Life-Saving Songs {Day 13 in 31 Days of Filling the Well}

I have just a few words today. I am following my own advice, which is never quite so easy as giving advice to others, is it? After 12 days of speaking the words of my soul, 12 days of digging deep through the experience of my recovery to find the right words to capture its fullness, I need just a moment of rest. I am new to the concept of giving myself permission to listen to what my soul needs. This is the crux of healing: my soul knows what I need. I am gently training my mind to listen to my soul.

I am not entirely without words, though. In fact, I believe in this well-filling tool just as deeply as any other I’ve shared. In my journey toward healing, I’ve slowly built a wellspring of resources I can access on the hard days. A toolbox of joy, if you will. As I’ve shared before, good, soul-filling music is an essential part of this toolbox (I desperately wish I could expand on this toolbox metaphor here, but I know laughably little about tools. Music is the hammer of the toolbox? The wrench? Regardless, it’s crucial).

I believe that every person – especially those on a journey of healing – should have a go-to playlist of Life-Saving Songs. I don’t mean vaguely knowing your favorite songs or combing through iTunes on a dark day to find something uplifting. I mean an Emergency Kit: readily accessible when the need arises.

Like so much of the healing process, this requires a certain amount of self-curiosity. Depression makes you numb to yourself, your feelings, and your preferences. Making this compilation means finding those particular songs that make you feel like a missing piece of your soul has slid into place. They need not be entirely upbeat or Pollyanna-ish; while some songs might make you want to jump on the bed, others might inspire hair-brush-microphone belting, still others might open the floodgates. In fact, I think soul-searching songs are critical to an authentic Life-Saving Playlist. This is where the self-curiosity comes in, though: some sad songs make you feel sad, some sad songs make your soul feel whole.

The process of making the Playlist might be as healing as the act of listening to it. Recovery means re-learning yourself from square one, including discovering the soundtrack of your soul.

(Important note: Please suspend all concern for coolness and consistency when making the playlist. Your soul doesn’t care about being hipster. Neither does it care about having a cohesive “theme” to its soundtrack. Life is messy. The playlist should be too).

My Life-Saving Playlist:

  1. Life is Beautiful – Vega4
  2. On the Radio – Regina Spektor
  3. Keep Breathing – Ingrid Michaelson
  4. Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart
  5. Still – Ben Folds
  6. Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammer
  7. What About Everything – Carbon Leaf
  8. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
  9. Fix You – Coldplay
  10. Sweet Virginia Breeze – Robbin Thompson
  11. The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkel
  12. Brighter than the Sun – Colbie Caillat
  13. Blowin’ in the Wind – Peter, Paul & Mary version
  14. Brand New Day – Trevor Hall
  15. Can’t Go Back Now – The Weepies
  16. King of Anything – Sara Bareilles
  17. Say (All I Need) – One Republic
  18. Daylight – Matt & Kim
  19. Nothing Ever Happens – Rachel Platten
  20. When My Time Comes – Dawes (new addition)

What is on your Life-Saving Playlist?

Peace – and rest – to you.


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