The Magic of Music, Part 2

Back in 2019, I wrote a post on some songs I keep in my endometriosis playlist to listen to when I’m having a bad day. Today, I want to list 5 more.

I know there are way more amazing songs out there than I can possibly list here, so please go ahead and drop some more recommendations in the comments. What do you listen to when you are having a bad day? Do you have a favourite song about chronic illness?

1) Fight Song, by Rachel Platten

This song isn’t just about fighting; it’s about fighting when you don’t have anything left, when you don’t have any sleep or anyone left on your side.

Lyrics:

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosionAnd all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in meLosing friends and I’m chasing sleep
Everybody’s worried about me
In too deep
Say I’m in too deep (in too deep)
And it’s been two years I miss my home
But there’s a fire burning in my bones
Still believe
Yeah, I still believeAnd all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in meA lot of fight left in meLike a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosionThis is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong (I’ll be strong)
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Know I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Favourite line: I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion.

Listen when: You need the inspiration to go just one step further

2) I Can’t Feel, by Yours Truly

‘I Can’t Feel’ was written by a fellow spoonie, singer Mikaila Delgado, who has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). EDS is a connective tissue disorder that causes hyper-mobility and tissue fragility. Just like those with endo, people with EDS often suffer pain with no obvious cause. Delgado shares her frustration, exhaustion, and loneliness in a world where pain wears us down, people don’t believe us and we so often go without answers.

Lyrics:

I don’t know if I’m feeling right
Like this is something that’s in my mind now
There’s no signs, there’s no symptoms here
I’m aching in my bones, it’s getting out of handBut I’m not afraid of this
If only I could put this mind to rest
My days blend into one another see
Give me a moment to step back and breatheI always feel like giving up
Feeling tired out of luck
Let me tell you that I’ve had enough
I wish that I could sleep at night
Close my eyes and feel alright
But my conscience, it has other plans and II don’t know if I’m feeling right
They tried to tell me it was in my mind and I’ve
Been sleeping for days on end
Getting told to get out of my bed and move forwardI can’t explain the pain
I’m fucking over itI feel like giving up
Feeling tired out of luck
Let me tell you that I’ve had enough
I wish that I could sleep at night
Close my eyes and feel alright
But my conscience, it has other plans and II can’t feel
Anything else
But my heartbeat soaring
I always feel like giving up
Feeling tired out of luck
Let me tell you that I’ve had enough
Yeah, I’ve had enoughI’m not afraid
If only I could put this mind to restI always feel like giving up
Feeling tired out of luck
Let me tell you that I’ve had enough
Wish that I could sleep at night
Close my eyes and feel alright
But my conscience, it has other plansAnd I can’t feel
Anything else
But my heartbeat soaring
I always feel like giving up
Feeling tired out of luck
Let me tell you that I’ve had enough
Yeah, I’ve had enoughI’m sick of waiting for a change
That will never come my way
When I tell you that I’ve had enough
Yeah, I’ve had enough

Favourite line: They tried to tell me it was in my mind and I’ve been sleeping for days on end, getting told to get out of my bed and move forward

Listen when: you need to feel like someone else gets it.

3) Get Better, by Leslie Mosier

Leslie Mosier actually has endometriosis, so she definitely understands how it feels. ‘Get Better’ really encapsulates the struggle. The video also includes a lot of things we would be familiar with – TENS machines, endo belly, curling up in a little ball in bed. Of all the songs on this list, this one is definitely hits the closest to home.

Content warning: the video does contain needles, drugs and surgical procedures. It also contains a cute cat and a pug.

