Crappy Days? Crank the Music!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Honestly, sometimes there's no way around it. Life is ROUGH. And some seasons seem to just keep kicking when your down. Nothing feels like it is going your way, people hurt you, you get a ticket or dent your car... and then you get sick on top of all of that. I'm generalizing here, but if you know me at all, or have followed along for the last few months, you'll understand where I'm coming from. We have had LOTS of challenges thrown our way in the last nine months or so. We are REALLY being tested... put through that refining fire.

And while most days, I manage to keep my optimism... keep smiling... Keep creating and singing and hoping... There are just those days when I cave in to the fear, the anger, the hurt... and I settle in for a good long cry... Give in to the dark cloud I've been pushing away for weeks.

And don't let ANYONE tell you to "cheer up" when you finally allow that mood to breathe. Because I absolutely believe that one in a while, we all NEED it. We NEED a good cry or a good punching bag session or a good run or anything that finally allows some of the pressure to boil off. As long as it is a healthy release (not, say, drinking or drugs or using a PERSON as a punching bag, etc.)... I think it is good to give in once in a while and BE SAD. BE MAD. BE SCARED.

I have found that if I stop pretending it is okay, and allow myself to stop tiptoeing AROUND the issues and feel THROUGH them, I am really better able to truly grow and find inspiration and guidance for getting to the next step. Sometimes ya gotta just let yourself BE IN THAT DARK EMOTION. Pass through, not around.

I've had a couple of these "sessions" this week. Feeling THROUGH the ugly feeling instead of distracting myself AROUND them. It's not been fun. I'm not glorifying this as some kind of incredibly glorious cleansing. It basically SUCKS to give in and bawl your eyes out. It hurts. But...
I don't know... in the pain this week, there has also been TRUTH. And a necessary humbling.

And I feel better prepared to plow ahead and get through this season. I even feel stronger, having faced the ugly feelings and survived.

Anyway... I'm nowhere near the edge of this big, deep lake of trouble. But I'm hangin' on with the help of God, family, and beloved friends. With the help of faith and prayer and music.

Which brings me to what prompted this post in the first place. I was working out this morning (don't fall down dead, I know. It's a miracle. Ha!) and listening to my iPod. Scrolling through til the RIGHT song came on. You know--- the song that FITS your mood. And my sweet little iPod was reading my mind and giving me lots of really good songs. And I began to think about how much I need/love/use music to help me through the tough stuff. Surely I'm not alone in this?

So as I was driving home, I compiled a "Crappy Days" playlist in my head... not the one that is supposed to buoy you with peppiness (you know, like with "Sweet Caroline" and "Dancing Queen" on it), but the one that lets you just SINK into the mood and feel CRAPPY... with some of the tunes helping me wallow, some of them showing me a glimpse of hope, and some just being "sing loud and with feeling" songs.

And I thought... well... Maybe I'll share them with you. List 'em here... and then, if anyone is feelin' crappy too, and wants a mix for their own, they can comment, or email... Even pick and choose the ones they want/don't want from my list so their CD is a bit more "custom". And I will TOTALLY make them and mail them. I'm not kidding. I'll even use that collage above as the CD cover. Haha! :)

So anyway... even if no one else wants my Crappy Days mix, here's what I'd put on it.... Based on how I feel this week:

1. Nothing Else Matters....Metallica
2. Hold On....Sarah McLachlan
3. Everybody's Fool....Evanescence
4. Dante's Prayer.... Lorena McKennit
5. Saturday Night.... Bon Jovi
6. Be Still My Soul.... either Lisbeth Scott or my BYU choir
7. The Climb.... Miley Cyrus
8. Anything But Ordinary...Avril Lavigne
9. I Can't Make Music... The Carpenters
10. Funny.... City of Angels
11. I Still Believe.... Miss Saigon
12. Top of the World....Dixie Chicks
13. Over the Rainbow....Eva Cassidy
14. Calling All Angels....Jane Siberry/k.d.lang
15. Pie Jesu....Rutter's Requiem
16. Going Under.... Evanescence
17. Sage of Lamberene....Kurt Bestor/Sam Cardon
18. Not a Day Goes By.... Merrily We Roll Along
19. Nightminds....Missy Higgins
20. Mama.... My Chemical Romance

And... hm... Turns out I am more wanting slow, moody songs.. Not too many high-energy songs here. Oh well.


