Music & Depression: 10 albums for when you’re feeling a dip.

Because sometimes you read posts and they’re like “GET UP! GO FOR A RUN! DO YOGA! WRITE A 5,000,000 WORD NOVEL! SURROUND YOURSELF WITH ALL YOUR POSI FRIENDS!” and they are just not. helpful. right. now. I’ll run after your peppy annoying ass with a machete and you’ll be more flexible for yoga because you’ll be in PIECES.

I’m kidding, kind of. I’m not slamming articles and advice like this, as working out has recently saved me from falling into a dark place, and being around your favourite people does do you a world of wonders. But sometimes, just sometimes, we literally just don’t have the energy to do any of that shit. Struggling-to-lift-head-off-pillow kind of episode. Staring-at-the-wall-for-way-too-long kind of panic emptiness.

This is for us, when we can’t do much. But, maybe we can reach over and type some words into Youtube or Spotify, and just absorb the lyrics and melodies. Note: this isn’t ‘oh heeeeeeeeey feel better with these exciting fun beats’ kinda music. Many of these songs are deep, melancholy, and exist for us to really feel them, to awaken something within us when we might be feeling a little empty.

1. Nahko and Medicine for the People – Dark As Night


Favourite Song: Aloha Ke Akua

Probably my favourite album for feeling vegan, activist-y, and full of purpose. Wait for Aloha Ke Akua to really kick in, part way through. And really listen to the lyrics. They are honestly so beautiful and fill me with wonder that I even exist right now.

2. The Lumineers – Cleopatra


Favourite Song: Sleep on the Floor

*Bonus feels* if you watch the music videos, every song’s video is interconnected and it’s bloody beautiful. Sleep on the Floor’s video just gives me fuzzy memories of past travels, and reminds me that I still have so much adventure ahead.

3. Newton Faulkner – Write it on Your Skin


Favourite Song: Write it on Your Skin

Newton introduces his songs in this album, so if you’re on Spotify turn off shuffle because otherwise it will get confusing as hell. From Newton himself, Write it on Your Skin is “about running away and starting again… without losing any experience”. The album has a cute, upbeat feel to it. It feels like honouring your past, but starting anew.

4. Ed Sheeran – X


Favourite Song: I See Fire

Ed’s relatable album will give you feelings from “oh godddd I MISS THEM SO MUCH” to “oh yeah, I was actually so blissfully happy then. And that’s okay.” to “yasssss Ed I’ll lay my heart on youuuu wooooo!”

I See Fire also gives me such complicated, yet peaceful and happy, feelings about when I went to see The Hobbit with some of my favourite people.

5. Ben Howard – Every Kingdom

every-kingdomFavourite Song(s): Black Flies, Keep Your Head Up

Deep and slow Black Flies-esque tracks contrast with the joyfully upbeat and lifting Keep Your Head Up. Ben taps into your memories and non-memories of the natural world and of your deep self. You’ll think of past loves, where you are right now, where you’ve come from.

6. Daughter – If You Leave


Favourite Song: Smother

Smother reminds me of being half asleep in the back of my parents’ car on my way to my third, and favourite, year at University. It’s sad as hell, it honestly really hits you in the chest. It makes you feel. And sometimes we need to feel deeply. I find this album gives me that, every single time.

7. Bear’s Den – Islands


Favourite Song: Above The Clouds of Pompeii

Gentle, slightly hopeful – I listen to Bear’s Den when I can’t quite deal with the excitement of Mumford and Sons. This album has that cute, silly-happy ukulele feel to it, alongside its totally chill melodies. The subtle build up in Above The Clouds of Pompeii to the final minute’s notes gives you a very real feeling of holding your head a little higher, each time they tell you to.

8. Moby –Play


Favourite Song: Natural Blues

Moby is A FAVE. Pretty much every album he’s done is some kind of meditative experience. Probably the oldest album mentioned in this post, we go back to 1999 and get the Leo feelings whilst we imagine laying on a beach in a hammock. (If you haven’t seen The Beach, go watch it. now. NOW).

9. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago


Favourite Song: Skinny Love

Quiet folk, exuding a feeling a loneliness – this album hosts the kind of music you sit in bed to, swaying side-to-side a little, maybe staring at the window a little in love with nature (because you’re in a log cabin when you’re listening to this, of course).

10. Pendulum – Immersion


Favourite Song: Watercolour

Yaaaaaaaaaaassssssss Pendulum! This album is nothing like the rest, but it miiiight just wake you up and help you get out of bed. I dance to this naked when I’m sad and able to move. Drum and Bass awaits. Maybe you’ll be able to go for a run now (if you want to).

“Bodies of info performing such miracles.

I am a miracle made up of particles

and in this existence I’ll stay persistent

and I’ll make a difference and I will have lived it.”

Aloha Ke Akua


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