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Music = Therapy

By Jen Litton

As someone who has always felt the outcast, music is my getaway. It's my sanctuary. Music soothes my inner turmoil. It is my therapist. Music makes me feel happiness, pain, grief, and love. How can you live without that?

My favorite thing about this precious group, is that we all thrive on music. We learn from each other, and we get to experience new music that may someday become part of someone's top five. I love the thought that an album I may post may get someone through a hard time. Perhaps, salvage them from a disaster.

That's what this post is about. Five albums that have salvaged my mentality from a disaster. They are by no means in any particular order. If you make it to the bottom, tell me about yours. What albums speak to you?

#1. Stranger Than Fiction Bad Religion 1994 - August The first track starts with this line:

"Mother, Father, look at your little monster. I'm a hero, I'm a zero, I'm the butt of the worst joke in history".

At the ripe age of 14, this was the pinnacle of my adolescence. I was in the middle of my family, between parents who were busy drinking, dealing with an older sibling who wanted nothing to do with me. All this going on, I maintained my A's, I continued to practice cello, and I began highschool. I was a hero for being the good kid. I was the zero for being the smart kid. I was the butt of every joke, and Bad Religion understood.

#2. Weezer (Self-titled) Weezer 1994 - May

"Only In Dreams". That was the first song I learned to play on the bass. I used to listen to this song to fall asleep to, and hope that a boy would someday sing it to me. High hopes from a girl who had major self esteem issues and anxiety enduced heart palpitations any time a boy remotely came close to me. I cried a lot to this album. It truly was my blue album.

#3. Hang-Ups Goldfinger 1997 - September

"And if it's easier to give up everything, I'd give it all to you to relieve half this pain.".

Superman, what an opening. This album is so much more relatable now, than it ever was. I'm not going to get into my whole life story with this post, but each record has something to do with an event in my life. This particular one has to do with trauma that has impacted my life in so many ways. The fast-paced and angry (about as angry as Goldfinger can get) lyrics have lead many car rides with windows down and singing at the tops of our lungs, making sure everyone heard. 17 was a weird time.

#4. Stage Four Touché Amoré 2016 - September

"I took inventory of what I took for granted And I ended up with more than I imagined I've kept it bottled up and to myself in the cellar Kept for my ever changing mental health"

In 2014, I lost my mom to stage four liver failure. I'm going to save that story for another time. My husband is obsessed with them, and he used this album as my introduction. He also lost his father to stage four renal failure, 6 months before my mother's death. He warned me. This album was the hardest album to get through. Listening to the grieving lyrics of the singer's own maternal loss pulled a pain out in me that had been buried for two years. I blame this album for bringing up the loss, for making me scream in emotional pain, and reminding me of her untimely death. I rarely listen to this album, but when I do, the impact is strong and lasts for days. If you have suffered a catastrophic loss, I strongly suggest getting through this at least once.

#5. Victory Lap Propagandhi 2017 - September

"Have you ever seen someone wasting away? First by choice, then after it's too late They decide that they want to come back to life But they're drowning in a sea so endless You see them come up for air then go under forever The squeezing hands of fate Our lives can't be replaced"

The first track, Victory Lap, is probably one of my favorite Propagandhi songs. The last couple of albums weren't my cup of tea, but dude, this one pulled me right in. It's hard not to link every song to a painful memory, especially when your trauma haunts the front of your memories, but if you can sing along, and feel the power in the messages you take from each word, then the music has accomplished what it's meant to be.

I have so many more, I could honestly do a top 30. These were the ones that stuck out, and I honestly didn't want to make everyone read a novel. So tell me, what's your top five, ten, or one hundred albums? How have they effected you?

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