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Songs That Help Remind Me That Everything Will Be Ok…

I am the first person to say that I am so happy to be back on campus. However, even though waking up on Notre Dame’s campus every morning fills my heart with so much joy, there are moments where I am faced with grief, sadness, homesickness and more. This past week in particular, the Notre Dame community was faced with the loss of two members of our Freshmen class. We are all in mourning, yet the world is somehow continuing on and the end of the semester workload is beginning to pile up. Despite my utter lack of musical talent, something about Spotify brings me a type of therapy not even my therapist could provide(sorry Jamie, you know I love you and appreciate you immensely). When I am feeling hopeless, lonely or any of the feelings common to facing tragedy or disappointment, I turn to these artists.

Rainbow– Kacey Musgraves 

Last Sunday was particularly rough for me. I felt a conflicting sense of homesickness while simultaneously dreading the thought of being home for 10 weeks in less than a month. The weather matched my mood, as the sound of the rain softly hitting the leaves on the trees echoed into my open window. In an attempt to make myself feel better, I texted my best friend Lily and we shared a comforting chat over the boxed dinners at NDH. After we returned to our respective dorms, Lily sent me a Spotify message of our shared music superhero that I didn’t even know I needed: Kacey Musgraves. 

Along with a beautiful piano ballad background, “Rainbow” has such wonderful messages throughout the song: 

“The sky is finally open, the rain and wind stopped blowing…” 

“There’s always been a rainbow hanging over your head.”

And Musgraves beautifully ends her song with: 

 “it’ll allllll be alright.” 

Patience is Expensive– Bombadil

Bombadil is one of my more ~obscure~ favorites. Something about this fast paced, yet calming lyric-free piano ballad centers me and allows me to take the 2 minutes and 12 seconds to sit and breathe.

Rosa Mystica– The Notre Dame Folk Choir

No… this song is not on the list simply due to its tie to Notre Dame. The 2017 film Lady Bird featured this hymn sung by the Notre Dame Folk Choir and even before I knew that the singers were students at my future University, I was entranced by this song. Despite my presence at church recently being quite sparse, something about the sound of a talented and passionate church choir allows me to feel a sense of gratitude and peace. 

Cowboy Take Me Away– The Chicks

This song was my ~homesick~ jam in high school as I stressed in my dorm room over college applications and wanted to be anywhere but Exeter, NH. Now, I enjoy listening to this song, not only because it brings me back to sitting in the back seat of my mom’s beat up Ford Expedition in 2005, but also because it reminds me of how I felt in that high school dorm room and how I ended up in the exact place I wanted to be: Notre Dame.

River Flows In You– Yiruma

This song is yet another glorious and serene piano ballad that does not need much explanation.

World Spins Madly On– The Weepies 

First off, this song holds utterly realistic lyrics and the singer notes that despite his low and depressive emotions, the world continues to spin and life goes on. While this at first may seem a bit dark and the opposite of what is necessary to comfort a person, I think it is important to always keep things in perspective. Often when tragedies happen, no matter how upsetting, life eventually continues on and happiness will once again be achieved. Secondly, the fast pace acoustic allows me to feel like the main character in an indie movie, which is always fun.

Dreams– The Cranberries

“Oh, my life

Is changing every day

In every possible way…”

I think that these opening lyrics are quite possibly the best reminder that your day to day routine can never be predicted or planned. Things are constantly changing, and that is okay. We can be deterred by these changes, or we can channel our inner Dolores O’Riordan and be amazed by the unexpected changes in life. 

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill– Lauryn Hill

 The slow beginning along with the powerful and enchanting voice of Lauryn Hill cannot be matched and whenever I hear this song, I feel as though I am hearing Hill read her personal diary of reflection and self discovery. 


“My world it moves so fast today

The past it seems so far away

And life squeezes so tight that I can’t breathe

And every time I try to be, what someone else has thought of me

So caught up, I wasn’t able to achieve

But deep in my heart, the answer it was in me

And I made up my mind to define my own destiny”

Clean– Taylor Swift

I have written about my love for this particular Taylor song in previous articles and it is one of my go-to’s when I feel rejected by a boy, conflicted with a friendship or overall just upset with how I was treated. While the phrase “gone with every trace of you, I think I am finally clean,” may be a bit over dramatic for the cases listed before, the phrase definitely helps in the moment and justifies my feelings.

Aging Out of the 20th Century– Trash Panda

This is another song that helps me feel like the conflicted main character in an indie movie. The chorus is sung by lead vocalist Patrick Taylor and he assures his listeners that in his experience,  “old men tell me

Happiness comes easily

So I don’t have to be afraid..”

Bless The Telephone– Labi Saffire

This song helped immensely with my homesickness and anxiety while I was studying abroad my senior year of high school. 


How a phone call can change your day

Take you away,


From the feeling of being alone

Bless the telephone.”

The song is a quick reminder that a family member or friend is just a phone call(or, now, a Facetime) away. Kelis, yes the singer of Milkshake, also has a gorgeous cover.

Take Care- Beach House

This is a song that I use as a personal comfort blanket when I need a reminder that I am not alone. The song states the line “I’ll take care of you, if you ask me to,” over and over throughout the 5 minutes and 48 seconds. Just a warm song that reminds you that people are looking out for you.

Safe In My Garden– The Mamas and the Papas

The Mamas and the Papas are a classic. Be transported into comfort with their golden voices. Their lyrics paint a story of retreating to safety in a world of chaos, which definitely feels relatable at times, whether that safety be a person, a place or a mindset.

Walden Pond–Atta Boy

This song emulates positive energy and encourages its listeners to be kind to yourself and make the most out of each day. 

“I hope you spend your days

Writing verses on your page.

May your life be a Walden Pond swim.

Taking showers in the cold

And your glasses filled to their brim.

And I hope you treat your heart

Real nice and real smart.

May your life be a Walden Pond swim.” 

While things may be difficult in the moment, try to make your life a Walden Pond Swim.

We are arguably in the hardest semester, moment, year and more of our lives. Try to take moments to be kind to yourself and realize that despite the challenges or sadness you’re facing in the moment, things will work out.

Tricia Moriarty

Notre Dame '22

Hi! My name is Tricia and I'm a part of the class of 2022 at the University of Notre Dame! I am so excited to take on the role of Editor-in- Chief for Notre Dame's talented and growing network of writers. I am studying Sociology and Pre-Medical studies and LOVE to write. My goal for the future is to work in Geriatric Medicine. When I'm not in South Bend, you can find me in Old Lyme, Connecticut. In my free time, I enjoy exploring new music on Spotify, re-watching Sex and The City or The Mindy Project, cheering on the Irish football team and paddleboarding.
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