Mental Health Playlist
Posted: by Hannah
Hannah and Henderson put together a playlist of 15 tracks that help them through their own personal mental health struggles. Take a listen and read why we selected each of the tracks below. We hope these tracks help you as much as they do for us.
Hannah’s Mental Health Tracks:
Mental health and illness are constant battles of survival for many, and that survival often depends on methods of coping. Unfortunately some find that comfort and escape in drugs, alcohol, patterns of addiction and general self-destruction. Luckily, others (including me) have found a lot of safety solace in music. Some days it’s just the sound, the ability to drown out the world. Other days it’s the lyrics and their power to simultaneously make me feel understood and not alone. Music is also a means in which to have a comfortable social life, as live music and other events should be a place to come together with like-minded people and not feel judged. More and more bands, particularly in this all encompassing “scene”, are speaking out about mental health and illness whether in a song or from a stage but both are important; this playlist aims to highlight that. These are songs that start conversations, destroy stigma, cry for help, encourage progress and everything in between.
1. ‘Seasonal Affective’ – Everyone Leaves
If you’re someone who finds themselves having to fight a mental war through winter, this one is for you. Let your heart and mind thaw out because you made it.
2. ‘The Waterboy Returns’ – Modern Baseball
Every once in a while you need a subtle intervention, whether it’s from your friends or a punk song. “Hey you, that’s no way out / You can’t find help in a bottle or a cut.”
3. ‘Cigarettes & Saints’ – The Wonder Years
Mental illness tends to be discussed incorrectly in popular media and even capitalized by corporations. The song may have different interpretations but the chorus is a powerful protest, a cry for help, and a call to action that we need to look out for each other and move away from a dependence on / addiction to drugs.
4. ‘My Solution is in the Lake’ – Pentimento
For those days you feel completely misunderstood and just need to remember that you’re not alone, there is this commanding anthem. In the end, it’s a relief that “yesterday forgets you before you have the chance to do the same” because it means you can have a fresh start if you chose to take it.
5. ‘Seedwong’ – Turnover
I read once that if (to be blunt) you want to kill yourself, then kill the parts of you that you don’t like and let yourself change but don’t you dare leave here. There are too many songs about missing people who thought no one was going to miss them, this is sadly one of those.
6. ‘Using’ – Sorority Noise
Cam of Sorority Noise almost always gives an important intro to this song about his battle with manic depression, how mental illness is real, how none of us are alone, and how it can get better. “I stopped wishing I was dead / Learned to love myself before anyone else / Become more than just a burden /I know I’m more than worthy of your time”.
7. ‘Montreal’ – Major League
Whether you live with your parents or not, it can be difficult to tell the people who want the best for you that you’re not at your best. Just remember that it’s not your fault that you have a mental illness, it should be treated like a medical issue and you have nothing to be ashamed of.
8. ‘Life @ 11’ – A Day To Remember
Mental illness such as anxiety, OCD, and depression can have you feeling out of control. Often reality becomes distorted by the lies that your illness tells you but “Sh-sh-sh-shake it off go get the things you want.”
9. ‘Lean’ – Have Mercy
I always interpret this song to be about the difficult process of recovery. Admitting something is wrong and that you want help is just the first step, the healing process that comes next can hurt but that doesn’t mean you’re not getting better.
10. ‘Daydreaming Symphony’ – Rebuild & Rebound
This one is written directly to you, “here’s for the helpless, the people just like me…it’s gotta count for something that at least I’m still alive.” It does count, and we couldn’t be more proud of you for surviving 100% of the moments you thought you wouldn’t. We are fighters and as long as we are here, we win. Refuse to lose.
Henderson’s Mental Health Tracks:
Mental health music means different things to different people. It even means different things to me from day to day and that makes sense because my mind is always attacking me from different angles. OCD, social anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD and who knows what’s. I struggle on the daily. When things get bad music is my ally. It lets some pressure out. But what makes for a good mental health playlist for me? Music that makes me feel less alone with these issues and annoying recurring anxieties. I think that’s why I like creative people. Many of them seem to struggle like I do. And every once and a while a track conveys that feeling perfectly and I save it in my arsenal. Here are a few of my favorites to add to Hannah’s already excellent list. Maybe these songs will help you. Maybe they will help your friend. Maybe they won’t help at all, but it’s great music so you should listen anyway.
11. ‘Dealin’ – Sundials
Speaking of music that makes me feel less alone. I don’t think there is any better example than Sundials EP Kick, and the track ‘Dealin’ is probably my favorite on the record. It is an anthem. “I guess I’m stuck in my own way. Dealin’ with agoraphobia. YEAH!“
12. ‘Size of The Moon‘ – Pinegrove
Sometimes dealing with my head gets to be so much. I can’t quit but sometimes it’s a tempting escape. It’s reassuring to know that others feel the same. “Do you want to die? / Fine you’re right, but I wonder what it feels like. / To stop feeling so alive.”
13. ‘Feel Better‘ – Hodera
A good track discussing mental health can feel like touching a nerve. This is exactly how ‘Feel Better’ works for me. “So why can’t I feel better? / Everyone knows that the past is gone forever. / So why cant I fell better now?“
14. ‘Cant Win‘ – Pup
This track is an empowering march against the powers of anxiety and self doubt. It’s a solid fuck off to everyone who questions the decisions you make to make your life worth living. The lyrics are so relatable and the driving beat fires me up. We are all going to make it work. Even if we can’t win, we can’t give up.
15. ‘Puncher‘ – Woahnows
Woahnows are a great band, and ‘Puncher’ is a perfect track about how no matter how long you think you have your mental illness beat it will come back. It always does. And God is it a hopeless feeling when it does. “It crawls right out through my skin / When I’d never expect / I used to let it take me over, / Thought I’d done with that itch / Now I’m back where you were / Before I’d ever escaped.