Albums that are Therapy

Music has always been a good friend to me, and a go-to for comfort and strength in rough times. Over the years I've developed several go-to therapy albums, which all have their own purpose. I hope you'll give a listen and find some healing and encouragement, but more than that I want to hear what albums are therapy to you!

1. Yes! by Jason Mraz
When it feels like life has gotten out of control
When it feels like there's much too much to hold
When it feels like too much to understand
Know, that it's out of your hands, out of your hands, out of your hands
Know, that it's out of your hands, out of your hands, out of your hands
This is my absolute #1 go-to when I'm feeling anxious. Acoustic guitar cushions Jason's silky voice, layered with ethereal harmonies, and grounding and mindful lyrics combine for an entire album that just makes you melt. I can't get into what songs I'd recommend because I'd recommend them all. I had the pleasure of seeing Jason in concert at Edgefield in September, and I can confirm that his breezy and heartfelt vibe is transcendent.

2. Rainbow by Kesha
I'd forgot how to daydream
So consumed with the wrong things, but in the dark I realized this life is short
And deep down, I'm still a child, Playful eyes, wide and wild
I can't lose hope, what's left of my heart's still made of gold

And I know that I'm still screwed up
But aren't we all, my love?
Darling, our scars make us who we are, are
I wasn't a huge fan of Kesha's dance music, but I'll tell ya, her newer stuff is powerful. This album is a heavy dose of woman power, some bad girl inspiration for your inner tough chick, and some insane strength shown in vulnerability. Especially check out "Learn to Let Go", "Rainbow", and "Let 'Em Talk". This album is perfect for a drive, afternoon run, or kitchen dance party when you need a boost.

3. Followers by Tenth Avenue North
You see the sparrow
You see me here
With the pain of my past
And the depth of my fears
You see my future
One day I'll rise
My hope is secure
under Heaven's eyes

On the completely opposite end of the spectrum than Kesha we have Tenth Avenue North. This band has seen me through a lot of challenging times for the last ten years and it was hard to pick one album. This one ultimately triumphs with it's balance of deep understanding of sorrow and finding triumphant joy and hope within it. Check out "One Thing", "Sparrow (Under Heaven's Eyes)", and "No One Can Steal Our Joy" for some beautifully truth-filled hope to give you joy in the depths of sorrow.

4. Gold by Britt Nicole
When I feel like giving up
When my heart is hurt too much
Feels like I've reached the end
No, I won't turn and run
This battle will be won
When I've done all I can
I stand 

To the sound of some glorious bubblegum pop melodies, Britt weaves a story of encouragement, reminding her listener who they are. This is the perfect empowering album when you need to stay upbeat but need a little lift. I'd recommend... the whole thing. It works together as a beautiful piece.

5. Heart on My Sleeve by Mary Lambert 
Look how bright we are
Look at all the things we have come from
Sometimes it hurts when you become them
Sometimes I bury myself in my own wreckage and don't want to come out
Which part of you is still in the wreckage?
Which part of you clipped your own wings?
Which part of you will begin at your own end?
Which part of you will you let live again?

Oh boy, I am a very deep feeler and I strongly believe that if any artist has captured what that's like, it's Mary Lambert on this album. When I need to be understood, this is it. Mary is beautifully vulnerable while also being full of hope and strength. "Monochromatic" is absolutely what it's like to look at the world with a heart like mine when it's at it's most tender. "Sum of our Parts" is my anthem. And you can also weep softly to a heartbreaking slow jam version of "Jessie's Girl" (that Daniel totally hates and asks me to skip every time it comes on, he's a purist).

6. Speak Now by Taylor Swift
Wasn't it easier in your firefly-catchin' days?
And everything out of reach, someone bigger brought down to you
Wasn't it beautiful runnin' wild 'til you fell asleep?
Before the monsters caught up to you?

It's alright, just wait and see
Your string of lights is still bright to me
Oh, who you are is not where you've been
You're still an innocent

Ok, probably most females who graduated high school in the mid to late 2000's would put this album on their therapy list, because seriously, we listened to it all the time. Sweet country Taylor was honest, bold, tender, and dramatic in a way that we all need sometimes, and years later still brings the feels in the most healing way. Songs on this album that always have me leaking a few therapeutic tears are "Mine", "Never Grow Up", and "Long Live".

Honorable mentions:
-Missundaztood by P!nk
-Red by JJ Heller
-Dusk and Summer by Dashboard Confessional

One thing I've been learning in my mental health journey, that I feel like this post demonstrates, is that all parts of self care are ok and good and just as authentically me as others. The part of me that listens to worship music and bible journals to heal is just as valid as the part of me that scream-sings with Kesha while making cookies.

Is music an agent of healing and therapy for you? If not, what little things help you? If yes, please please please tell me what albums get you through, I'm dying to check them out!

The album art used in this collage belongs to the artists and producers. The lyrics belong to the artists. 

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