Admittedly, there are times I find myself yearning to listen to sad songs, even if my mood is light. Is it so awful to crank some Sam Smith songs and get in my feels? According to Sandra Garrido, author of the article “Sad music and depression: does it help?” there are instances where this type of music can be detrimental. In her article, Garrido presents numerous studies on how music can hold impacts ranging from cathartic to destructive and describes that when people seem to be suffering constant cycles of negative thought or “rumination”, that these gloomy tunes have the effect of “prompting sad memories and negative thoughts” when depressed (Garrido, Sandra, “Sad music and depression: does it help?”, theconversation.com).
I found it fitting this month to share some songs that can get somebody out of their funk or illuminate their surroundings a little bit. That somebody could be you, a friend who is generous with their aux cord, or a family member in need of an anthem to end this year on a high note. I am not guaranteeing that these songs will immediately cure any mental health problems you or somebody you know are currently suffering, only that it could be of help.
1. Happy/Sad Songs are a Great Place to Start
Whether or not we realize it, there are countless songs that contain an upbeat mix but have lyrics that are not equal in optimism. If you are wary about counteracting the mood in your playlists too soon, I recommend the following songs to test the waters:
2. Better Times = Better Tunes
Many scientific studies have proven that memories regarding a specific song can, in turn, evoke those specific emotions. These songs are not obligated to have happy meanings behind them, it's the memory that plays alongside it that can be the most influential. Music can have this ability to rewind time, in a sense, and bring you back to a place you might have felt more peaceful or uninhibited. Here are a few that could trigger these happy thoughts:
3. Sometimes a Good Beat is All You Need
Speaking personally, studying can become a challenge at times when your head is drowning in thoughts irrelative to a five-page paper or the study of physics. Sometimes there can too many things on a person's to-do list and it can be overwhelming, anxiety-triggering, even. I have discovered the best way to clear my head is through easy-to-listen, acoustic songs. Luckily, there are several lofi hip hop or instrumental music streams/videos available on YouTube.com I recommend giving a listen when you get the chance. Here are a few more that can ease you, and help maintain a soothing headspace:
4. Confidence is Key
There is no excuse to have at least one empowering song on hand. These are the tunes that will get you out of bed, taking a shower, and feeling good about it. At the very least, they can instill a little bit of confidence inside of all of us.
5. When All Else Fails, a Throwback Won't!
This last decade has been the biggest evolution for pop music, and also where positivity in songs was at an all-time high. These hits will always remain unbeatable and on a loop inside of any old iPod.