Lyrics:

Who was I before this?
Will I make it through?
The pain is slowly creeping
Till there’s nothing I can do

My body in a circle
Clouds fill up my eyes
I wait for it to kick in
So the hurt can be disguised

Breathing just feels harder
Down I go again

Wake up, put on the makeup
And smile for the camera
Work hard, make money
Maybe that will make me feel alright

No one really knows what you’re going through
But they pretend to say they’re thinking about you
I’m fine, I’ll be alright
I just wanna get better, I feel like I’m a burden
A liability
But who am I to give a damn
When my own body turned on me

Keep pushing on to see better days
Even when it hurts
I’m not defined by the times I’ve cried
Or fallen to the dirt

Breathing just feels harder
Down I go againWake up, put on the makeup
And smile for the camera
Work hard, make money
Maybe that will make me feel alright

No one really knows what you’re going through
But they pretend to say they’re thinking about you
I’m fine, I’ll be alright
I just wanna get better

Here I go, here I go, here I go again
I’m at war with my body, my closest friend
I’ve been broken, I’ve been down got up in the end
Here I go, here I go, here I go again

Wake up, put on the makeup
And smile for the camera
Work hard, make money
Maybe that will make me feel alright

No one really knows what you’re going through
But they pretend to say they’re thinking about you
I’m fine, I’ll be alright
I just wanna get better

Favourite line: Who was I before this?

Listen when: you want the endo experience captured in a single song

4) Have It All, by Jason Mraz

‘Have It All’ has nothing to do with chronic illness, but I’m including it nonetheless because it always helps me. I sing it in my head and dedicate to a different person each time whose life I want to be beautiful and lovely even when mine isn’t, whether it be my sister, my best friend, or all the people out that also suffering from chronic pain.It’s just so nice.

It also reminds me of the good things in my life – my friends and family, whom I deeply love – even when I’m in a lot of pain and can’t do much stuff. During those times they can still bring me fun and happiness.

Lyrics:

May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to always do your best
May you take no effort in your being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more nothing less
May you know the meaning of the word happiness
May you always lead from the beating in your chest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow

Well here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it
Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you got a free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

Oh! I want you to have it all
I want you to have it
I want you to have it all

May you be as fascinating as a slap bracelet
May you keep the chaos and the clutter off your desk
May you have unquestionable health and less stress
Having no possessions though immeasurable wealth
May you get a gold star on your next test
May your educated guesses always be correct
And may you win prizes shining like diamonds
May you really own it each moment to the next

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow

Well here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it
Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you got a free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

Oh, I want you to have it all
I want you to have it
I want you to have it all

Oh, I want you to have it all
All you can imagine
All, no matter what your path is
If you believe it then anything can happen
Go, go, go raise your glasses
Go, go, go you can have it all
I toast you

Here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it
Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you got a free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

Oh, I want you to have it all
I want you to have it
I want you to have it all

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
Here’s to you always making me laugh
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

Favourite line: May you get to rest, may you catch your breath

Listen when: You really want to think about someone else instead of your pain.

5) Skyscraper, by Demi Lovato

‘Skyscraper’ is about a relationship rather than a chronic illness, but just imagine, if you will, that she is singing to your endo. It’s a song of defiance even in the pain and desolation.

Lyrics:

Skies are crying, I am watching
Catching teardrops in my hands
Only silence, as it’s ending
Like we never had a chance
Do you have to make me feel like
There’s nothing left of me?

You can take everything I have
You can break everything I am
Like I’m made of glass
Like I’m made of paper
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper

As the smoke clears, I awaken
And untangle you from me
Would it make you, feel better
To watch me while I bleed?
All my windows still are broken
But I’m standing on my feet

You can take everything I have
You can break everything I am
Like I’m made of glass
Like I’m made of paper
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper

Go run, run, run
I’m gonna stay right here,
Watch you disappear
Yeah-oh, go run, run, run
Yeah, it’s a long way down
But I am closer to the clouds up here

You can take everything I have
You can break everything I am
Like I’m made of glass
Like I’m made of paper, oh-oh
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground

Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper
(Like a skyscraper)
Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper

Favourite line: Do you have to make me feel like there’s nothing left of me?

Listen when: You need to feel a bit more defiant.

The Magic of Music, Part 1

Music is such a powerful thing. Done right, it can invoke such strong reactions in the listener. It completely changes the tone of a scene in a movie or tv show, can get you moving on a run, or make a long drive a little more exciting.

Guess where I’m going with this.

That’s right, an endo playlist!

