1514613 tn?1385092718

Melancholy Music - do others enjoy?

I'm sure I'm not alone here, but after feeling depressed for about 6 years, I've become ever more aware that I've always had some particular affinity for music that could be descrbied as melancholy.  Not necessarily just all out sad (although certainly much of it merges into this territory), but the windsome, nostolgic, doleful, brooding sonnets of the blue, the melancholy experience that is so much a part of the tragic beauty of life.

With that in mind, I thought I'd see if others out there can relate to my experience feeling better - feeling joy and beauty and joie de vivre of life as a result of listening to blisfully melancholy music, and if so, to querry what some of your favorites are.  I'll offer a short list of mine.

Fade Into You, Mazzy Star (one of my all time favorites)

Paradise, Bruce Springsteen

A Thousand Kissed Deep, Leonard Cohen, and others, e.g., Waiting for a Miracle, Take this Longing, etc.

Song to the Siren, This Mortal Coil (don't listen to this if you're really down)

Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley (written by Leonard Cohen)

God, John Lennon

Imagine, John Lennon (crossover)

The Luckiest, Ben Folds

The Last Song, Elton John

The Sun's Gone Dim and the Sky's Turned Black, Johann Johannsson

That Home, the Cinematic Orchestra (longer version called To Build a Home)

Sounds of Slience, Simon & Garfunkle (not too dark)

Mad World, Tears for Fears and others

Everybody Hurts, R.E.M. (has to be on the list)

Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve (I think actually has a partial uplift if the words are listened to)

Dust in the Wind, Kansas, Sarah Brightman

Outro, M83 (from the Cloud Atlass trailer)

Angel, Sarah McLachlan

Wicked Game, Chris Isaak

My Immortal, Evanescence

Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven

Bach's Prelude

I know some of these are pretty sappy, sentimental dirdges, but that is part of what I guess I like and identify with in them.  They're far from the only kind of music I like, but as I mentioned, I've just found I have a certain affinity and find solace in their expression.
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1514613 tn?1385092718
oh, and btw, you're right about fixating too much on sad music not being healthy.

It's something I use that I think has some good (theraputic) qualities and some unhealthy (wallowing).  I actually haven't been listening to much of it in some time now, but posted it hear anyway, really as an excuse to interact with some people here around some common interests.
thanks for the feedback
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1514613 tn?1385092718
Both of your comments are well received.
Nursegirl, it is so true, that people who are 'intelligent' or 'deep' thinkers tend to think they can think their way out of problems.  That certainly applies to me, and one of the things I'm learning through EA, which is very humbling is that my very best thinking is what has gotten me time and again into the position (of crisis) I find myself in.  
This isn't fatalistic, but rather and acknowledgement that it will necessarily take something bigger than and outside myself to help me.
Someone I met there mentioned that they've never seen someone too dumb to succeed in a 12-step program, but have met many people who were too 'smart'.  An addict (and I use this term in the broadest sense to include the depressed and anxious, even though addictive personality traits are extremely common amongst us) is the only person, who because he is an egomaniac with an inferiority complex, will literally lie in the gutter while looking down at passers by.


To your comment, that "Staying mired and bogged down in sadness has a payoff and it is up to the person recovering to find out what that payoff is."
So true.  Step 6 says 'we were entirely ready to have god (as we understood him/it, or a power greater than ourselves which could be the universe, the group, nature, love, etc.) remove all these defects of character (identified in steps 4 and 5).

That seems like a no brainer, but the sickening truth is that part of the learned helplessness which forms part of what the illness of depression is, makes us want to cling to the misery, because it feels comfortable, familiar, and it feeds certain appetites like the ego.  If I'm totally honest, there are strong parts of me that do not want to let go of the anxiety and fear and self-loathing and anger that have become such a familiar part of who I am and how I cope.
I am working through this with the help of the group.  Life still hurts immensely and I know I have gargantuan challenges ahead.  But finding this community and process has been lifesaver for me quite literally, and I encourage anyone else out there in this forum who’s never tried it to seek it out - Nursegirl, thanks for posting the website (I meant to, but must not have).
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480448 tn?1426948538
Wonderfully said!
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4190741 tn?1370177832
I am a big fan of All the Anonymous programs.  My friend and I started our citys first Narcotics Anonymous program and within a matter of weeks we had to move out of our small meeting room to larger areas for the meetings.

The great thing about group therapy or Group Anonymous meetings, is that everyone is here for the same purpose.  We learn how to live  life on lifes owns terms, and we try to keep it simple.

There is something that happens no matter what drug we are addicted to.
When I say drug, don't automatically think substance abuse, I am talking about any activity or obsession that changes your thinking.  To members of NA, a drug is a drug is a drug, no matter the shape, taste, smell or price.

I have had extensive experience with EA, AA, NA, ACOA, and every one of the people in these groups is at a risk for relapse.  Your relapse can be in the form of alcohol, or medication or stinking thinking.

Stinking Thinking usually starts small, and especially for someone who is recovering in EA, a running list of sad depressing songs can actually be your drug of choice to stay mired in Emotions which you already know are not healthy for you.  Staying mired and bogged down in sadness has a payoff and it is up to the person recovering to find out what that payoff is.

I do wish you the very best, I know sometimes writing out these replies sounds condescending or berating, but please know that I am not replying to you in that way.  

