- Mental Health»
- Clinical Depression
My Playlist to Make the Blues Go Away
The Fruit of Love
In William Shakespeare's comedic play, 'Twelfth Night', the character of Orsino, lovelorn, bemoans that: "If music be the food of love, play on. / Give me excess of it that, surfeiting, / The appetite may sicken, and so die." This relates to depression in that Orsino is heartsick and therefore, as a way to soothe his emotional pain, yearns to hear music to drown out his pain until he cannot think anymore. He wants to listen forever so that his own sad thoughts can never be fully actualized amidst the loud sounds and the lyrics.
The problem I have found with depression is that we take a sort of comfort in our sadness, wrapping it around us, and trying to live inside of it so that we never have a reason to try cheering ourselves up. But the world, unfortunately, does not stop merely because we are sad so often times we have to be happy on the outside even though we're reeling within. Since music is one of the best, fastest ways to turn my depression around (even if it is only temporarily), I feel it is important enough to write an article with a playlist of my favorite songs.
Music is a lot like food, in that we all have our own tastes in what we like. But when it comes to blues-obliterating we need songs that are loud, peppy, catchy, upkeep, silly, and just plain fun. I'm not talking about songs that mention heartbreak either, or sadness. We're talking showtunes, one hit wonders, and songs that everyone else makes fun of you for! This music is for you and you alone and if it makes you feel happy, then there's no reason you shouldn't listen to Rebecca Black's latest music.
Now here comes the exciting part! Through the wonders of the internet I can actually send everyone reading this my playlist so you can listen to it right now. Using Spotify I can link to my playlist and you can click on the link and load the application in your browser, instantaneously listening and feeling your depression lift. It's almost like if your best friend recorded a bunch of songs off the radio, slapped a label on it that read 'For My BFF, When I'm Not There to Make You Smile', and gave it to you personally.
CLICK HERE --> Songs to Cure the Blues
#1 I'm Like a Bird - Nelly Furtado
This song really sets the tone for the entire playlist as it is about conquering the life you are currently leading while also coming to the immense, awesome realization that you are beautiful. If there is a thread that is woven throughout this playlist it is the underlying message that everything will be alright and that you will make it out alive and stronger because of it.
The song begins with:
"You're beautiful, that's for sure
You'll never ever fade
You're lovely but it's not for sure
That I won't ever change"
And then it changes to the refrain to take notice that, though things may be getting better, there must be constant change in one's life else it becomes stagnant and depression sets in again. There must be constant hope and you must always be following your heart and your dreams.
"I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away
I don't know where my soul is, I don't know where my home is"
#2 Cross My Heart -- The Rocket Summer
#3 MMMBop -- Hanson
There is nothing wrong with listening to this song even if you're a 30-year-old adult male. You can listen to anything you want if it makes you happy! And for me it is reminiscent of my childhood and that always makes me happy if not a little pensive as well.
"Mmmbop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
But it's not about the words, it's about how the song makes you feel. And listening to this song makes me feel pretty darn good!
#4 Love Shack -- The B-52's
#5 Ho Hey -- The Lumineers
#6 Weapon of Choice -- Fatboy Slim
If you've never seen the music video for this I implore you to go to Youtube right now and watch it. I rarely say that about music videos, but this one stars the venerable Christopher Walken as he dances around a hotel while this song is playing. Just look at him there! He's flying around the hotel! This song is also very dissimilar from the rest of the songs on my list, but my hope is that perhaps I can introduce listeners to new music artists as well.
"Walk without rhythm
and it won't attrack the worm
If you walk without rhythm
ah, you never learn"
I.. still don't know what that means. But it sure is catchy!
#7 Heaven -- Los Lonely Boys
#8 Haven't Met You Yet -- Michael Buble
#9 La Bamba -- Los Lobos
This song is old and has been covered by many, many artists with Los Lobos being the most notable as it was included in the hit 1987 film, La Bamba. There's just something about this song that makes it hard to stay depressed very long while listen to. It's also very hard to not press REPEAT when it's finished as well!
"Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan
Soy capitan, soy capitan
Bamba, bamba, bam"
From my limited knowledge of Spanish I believe this can be translated as 'I am not a sailor, I am not a sailor, I am a captain, I am a captain, I am a captain'. I'm still not sure what bamba means, however.
#10 Tonight, Tonight -- Hot Chelle Rae
#11 Run-Around -- Blues Traveller
#12 It's A Beautiful Day -- Michael Buble
It should come as no surprise to people who listen to Michael Buble already that he has two songs on this list. Most of his music is upbeat and makes you want to get up and dance yourself. This song is especially good though, because it generally flies in the face of what a depressed person is feeling so it really grabs you and forces you to smile.
"It's a beautiful day and I can't stop myself from smiling
If we're drinking, then I'm buying
And I know there's no denying
It's a beautiful day, the sun is up, the music's playing"
This song seems tailored toward making happy people happier and grumpy people.. eh, slightly less grumpy. If you just want to put this song on REPEAT all day long no one would blame you either.
#13 Shine -- Newsboys
#14 Billie Jean -- Michael Jackson
Now this.. this might seem like an odd choice for a playlist that is supposedly about cheering people up. The song in brief is about a mother who implores the singer to take responsibility for a child, Billie Jean, and admit to being the child's father. The singer, of course, denies everything. But maaan, if it doesn't have the catchiest beat ever! There aren't really any notable lyrics since the song itself is kind of depressing. But honestly, just try to listen to it without tapping your foot or your fingers or just nodding your head back and forth. It's impossible!
#15 Come On Eileen -- Dexys Midnight Runners
#16 Entertaining Angels -- Newsboys
#17 The Way -- Fastball
#18 Popcorn -- Hot Butter
This song has no lyrics. That's right--none whatsoever. I'm not even sure what to call it. An instrumental? Whatever it is, I just had to include it because it's the ear-wormiest song in the entire list. You WILL get it stuck in your head and you will enjoy it. I feel like someone listened to popcorn popping and magically was able to reproduce those sounds into a real catchy tune.
#19 Free Bird -- Lynyrd Skynyrd
I almost feel like including this song is cheating since it's so iconic and surely everyone's heard it before and felt it's anti-blues properties. Still, it's here in case you forgot about it or perhaps you're too young to remember this band.
"If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on now
'Cause there's too many places I've got to see."
Don't these lyrics remind of another song on this list--such as the first song, 'I'm Like a Bird'? I think there must be something liberating about comparing yourself to a bird, being able to just fly away from all your problems.
#20 I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) -- The Proclaimers
#21 Bulletproof -- La Roux
#22 Pressing On -- Relient K
This is such a good song to end the playlist on. It's not the final song, of course, but it's real good to begin winding the music up with. It's loud and upbeat but it also has a real positive message about life and just, well, pressing on through it all.
Somewhere back there I left my worries all behind.
My problems fell out of the back of my mind.
We're going and I'm never knowing (never knowing) where we're going.
To go back to where I was would just be wrong.
I'm pressing on.
I think it's important to have someone tell you that life will get better, even if you can't see how right now. And it might takes months, even years--but if you keep trudging along there will come a time in your future when you look back at these moments and feel proud that you overcame them.
#23 Wake Me Up -- Avicii
I don't know who Avicii is but apparently he's an up-and-coming DJ who is making waves in the music world. What I do know is that his latest song is incredibly catchy--it will be played over and over--and it makes you feel good too!
"Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can't tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn't know I was lost"
This could be an anthem for all the lost people who are suffocating underneath layers upon layers of depression. You were lost and you didn't know where to begin to find yourself but you're ready now! You're finally ready to wake up and throw aside your covers and take charge of your life!
Now It's Your Turn
I know I've only included a very small number of songs that chase the blues away so now it's your turn! After reading this article and listening to my playlist, I would love it if you would take a moment to write in the comments what your own favorite 'blues-be-gone' songs are! This way we can begin amassing a nice collection of songs that my readers can turn to whenever they're feeling depressed and need a reason to get up!