ve no place to go/ Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”

19. “Hear Me” by Imagine Dragons

“Can nobody hear me?/ I’ve got a lot that’s on my mind/ I cannot breathe/ Can you hear it, too?/ Can nobody hear me?”

20. “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato

“Every Demi Lovato song gets me through a hard time. I just switch off from the world whenever I’m listening to her and everything is OK again.” — Sarah S.

“All my windows/ Still are broken/ But I’m standing on my feet.”

21. “Little Drummer Boy” by Pentatonix

“I have no gift to bring/ Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum/ That’s fit to give our King/ Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum.”

22. “Where Are You Christmas” by Faith Hill

“It’s sad. But somehow it helps.” — Nikki G.

“Where are you Christmas/ Why can’t I find you/ Why have you gone away/ Where is the laughter/ You used to bring me/ Why can’t I hear music play.”

23. “O, Holy Night” by Josh Groban

“(It) gives me a sense of peace this time of year and helps me remember the reason for the season.” — Heather R.

“Fall on your knees/ Oh hear the angel voices/ Oh night divine/ Oh night when Christ was born/ Oh night divine, oh night, oh night divine.”

24. “Thy Will” by Heather Scott

“Somehow I ended up here/ I don’t wanna think/ I may never understand/ That my broken heart is a part of your plan.”

25. “The Sun Is Rising” by Britt Nicole

“Whatever you’re facing/ If your heart is breaking/ There’s a promise for the ones who just hold on/ Lift up your eyes and see/ The sun is rising.”

What would you add?

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: December 14, 2016
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