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25 Songs That Soothe Me as Someone With Major Depressive Disorder

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Everyone has their favorite kind of music. For my grandmother, it’s old time gospel music. For my brother, it’s hard rock. For me, it’s any type of music with lyrics I can relate to. My playlist consists of everything from country music to classic rock. I thought I would share a list of songs that are particularly poignant for me. This playlist is where I run to for relief from the things happening in my head.

1. “One Foot In Front Of The Other Foot” by Emilie Autumn

For me, this song speaks to the feelings I wrestle with on a daily basis. It also offers the solution of moving forward, just one step at a time. Emilie has manic depressive disorder herself, and a lot of her music revolves around what goes on in her own head and how she sees the world. Currently, her two biggest albums, “Fight Like a Girl” and “Opheliac” are available in Mp3 download format for free on her website The Asylum Emporium.

“How did I get myself into all of this mess?/ How did I end up with this deadly home address?/ How did it come to this, where every song I sing is nothing but a list of pain and suffering?”

2. “Sad Song” by Christina Perri

Between you, me and the world, this song is a beautiful memento of what depression feels like and the admittance of those feelings.

“Today, I’m gonna write a sad song/ I’m gonna make it really long/ So that everyone can see/ That I’m very unhappy.”

3. “Cut” by Plumb

In this song, Plumb talks about self-harm. The lyrics expose the singer’s thoughts and mindset. It shows how she hates this part of herself and wants to stop, but she needs the relief of it. I’ve stopped myself from engaging in self-harm using this song on several occasions.

“I’m not a stranger/ No I am yours/ With crippled anger/ And tears that still drip sore.”

4. “War” by Poets of The Fall

This song comes from a place of gratitude and recognition for the person in the writer’s life who stood with them at their lowest points.

“Do you remember standing on a broken field/ White crippled wings beating the sky?”

5. “I Want My Innocence Back” by Emilie Autumn

This is an angry song. It’s filled with the hurt of a woman who has been abused by lovers, friends and doctors alike. She demands they make it right, that they redeem themselves. This song offers me catharsis for my own anger and pain.

“And I demand/ You put my heart back in my hand/ And wipe it clean/ From the mess you made of me.”

6. “Illusion and Dream” by Poets of The Fall

The singer expresses his discontentment with the world. He reviles the way the media sells a world that is not real and expresses a solid dissonance from the dishonesty of it.

“It’s whatever makes you see, makes you believe/ And forget about the premonition you need to conceive/ The images they sell are Illusion and Dream/ In other words, dishonesty.”

7. “Disenchanted” by My Chemical Romance

My Chemical Romance is famed as the proverbial gods of the “emo culture.” They were revolutionary in their invitation to just be emo with the struggling. This song expresses feeling dissatisfied with what has become of his life and his loved ones’ reactions to it.

“And when the lights all went out/ We watched our lives on the screen/ I hate the ending myself/ But it started with an all right scene.”

8. “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men

The two singers in this song have a conversation. The woman is struggling with the “old and empty house,” where everything creaks and keeps her awake. The man in the song is attempting to console her and help her find sleep. It is a comforting duet for me.

“’Cause though the truth may vary/ This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore.”

9. “Loving a Ghost” by Laura Curtis

This song was produced by someone I knew in real life. We attended the same high school and shared an art class. Her whole “Loving a Ghost” album is incredibly airy but also melancholy. This song in particular is one I relate closely to after losing two different loves and only wanting them back for a long time.

“Cause loving a ghost is easier than the thought of letting somebody else hold my heart.”

10. “The Lonely” by Christina Perri

I am convinced Christina was describing the grieving process here. It just rings of longing and of loneliness. It offers me a particular catharsis.

“2 a.m.; where do I begin/ Crying off my face again/ The silent sound of loneliness/ Wants to follow me to bed.”

11. “Heal My Wounds” by Poets of The Fall

This song is longing and pining at its finest. There is real pain in the words, and it is vastly relatable to my own mental issues.

“No one else can heal my wounds.”

12. “Skin” by Sixx A.M.

This song talks about self-harm and depression in light of an understanding loved one. The singer is talking right to the person who is struggling, and he is telling them they are more than their scars. This song is like a warm, soft blanket for me when I am in the middle of my symptoms.

“Paint yourself a picture/ Of what you wish you looked like/ Maybe then they just might/ Feel an ounce of your pain.”

