SoSlists is a monthly playlist curated by select humans that work in and/or love music who acknowledge its healing powers. This month's list is by Mio of the famed instagram account Mionyl.
Making this playlist has proven harder than I initially thought. I found myself putting it off for a long time, not because of lack of inspiration or motivation but simply because it's been quite painful.
So why was this so hard? Shouldn't it be a fun experience, thinking back, making a playlist of songs that essentially saved you from slipping into complete darkness?
Well. When I started looking back I realized that music has not only been a kind of "guiding light" throughout my life, something I've built both my career & my relationships around, it has also saved it. I am convinced that if I didn't discover a passion for music at a very early age I would not have been here.
That may sound dramatic but growing up in an environment where nothing was predictable it was extremely important to find something that wasn't as fickle as the immediate reality. Some stability. I found that in music. From being completely mesmerized by the wonder that is Prince when I barely could walk, to the first time hearing Elliott Smith as a tween, singing words to me I never had the courage to say out loud myself. Music followed me around, making sure I could escape when I needed to or kept me company when I needed it.
But the importance of music is just as big now as it was when I was young. From my childhood I was left with C-PTSD & bouts of crippling anxiety. That darkness, continuously calling you, urging you to lay down flat on your back and just give up, wanting to consume all that you are, keeping you from sleep, love, food & all other pleasures in life; somehow it's incredibly hard to resist when the hurt washes over you. But I've been able to keep my head above the surface. I've been able to always keep my eye on the light, the place where all the "normal" people live, even when that light has been really faint, & I think music is one of, if not THE main reason for that, both creating it & experiencing others work.
So what I'm saying is that music can save a life & for me at least, one of the main reasons is this:
Music can end that harrowing feeling that you are completely alone in an experience. Hearing someone else express similar bone-crushing feelings, sometimes in actual words but just as much in instrumental music, is invaluable. Someone who confirms that what you're feeling isn't unique. Someone else has been there before. Someone else has thought the same thoughts. We all strive to be unique but in this case it's an incredibly harrowing thought. That you're alone. But you're never alone.
So, with that said, here's a couple of songs in no particular order from musicians that has given me some kind of comfort at some point in my life. I'm sure that they are all classified as "sad songs" but not to me. To me they have all been able to draw out some beauty from the above mentioned darkness & given me peace at the absolute lowest points of my life & now that I'm out of the woods, it gives me perspective & helps me appreciate the things I've learned from it all.
Hopefully you'll find something there that you enjoy too.
Mio is a photographer, body painter, musician & record store worker from southern Sweden who combines all her passions together with her biggest hobby, vinyl collecting, on Instagram under the alias @mionyl (Mio + vinyl = Mionyl). There she tries to engage & start personal conversations about music in a positive & inspirational way, across all genres.