Good luck in your continued recovery

Helpful - 0
480448 tn?1426948538
You're very insightful!  You're also a deep thinker and it's clear you're very intelligent.  I think that sometimes, those things can be a person's worst enemy.  We can "think" ourselves into feeling much worse, you know?

Unfortunately, you can't really change who you are or how you think, so you just have to work with the things you know make you feel better.  I'm so glad you have posted about EA.  I never knew such an agency existed.  It sounds wonderful.  I have to look locally here to see if they have any meetings.  I would definitely check one out.

Thanks for your input!

For everyone, here's a link to EA's website:

Helpful - 0
1514613 tn?1385092718
The power of EA...and one day at a time.

I wrote this in response on another Forum, but thought I'd post part of it here as sort of an 'update' and also to encourage anyone else who might see it.

Recently, I have discovered Emotions Anonymous (and AA, although I'm not really an alcoholic), and at least in the short term, these groups have literally saved my life - and in part because they provided a spirituality based on seeking serentiy in 'a god of my understanding' This has been liberating and affirming for me because it guides and frees the program participants to make sense of the world and themselves by appealing merely to 'a power greater than myself', which can be 'love' 'acceptance' 'the universe' 'the group' some traditional god or whatever. I always thought these groups were just masking a form of Christian theism and trying to make it a little more palatable and esoteric (and this works for some), but that's not my experience at all so far. It just acknoweldges some greater power, a 'higher power' if you like, but leaves off all other baggage that may be frought with superstition, doubt, anger, fear, etc.

It allows me to trust again, achieve a coherrent reason-justification for being at peace - which my overactive mind always seems to want to reach for even if I don't need to fully understand it.

Really, what I wanted to say here, is that I am finding an amazing power in the process and expereince of participating with others in community and wisdom and practice in the 12-step groups. I am meeting many people who have had every bit as much a struggle with depressinon (and other challenges), who are different people now, healthy, well, in strong, consistent, recovery - some of them seemingly fully. For the first time, in many, many years, I have genuine hope and a quiet peace--I am confident can grow--toward mental and emotional welness.

I have tried a LOT of things a lot of times. I would encourage anyone out there who has never tried (or even if they have), to see if they can find an EA or even 'Open' AA or other 12-step group.

Hopefully, this may help someone else out there.

(I've had a long torturous journey from 'devout' Biblical literalist fundamental evangelical christian faith as a kid growing up to....all the way to militant atheism for a while (due to a combination of dealing with the problem of evil and intellectual skepticism), and have gradually clawed my way back to a more robust rational deism based largely on metaphysics and philosophy (logic), but always borne out of a deep emotional desire to want there to be a god who reconciles and makes sense out of the chaos and pain (as I think we all long for). I've written about this elsewhere here under "Anyone Else a Deist?" Depression and Religion Forum.)
Helpful - 0
1514613 tn?1385092718

You're absolutely right.  I've always known that although sometimes deliberately suppressed that - one of the sickening things about the phenomena of depression--which I view as both a real condition or 'illness' but also a behavioral 'learned helpelessness' at least in me--is that against all intuition, there is a large part of me that WANTS to continue to wallow in my pain and misery because I am familiar with it and afraid of change and uncertainty, responsibility, etc.

With that in mind, two other thoughts for today.

First, I do have several other playlists and one is decidedly upbeat and uptempo, full even of current pop music, which I listen to sometimes and especially with my 2 littler girls who like to dance to it.

The second, I'll re-post below is re: EA/AA groups, in case it helps anyone else out there....
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Yes agree fully with nursegirl  .. I have the same take on sad movies too (which are often better but have to be rationed )  ..
Playlist is amazing urs :)  havent heard many of it  ...

Helpful - 0
480448 tn?1426948538
Great topic you posted here.

I actually always encourage people who are working on their depression and/or anxiety to be mindful of the kind of environment they are creating for themselves and the kind of stimuli they expose themselves to.

NO doubt that a person who consistently exposing themselves to "darker" stimuli (like "death rock" metal kind of music, horror movies, live in a house the has unpleasant odors, say from smoke, etc) are not doing themselves a favor.  The input we give our 5 senses absolutely positively affect our moods.  Even a person without a history of depression/anxiety would be sensitive to those things.

Now, the kind of music you're discussing isn't all around bad, but you bet if you expose yourself to a lot of it, the kind of "depressing" tone of theme will affect your mood.  Obviously, you love the music, which is fine, I would just encourage you to mix it up, and add some upbeat or calming/soothing music to your repertoire as well.

It really does make a difference and it's something small that WE can control.  I know myself, I feel a whole lot different after watching a comedic, lighthearted movie (or a "chick flick") than I do a horror movie, or something dark and deep.  Now, I LIKE those kinds of movies, so I still watch them, but I'm careful not to watch too many, too often, and if I'm feeling especially bad emotionally, I'll skip those until a time I'm feeling better.

I kind of went off on a tangent, and I know your question wasn't really what I addressed (lol, sorry), but I figured it was a perfect opportunity to mention this.  WE are almost solely responsible for the input we give our brains, WE are the programmers so to speak, and our senses are a big part of that input.  A lot of people wouldn't even THINK about something like that affecting their mood, or exacerbating their depression, but it does.  Continued exposure to more dark/depressing things will make us FEEL more dark/depressed.

That being said, enjoy your music!  ;0)
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Avatar universal
I too have an affinity for soulful music. What a great playlist you posted :)
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