13. “Start Another Story” by Emilie Autumn

Emilie Autumn is the author of a semi-autobiographic/semi-fictional novel, “The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls,” and her album “Fight Like a Girl” is set as somewhat of a soundtrack to the book. In this song, after the girls in the fictional part of the book have defeated their enemies and have found freedom from the abuse they faced at the hands of their doctors, they don’t know how to be free anymore. One of the main characters is a talking rat named Sir Edward. This song is him, talking to these girls, telling them how to move forward from what they have survived.

“Start at the beginning, finish at the end/ Everything you’ll tell them is true, nothing is pretend.”

14. “Tomorrow” by Avril Lavigne

Avril is talking to a potential lover in this song. She just feels like he will hurt her again. Though she is not sure what she will feel, she just says, “Not today. Maybe tomorrow.”

“I don’t know how I’ll feel/ tomorrow, tomorrow/ I don’t know what to say/ tomorrow, tomorrow/ Is a different day”

15. “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman

Tracy is talking about the lover in her life and about her undesirable living situation. I know I often feel like I could just run away and never come back. All I need is a fast car and enough fuel to get somewhere else.

“You’ve got a fast car/ I want a ticket to anywhere/ Maybe we make a deal/ Maybe together we can get somewhere.”

16. “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon

This song is sometimes exactly my headspace. I am distanced from the world and in desperate need of someone to be near to me.

“You know that I could use somebody/ Someone like you.”

17. “Tourniquet” by Evanescence

This song is a cry to God. I am in the middle of a pretty hardcore place right now. This song echoes the way I feel, especially as a Christian in my own right. I relate to the lyrics, “My God, my tourniquet, return to me salvation…”

“My wounds cry for the grave/ My soul cries for deliverance.”

18. “When You Were Young” by The Killers

The singer takes all of us back to the place when we were young, where we found solace. It is a real place for me, and this song makes me feel more like I am not alone in wanting that place to return.

“They say the devil’s water, it ain’t so sweet/ You don’t have to drink right now/ But you can dip your feet/ Every once in a little while.”

19. “Hate Me” by Blue October

This song is, for me, about addiction and depression. In my depression, I learn to hate who I am. I see the way my depression is hurting my loved ones. It tears at me, and I hate myself for that fact. This song, I feel, speaks to that part of my depression.

“And will you never try to reach me?/ It is I that wanted space.”

20. “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed

If you really listen to the words in this song (originally by Simon and Garfunkel), then you know the singer feels a terrible dissonance from a world that has become unreachable and worse, unteachable. He feels the silence between hearts is growing “like a cancer,” and the neon lights in the city have become gods of their own right. This song is a real expression of the way the world feels to me many days.

“Hello darkness, my old friend/ I’ve come to talk to you again.”

21. “Toys in The Attic” by Omnia

The singers dance around the topic of insanity with various references like “toys in the attic,” “bats in the belfry” and “looking for my marbles.” These analogies sink in and resonate with the symptom I have personally, of being afraid of “losing it.”

“I could fly if I wanted to.”

22. “Best of Me” by Daniel Powter

In this song, I find that the singer is telling his loved ones he is weak and hurting. He just wants them to hear his own song and sing along to it, even though they may not think well of it. He is offering them the best he can offer and praying it will be enough.

“You know I’m hoping you’ll sing along/ Though it’s not your favorite song.”

23. “I’ll Be Alright” by Marina V.

Marina sings, in this song, about feeling distanced from herself and failing to get any better. She explains how she often tells herself she will be alright, but she never sees herself getting any better from what she was yesterday.

“Every time I tell myself I’ll be alright/ I’ll be alright/ But, here I am/ not better now than the day before.”

24. “Not Strong Enough” by Apocalyptica

We all know that one person who bring us to our knees. It’s a joy to love them. Yet, it is hell because we are sick, and it hurts them. This song was probably written from a different perspective. However, for me, the singer is telling the loved one how his pain is making it so hard to love them and how that love makes it impossible to pull away from them.

“And I’m so confused, So hard to choose/ Between the pleasure and the pain.”

25. “In All My Dreams I Drown” by Jessica Lowndes

This is a melodic tune between the captain of a ship and a maiden who struggles with nightmares. There’s a storm rolling in, and she is afraid of facing another nightmare of drowning. The captain is worried that the storm will sink the ship, and he would rather she be sleeping for it, if she can. It’s a melancholic love song in reality, and it resonates with me.

“But I don’t want to go to sleep; in all my dreams, I drown.”

This playlist is soothing for me. It echoes a lot of what goes on inside my head. With major depressive disorder, this feeling is priceless. You can follow me on my social media pages and help me make my writing a career. Thank you so much for all the love and support you have shown.

For more of my writing, follow The Little Tea Lady.

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

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: December 29, 2016
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