When Jed asked me write a guest newsletter, I was quite excited. Then I realised he had a far more eclectic, interesting, and set of songs sent out every fortnight than I could contribute to [this is not true, check the playlist – Ed.
What I’ve tried to do is something a bit different, focusing on a bit of a subtext within the newsletters; mental health. Jed’s openness in writing about his struggles was one of those nice reminders that I wasn’t alone in having pretty grim days, weeks, and sometimes (when it’s really bad) months.
So I’ve decided my contribution to this wonderful series will be my attempt to pass on the favour. My playlist is 30 songs that I’ve found comforting when my emotions go south. Rather than being songs to mask the emotions we have, they are songs that embrace them, and hopefully give the listener a chance to process how they feel. In my experience, moods are cyclical – we can’t expect to be happy all the time – and music has always been an important way to help me to process my thoughts and emotions.
As usual, the playlist is split into three parts. But in a twist to the usual, the first ten is for when stuff starts getting shitter, so a bit of early My Bloody Valentine for the anger and frustration, contracted with some more soothing songs from Sharon Van Etten and Lanterns on the Lake.
The second ten is for when you’re at a low ebb. When it’s particularly bad for me, I find it difficult to talk or process words properly, and I just want to be left alone in bed. You can expect a fair amount of ambient from the likes of Mogwai and Brian Eno which I’ve found comfort, rather than exacerbate, the really shit times.
The final third is about the recovery, and in some respects, is the most important part of the playlist. It’s easy during a bout of depression to feel like it will never end – that there will never be any respite. But the beautiful thing is that it does; we recover, we move on, and we learn to handle the difficulties of daily life just a bit better than we did before, by accepting that it’s a complex world that isn’t always perfect; but a world we still have the right to enjoy. The final song (Troubled World by Separate Minds) is the best song I’ve ever heard which encapsulates this mentality.
So enjoy. I hope it provides comfort as an outlet for any emotional struggles you may face ❤️.