Sometimes, you want some songs that resonate with the pain and loneliness. Sometimes, you want something to offer hope, or buoy up your fighting spirit. Below, I’ve set out five songs that I love to listen to when I’m having a bad time.

Because this is a really huge post, I’m splitting it into two.  Keep your eyes peeled (what a weird phrase) for part 2 and another five songs shortly.

1) Head Above Water, by Avril Lavigne

I have been an Avril fan since I was a little quasi-emo teen. This song is definitely not classic Avril, but it really showcases her amazing vocal talent regardless. Written in the depths of her fear and hopelessness as she battled Lyme Disease, you know listening that this woman gets it. There’s despair, there’s hope, there’s pain, there’s resignation, there’s a cry for help. It has it all.

I’ve gotta keep the calm before the storm
I don’t want less, I don’t want more
Must bar the windows and the doors
To keep me safe, to keep me warm
Yeah, my life is what I’m fighting for
Can’t part the sea, can’t reach the shore
And my voice becomes the driving force
I won’t let this pull me overboard
God, keep my head above water
Don’t let me drown, it gets harder
I’ll meet you there at the altar
As I fall down to my knees
Don’t let me drown, drown, drown
Don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me drown
So pull me up from down below
‘Cause I’m underneath the undertow
Come dry me off and hold me close
I need you now, I need you most
God, keep my head above water
Don’t let me drown, it gets harder
I’ll meet you there at the altar
As I fall down to my knees
Don’t let me drown, drown, drown
Don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me drown
Don’t let me drown, drown, drown
Keep my head above water, above water
And I can’t see in the stormy weather
I can’t seem to keep it all together
And I, I can’t swim the ocean like this forever
And I can’t breathe
God, keep my head above water
I lose my breath at the bottom
Come rescue me, I’ll be waiting
I’m too young to fall asleep
God, keep my head above water
Don’t let me drown, it gets harder
I’ll meet you there at the altar
As I fall down to my knees
Don’t let me drown
Don’t let me drown (don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me drown)
Don’t let me drown (don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me drown)
Keep my head above water, above water

My favourite line: “So pull me up from down below, cause I’m underneath the undertow.  Come dry me off and hold me close, I need you now, I need you most.”

Listen when: you feel like no one understands

2) Heart Full of Scars, by Rebecca Black

This song isn’t about chronic illness, but it had such a fighter vibe. It’s about someone just owning their situation and doing what they need to get through it. It always peps me up a bit.

Stop
Don’t tell me how to feel
These scars will never heal
Overnight
I’m just searching for what’s real
It’s hard enough to deal
With life
Learn to say f*** it, take my time
Life’s a bitch but I’ll make it mine
Make it, make it, make it mine
Learn to take it as a sign
If you don’t like me, get in line
You won’t break me, break me with your lies
Sometimes you bleed for who you are
It’s hard to love with a heart full of scars
I won’t feed into your dark
I’ll keep loving with a heart full of scars
(Heart full of scars)
You’re never gonna keep me down
Doesn’t really matter what you’d say
I’m not living for yesterday
(Heart full of scars)
I’ve figured out how to turn it around
I’m learning how to bend, not break
A full life is give not take
(Heart full of scars)
Done with doubt and overthinking
Wait for it to sink in
I’m enough
Sick of try’na to be your perfect
The pain is never worth it
Never was
Learn to say f*** it, take my time
Life’s a bitch but I’ll make it mine
Make it, make it, make it mine
Learn to take it as a sign
If you don’t like me, get in line
You won’t break me, break me with your lies
Sometimes you bleed for who you are
It’s hard to love with a heart full of scars
I won’t feed into your dark
I’ll keep loving with a heart full of scars
(Heart full of scars)
You’re never gonna keep me down
Doesn’t really matter what you’d say
I’m not living for yesterday
(Heart full of scars)
I’ve figured out how to turn it around
I’m learning how to bend, not break
A full life is give not take
(Heart full of scars)
O-o-o-o-oh
O-o-o-o-oh
O-o-o-o-oh
O-o-o-o-oh
O-o-o-o-oh
O-o-o-o-oh
O-o-o-o-oh
O-o-o-o-oh
You’re never gonna keep me down
Doesn’t really matter what you’d say
I’m not living for yesterday
(Heart full of scars)
I’ve figured out how to turn it around
I’m learning how to bend, not break
A full life is give not take
(Heart full of scars)

 

Favourite line: “I won’t feed into your dark, I’ll keep on loving with a heart full of scars.”

