Mental health and music are two subjects I’ve never really thought of together. I’ve heard of music being influenced by a person’s mental health experiences – whether through having MH problems themselves or knowing someone who has or had. But a few days ago I came across Nicola Elias and her song Social Anxiety.
I’d never heard a song directly about mental health problems until then.
But something struck me about Nicola’s song, not least because we both have social anxiety.
It was because this song spoke to me – no other song has spoke to me in this way before.
I felt connected to what she was saying. She was talking about me and my social anxiety.
It’s how I feel sometimes and that made me feel better.
This experience got me thinking… what other songs speak to me and make me feel better when my mental health problems are building barriers around me?
Here’s eleven of those songs:
- Kings and Queens by Thirty Seconds to Mars. This song calms me down despite being a rock song. It just makes me feel relaxed. I can’t explain why, it just has that effect on me.
- Let it Go by James Bay. This just reminds me that it’s okay to have mental health problems. It’s okay to be me. My mental health problems are a part of me but don’t define me. It helps me feel that little bit more “normal.” It also helps me accept that I’m not the person I was but I’m still Sophie and that I’ve come really far from where I was.
- Stand By Me by Ben E. King. This song reminds me that I’m not alone in my journey. There are others recovering from mental health problems like me and there are people beside me who will support me. I don’t need to ask them because they’ll be there for me – my family and my partner.
- Here I Go Again by Whitesnake. Yes, I’m an old rock fan at heart! This song just keeps me upbeat. I can’t help but sing along to it! It keeps me going on my recovery journey and it reminds me that I can do it because I can only get better by myself. It’s me who pushes away my thoughts and gets better. I can do it!
- Lego House by Ed Sheeran. All Ed Sheeran songs make me feel better, but this one helps me in particular. It reminds me of my achievements so far in my recovery journey and when I’m feeling low it helps. I feel better in myself when I’ve listened to this – I’m not a failure, I’m still recovering.
- Fix You by Coldplay. I will recover, maybe not fully but enough where I’m happy to say I feel like my “old” self again. I will fix my mental health problems so they don’t affect me as much as they do now. They don’t affect me too much, but I don’t want them to affect me much at all. I’ll get there!
- Clown by Emeli Sandé. I’ve faced stigma because of my mental health problems. I’m a clown to some people, but that’s okay. It’s not my problem. This song reminds me of that. I’m not my health anxiety, my social anxiety or my OCD. I’m Sophie first and foremost. I also like her song Read All About It Part 3 and Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth and Emeli Sandé.
- Mirrors by Justin Timberlake. This song makes me happy as it came out before my mental health problems began. It’s one of the songs I share with my partner as it has a lot of memories attached to it. It helps me remember that he does understand what it is like for me.
- On My Way by Charlie Brown. There’s people much further on in their recovery journey. This song reminds me that I’m on my way to being fully recovered. It’s a feel good song for me!
- Beauty and the Beast – Beth Fowler. Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney film and the scene where Belle dances with the Beast just makes me swoon. I can’t even explain it – it just makes me feel better. I guess it explains that I want my mental health problems to listen to my rational mind.
- Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley. This song is a favourite for a lot of people in my family. It’s a song that connects us together. It reminds me that I’m still loved even with my mental health problems.
What songs make you feel better? Let me know in the comments section below or on my social media accounts!