Songs To Encourage: A Collection

In these uncertain times, with barely contained panic over the spread of COVID-19, I, along with plenty of others around the world, am having a tough time dealing with constant feelings of anxiety and dread. My anxiety hasn't had many bad flare-ups for years now, but these circumstances are exacerbating it to a very high level.

One thing that has always helped me through times of suffocating anxiety is listening to music that lifts me up and gives an encouraging message. So, I find that now is a great time to share some songs that are very important to me, in hopes that they may give you some hopeful, bright spots in your days this coming week. Happy reading and happy listening!

Be Alright – Kehlani

Kehlani gives wise words in this chilled out, R&B track:

“Yes, I might get wet, I might get thrown

But I'll resurface all on my own

It'll be alright, be alright

Reaper – Sia

Sia takes a playful look at discouragement as the Grim Reaper- and she's not going out that way.

“Oh, you tried to track me down

You followed me like the darkest cloud

But no baby, no baby, not today”

My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) – Rise Up Remix

Going for a different vibe with this one- this high-energy rap track from the Hamilton Mixtape has been my pump-up song for years. When I'm nervous or scared about something I'm about to do, this song makes me feel fierce and ready to tackle anything (past examples include: before job interviews, before first days at new jobs, and on my drive on the way to ask a guy out!!). Plus, once you've got the verses memorized, and you can spit bars along to the song, that's a real confidence booster for anyone (I think? Maybe it's just me?).

“That's why I hustle hella hard, never celebrate a holiday

That'll be the day I coulda finally hit the lottery

I refuse to ever lose or throw my shot away

Or chalk it up as just another one that got away, so

I'm unapologetic, I'm on my calisthenics

If I have given it all I got I cannot regret it

My point of destination's different from where I was headed

'Cause I'mma shoot for the stars to get it”

The Shadow Proves The Sunshine – Switchfoot

There's nothing like a Switchfoot song to make me feel better and inspire me! It's a simple, yet weighty sentiment: there can only be dark shadows if there is a bright light shining as well. The song calls us to hope and to know that during every dark time, there is still hope and light to be found.

“We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight

Dry eyes in the pouring rain, well

The shadow proves the sunshine

Two scared little runaways

Hold fast to the break of daylight where

The shadow proves the sunshine”

It Is Well – Northpoint Worship, Lauren Daigle

Now, I am a Christian, so much of my comfort is taken in the truth of Scripture, the infinite love of God, and the forgiveness of my sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you do not share my beliefs, I still hope that you can find encouragement through many of these songs just the same!

This is a re-modeling of the classic hymn, It Is Well With My Soul. That simple line, as well as the rest of the truths this song talks about, is so important to me, and gives me so much peace and joy whenever I hear it. This version especially is just powerful, and I can't get enough of it.

“It is well, it is well, through the storm, I am held

It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well, it is well, God has won, Christ prevailed

It is well, it is well with my soul”

Footprints – Sia

This song also has a faith-based message; however, it's subtle and amazingly well-written. It is based on the traditional poem of the same name that I saw hanging on a plaque in my grandma's house for my entire childhood – you can read it here and see how well it compares to Sia's song!

“Lord knows you can’t trust your head when you're hanging by a thread

Ground Control – All Time Low feat. Tegan & Sara

This song compares the feeling of confusion and being lost to floating alone in space. It gives the simple consolation of “I promise we'll be fine”, and reminds us that we all have a “ground control” in the form of friends and family to support us through tough times.

“Hey, I promise you we'll be fine

Got the universe on your side when you're out in space, don't you be afraid, no

If you start floating away”

Truce – twenty one pilots

There are only about six lines to this entire song, but it is beautiful and soothing in its sparseness:

“Now the night is coming to an end

The sun will rise and we will try again

Stay alive, stay alive for me”

Gold Steps – Neck Deep

This track is, for lack of a better term, a REAL BANGER. It's loud and punky, but that doesn't mean it can't have an inspiring message as well! It has an empowering feel, and is a great reminder that most times, we don't know our own strength in making it through things that seem to bend and break us.

”'Cause sometimes things will bend you, but trust me you'll be fine

'Cause I've been moving mountains that I once had to climb

And life's not out to get you, despite the things you've been through

'Cause what you give is what you get, and it doesn't make sense to make do”

Missing You – All Time Low

This song really, really gets me because it was released during my most turbulent teenage years, when I was in most desperate need of the feeling of having a friend and being encouraged. It's sweet, happy-sounding, and told me what I needed to hear when I felt like I was alone in the world: “don't lose your fight, kid.”

“Hold on tight, this ride is a wild one

Make no mistake, the day will come when you can't cover up what you've done

Now don't lose your fight, kid, it only takes a little push to pull on through”

Last Hope – Paramore

This list finishes out with a slow-burning, anthemic track from Paramore's 2013 album. It speaks of hope as a small flame that gives light and inspires us to push forward, no matter how small that hope may be.

“It's just a spark, but it's enough to keep me going

And when it's dark out, no one's around, it keeps glowing”

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