Sometimes life just needs a soundtrack. Something to listen to when you get out of bed in the morning. Something to bop along to in the car. Something to help you when you’re feeling a little bit down. If there’s one thing we all have in common its that there are times in our life where we all feel a little bit down, and if there’s another thing we all have in common, it’s that we all love music.
Here’s ten little things you can do to pick yourself up, and the soundtrack you should listen to while doing it!
When you wake up, get out of bed
Don’t lay under the sheets all day letting those negative thoughts swill around in your mind growing and gathering steam. Hop out of bed straight away, hit play on your speakers and blast yourself some Simple Minds and their 1985 hit Don’t You (Forget About Me). It’s the perfect song to listen to when you have to get out of bed and really don’t want to.
Put a smile on that dial
Find some funny early in the day. Listen to a funny podcast while you’re getting ready, get yourself a joke-a-day app or listen to WHAM!’S Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Watch the music video as well! It’s guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s dial.
Tell someone you love them
If you’re feeling down and out and a little depressed, just tell someone you love them. It might be a partner you live with or a friend or relative that you text. It might just make somebody’s day, and in return it may just make your day.
Have a shower and put on some clean clothes. Even if you don’t need to be anywhere or go to work. Having a shower always makes you feel better and if you’re having an extra low day, put on your favourite clothes. And there’s no better music to get ready to than the Hall and Oats classic ‘You Make My Dreams’.
Don’t just sit around the house moping. Create a plan to keep busy throughout the day. Go for a walk or clean the house or catch up with a friend. The more time you have being idle the more time you have to let those negative thoughts creep in.
Remember when your mum said, ‘you are what you eat’. She wasn’t exactly right but she was close. What we put in our bodies has an affect on how we feel. Cook yourself one good meal per day. If you’re feeling adventurous maybe even strive to cook a new recipe a day. Now, Brown Sugar from the Stones may not exactly be about cooking but it’s still a rockin’ song to blast while trying out something new in the kitchen.
Hang with others
When you’re feeling down in the dumps you don’t always want to see or even talk to other people. But talking to others, even if it’s just a quick hello on Zoom there’s a good chance that even a small interaction can lift your spirits.
Try ten minutes of meditation
It has the potential to change your whole day and if you’re the anxious type (and anxiety often comes with depression and visa versa ) then ten minutes can make a world of difference. There’s so many great meditation tracks and album’s to listen to, all you need to do is have a Google and see what suits you. But if you’re at a loss, you can always try John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.
Don’t let depression think take over
That little self-doubting voice in your head never knows when to shut up. You can let it yak, yak, yak, all it wants but that doesn’t mean you have to listen to it. So, when it starts getting all negative, telling you this and calling you that, just hit play on Len’s Steal My Sunshine.
Shut down the internet
Just get offline. Turn your lap top/computer/iPad/phone off and listen to an entire album from beginning to end. Pick an album that tells a story from beginning to end with rather than just an album that is a series of disconnected songs (I’m looking at you Taylor Swift!). Springsteen is an amazing storyteller and his 1975 album Born to Run tells a story from track one all the way to the final song. It’s like listening to a novel in music form. Put it on, set the volume up to eleven and lose yourself in stories of hope and redemption.
References Depression and anxiety: can I have both? Craig N, Sawchuck, Ph.D., L.P. Mayo Clinic.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/depression-and-anxiety/faq-20057989  10 Things People with Depression Need to Do Every Day. Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. Psychology Today.
If you’re concerned about anything, talk to a professional counsellor on 1300 096 269. It’s free to people in north, western and central Melbourne and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Want to know where else you can get help? Find out how to access additional community support.
The CAREinMIND blog is delivered by On the Line. The views in each post do not necessarily reflect those of North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network.