There's one way I cope... Music, as much as possible. As the honest truth is---- even with things being as rough as they are.... even if things get worse.... I am okay. I have the most incredible circle of love around me. The most amazing blessings being poured out upon me. so when I am done feeling icky, sad, and scared, I really DO feel good again. Not just good enough.... but GOOD. There is joy to be found in these dark seasons. In fact, I believe that we have an even more acute ability to experience joy when we're in the middle of heartache. The contrast makes the good stuff even better.

Anyhoo... That's all I got for ya. Seriously, though... If you want a CD, lemme know. Tell me what songs you want skipped... or whatever. :)

Laters, all...


  1. I totally agree that sometimes you just need to cry, to bawl. Usually I get to this point while I'm jogging, thinking alot, and then I have to stop to breath:) But it does help to purge. Hope things are looking up and that Joe is feeling better!

  2. I'd love one! But you don't have to mail it - just bring it with you in June... and then we can sing together! :)

  3. I have more of those bawling moments than I would like to admit. I agree with you Emily, you just have to let it out and work your way through it. I think it makes you stronger! Know that I am always thinking of you, and our family is praying for you! You're the BEST in my eyes!

    I have never heard of most of the songs you listed, but I would like to! Especially if they help you get through a tough moment, day, or year. Love you lots!

  4. Yeah, that's part of why I bought the Metallica Black Album- aside from having some of the few songs I actually enjoy by them, it is a good, "I need to vent my bad mood" kind of CD... whenever I need to just get down and dirty with frustration and anger and "why me?", I usually crank that one up...

    Here's an interesting little blurb on perspective- again, not to try to tell you to NOT give into those negative feelings, but it just came to mind as I read your post:

    Hypothetical situation- Q: A guy standing in line at a bank gets shot by a robber in the arm- is he lucky or unlucky?
    A: Lucky- he could have been the guy standing next to him who got shot in the head...
    (Yeah, I got that from a new show, Miami Medical...)

    My point is just sometimes it is a matter of how you look at things- sometimes you need to look at them in the negative light, but the important thing is that you find a way to put it back into a healthier perspective.

    Hang in there. I love you.

    And I would love a copy of your "Crappy Day" CD- no edits necessary- I think all those songs would be great.

  5. id say you just need a little Saosin with maybe a pinch of Sevendust and maybe a little bit of the Used and you've got yourself a perfect "Crappy Day" mix... but i tend towards the more hard-core stuff... but i LOVE the metallica lead-in. (i'd have put an exclamation point there, but give the subject, it just doesnt seem appropriate)...

  6. I used to have a mixed CD that I fondly dubbed "Chicken Soup for the Desolate Soul." This was back when I had music of my own. John's obsession with music tends to be all the passion for tunes this house can handle. I'm slowly finding my own again. I would enjoy your CD.

    My first kiss was during the Black album. I can not remember the song. :)

  7. I actually bought "We're not gonna take it" after a rough time when I was thinking it would have helped. And one day when I was driving REALLY ANGRY, the radio was playing Taylor Swift's "Shoulda Said No" (or whatever the *real* title is) and it was perfect... well, it wouldn't have been if I'd gotten a speeding ticket, but I didn't, so it was still perfect... And actually, I like a contemporary Christian song, "Praise You In This Storm". Maybe I'll put it on a CD for you... :)

    Good to talk last night, sorry it was mostly about me :P

    Love you,

  8. I love you! I so agree that sometimes you just need to feel what you're feeling and not feel guilty or bad about it. I need to remember that sometimes when my 4 year old tells me she "can't stop the tears".

    Leave it to you to want to help other people when you are having a hard time. You are amazing. I hope this season of trials makes way for a long season of bliss.

  9. I'll take one. Totally needed this today. Seriously sorry you are struggling with so much CRAP right now. You are awesome.

  10. Oh my aching heart, you are dead ON with Miss Saigon! I forgot how I used to commute to work and just let the tears flow over that CD. Another good one in that same genre for your play list is "A Little Fall of Rain" from Les Miserables (preferably sung by Leah Salonga). It finds hurts I didn't even know I had and lets them drip out through my eyeballs.

  11. I've been listening to your mix CD from 2002 that you gave me this week and I am still not bored with it. You really have a way with choosing music. I want a CD if you're really offering, but if you don't send me one, I'll still look up the songs anyway because I know I will love them.
    Good luck this month.


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