Listen when: you need a pep up after someone gives you a hard time about your illness (even if it’s you)

3) Full of Grace, by Sarah McLachlan

Darling of the late 90s, Sarah McLachlan specialises in heartbroken, wistful songs. Full of Grace probably isn’t about endometriosis, but it perfectly captures the devastating impact endo can have on relationships.

The winter here’s cold and bitter
It’s chilled us to the bone
We haven’t seen the sun for weeks
To long too far from home
I feel just like I’m sinking
And I claw for solid ground
I’m pulled down by the undertow
I never thought I could feel so low
Oh darkness I feel like letting go
If all of the strength and all of the courage
Come and lift me from this place
I know I could love you much better than this
Full of grace
Full of grace
My love
So it’s better this way, I said
Having seen this place before
Where everything we said and did
Hurts us all the more
Its just that we stayed, too long
In the same old sickly skin
I’m pulled down by the undertow
I never thought I could feel so low
Oh darkness I feel like letting go
If all of the strength
And all of the courage
Come and lift me from this place
I know I could love you much better than this
Full of grace
Full of grace
My love

Favourite line: “I know I could love you much better than this.”

Listen when: you are sad about your relationship and want to wallow a bit (may make you sadder)

4) Where My Heart Will Take Me, Russell Watson

Like most people who know this song, I first heard it in the title sequence for Star Trek: Enterprise (a hugely underrated series, in my humble opinion).  It is very different from the title sequence of any other Star Trek, but I love it.  The sequence itself is a tribute to human innovation and our explorer’s spirit (as is the fan-made version above), but that’s a story for another day.  This is about the song.  It’s a song that always fills me with hope, courage to continue, and makes me think that maybe something better is just around the corner.  It inspires me to keep going.  It’s just very positive.

The original title sequence was a very truncated version of the song – the one I’ve put here is the full version.

It’s been a long road
Getting from there to here
It’s been a long time
But my time is finally near
And I can feel the change in the wind right now
Nothing’s in my way
And they’re not gonna hold me down no more
No, they’re not gonna hold me down
‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got faith to believe
I can do anything
I’ve got strength of the soul
And no one’s gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I’ve got faith
I’ve got faith, faith of the heart
It’s been a long night
Trying to find my way
Been through the darkness
Now I finally have my day
And I will see my dream come alive at last
I will touch the sky
And they’re not gonna hold me down no more
No, they’re not gonna change my mind
‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got faith to believe
I can do anything
I’ve got strength of the soul
And no one’s gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I’ve got faith, faith of the heart
I’ve known the wind so cold, I’ve seen the darkest days
But now the winds I feel, are only winds of change
I’ve been through the fire and I’ve been through the rain
But I’ll be fine
‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got faith to believe
I can do anything
I’ve got strength of the soul
And no one’s gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got strength of the soul
No one’s gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I’ve got faith
I’ve got faith, faith of the heart
It’s been a long road

My favourite line: “I’ve got faith to believe I can do anything”

Listen when: You need someone to believe in you

5) Healing Incantation, sung by Mandy Moore in Tangled

I’m a big fan of Disney, and Tangled is, if not my favourite, definitely near the top of the list for me.  It’s so pretty!  Flynn is so funny!  Gothel is so wicked!  Rapnuzel’s hair!  The lanterns!  I love it.

Anyway, this song really, really resonates with me.  When she sings it, I think along with it like a prayer.

Flower, gleam and glow
Let your power shine
Make the clock reverse
Bring back what once was mine
Heal what has been hurt
Change the Fates’ design
Save what has been lost
Bring back what once was mine
What once was mine

Favourite line: “Bring back what once was mine”

Listen when: You really, desperately want healing