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Mental Health Shelf: Music

Mental Health Shelf: Music

After reading a recent Man Repeller article about the value of the Mental Health shelf for books or other content that comforts us; I felt despair. I didn't have one. How on Earth have I been coping in life without one? It is a great concept but I don't need specific books to soothe me. Instead I need words, or lack thereof, in songs. Time travel via music is my favorite fast track to nostalgia. While I won't remember exactly what I was doing when I first heard these song, I do remember how they made me feel. Then manifesting that feeling in the present to soothe what has been ailing me.


The majority of these songs are nineties or early 2000's hits that got me through the tumultuous teens and thereafter. Via fate and some luck I tuned into radio stations that played these songs even after they were popular hits. I hope my choices don't ruin my image of someone with pristine musical taste that actually likes a lot of weird and contradictory stuff. As all humans, I am a flawed hypocrite and that goes doubly with music. I pretend to disdain pop, always, but sometimes the catchy hooks and meaningless, sometimes meaningful, lyrics are exactly what I need as a midweek pick me up singing in the car without a care for two to three minutes.


See also my go to mood boosting songs, most pop excluded, but that goes without saying, right?

David Bowie

On the original list of mood boosting songs but I can hardly narrow down which ones resonate for you or me.

The Toadies

Anything off of Rubberneck which is great from beginning to end. I got to see this native Texas band at Homegrown Fest a few years ago and it made my past teen heart sing. They played Rubberneck in its entirety which felt like a treat just for me. You don’t realize how powerful drums are until they are reverberating through your body.

Bruce Springsteen

Born to Run: Anything that begs you to run away is great. Always makes me want to run away, in a good way. Should try running while listening

Stone Temple Pilots

Anything off of Core and Purple

Sound Garden

Anything off of Superunknown

The Fugees: Killing Me Softly

My favorite one hit wonders

Seven Mary Three: Cumbersome

Tracy Chapman: Give Me One Reason

The Breeders: Cannonball

Alice in Chains

Any songs made when Layne Staley was still alive. Probably not a super controversial opinion but the revamped and re-imagined band doesn’t resonate with me as deeply.

Most of these are thoughtfully curated into my 90’s playlist where I listen to them for working out, a pick me up or just to zone out for a bit.

Dali and Leonora Carrington: Too Surreal

Dali and Leonora Carrington: Too Surreal

Thoughts On Everything I Never Told You

Thoughts On Everything I Never Told You