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I've been publishing The Mental Health Update email newsletter every week for a little over two years.
In that time, I've experimented with different kinds of content.
What started as a random, one-time idea to include a song that moved me in the past week has turned into a weekly feature because my subscribers love it so much.
Below are a few of the songs that I've featured.
Let's call them "Mental Health Songs."
Because I found them to be good for my mental health, and I hope you enjoy them, too.
Mental Health Songs to Health With Depression and Anxiety
Music for mental health doesn't have to be any certain way--it has more to do with the mood of the listener and how open the individual is to the experience.
But without a doubt, each of these songs create an emotional response.
They are songs that can help with depression, anxiety, or other issues.
As someone who has had depression and currently lives with daily anxiety, music is one of the best simple ways I know to improve my mental health.
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley - On The Street Funk cover feat. Dannielle DeAndrea (A Song to Help With Depression)
You probably know the song Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. It was a massive hit, and you couldn't go two feet before hearing it blaring from some speaker somewhere.
But I bet you've never heard it sung this way. Lead vocalist Danielle DeAndrea absolutely rocks it. So funky. So unexpected.
Founder of Patreon, Jack Conte, does some of the most ridiculous renditions of songs I've ever seen and heard with his Scary Pockets channel on YouTube. He's always the one having the absolute time of his life on the keyboard.
Believe me, you could get lost for hours with the covers performed by the Scary Pockets gang.
Paramore: Last Hope (LIVE) (A Song to Help With Depression)
OK. Whatever you think of Paramore, hear me out, please. Whether you think they are just "for kids" or you already have decided you hate their music, or you looked at the video preview and you hate what Hayley, the lead singer is wearing, this live performance is beyond amazing.
I've watched this video more than 50 times. OK, probably more than 100 over the last few years.
"Last Hope" is about what happens when you try to force yourself to be a certain way. Deep down there is a spark that keeps glowing.
I get goosebumps listening to this every single time.
Jacob Banks - Say Something (A Great Big World) | Mahogany Session (A Song to Help With Depression)
Well, the number of times I've watched this stripped-down performance of Nigerian-born English singer and songwriter Jacob Banks covering the song Say Something is pretty darn close to the number of times I've watched the above Paramore video.
I mean, come on. How can anyone have a voice like Jacob Banks does?
The piano-playing is stellar as well. It's a shockingly beautiful rendition.
Here's the original song by Great Big World, which is phenomenal in its own right.
Jacob Banks - Devil That I Know (Official Lyric Video) (A Song to Help With Depression and Addiction)
This second one is also by Jacob Banks, and I'm including it because I think it touches on some sensitive mental health topics in a way that only great art can.
From drug use to unhealthy relationships, painting an emotional picture of difficult realities is one way that we fight stigma.
Devil That I Know does that.
Rainbow - Kacey Musgraves (A Song to Help With Anxiety and Depression)
Kacey Musgraves is a rare country singer-songwriter who creates singular songs with thoughtful lyrics. It helps that she has an angelic voice as well.
I've been a fan of hers for years, and this is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.
Worry No More - Amos Lee (A Song to Help With Anxiety)
Amos Lee also has a phenomenal voice, and this song will put you in a happy trance.
There's something about the way he sings the words "worry no more" that will transport you to a better, less anxious place.