The beginning of May not only signifies the onset of the spring season, but something larger: Mental Health Awareness Month. Focusing on one’s mental soundness is something that should be prioritized and speculated not only during the month of May, but every waking day. While still amid a global pandemic, many spirits have been lowered, and negative attitudes have arisen. Social distancing has caused several individuals who deal with illnesses, such as clinical depression, bipolar and anxiety disorder, to fall back unto old, despondent attitudes. Though the thought of brighter days ahead is a treatment within itself, music is also a compensation for the time being. Here are eight songs sure to heighten one’s mood: 

“Stuck with U” by Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber

Beginning our Mental Health Awareness Playlist is the newly released single “Stuck with U.” The quarantine inspired song reminds us that while stuck inside, we still are fortunate enough to be surrounded by loved ones, whether it be a significant other, friends or family. The music video showcases not only Grande with her new beau, real estate tycoon Dalton Gomez, and Bieber with wife Hailey Bieber, but home videos of ordinary individuals grooving and enjoying the music. The two sing “I could stay here forever,” proving love is really all we need in this lifetime. 

“Life is Worth Living” by Justin Bieber

Beliebers, we have yet another JB track on the list. Released after going through a rough time in his life, “Life is Worth Living” emphasizes that after overcoming hardships, forgiveness and change is possible and that giving up is not the answer. He sings, “The meaning of forgiveness / People make mistakes / Doesn’t mean you have to give in / Life is worth living.” According to the World Health Association, approximately 1 million people die from suicide each year. Remember your worth, and don’t succumb to the evil in the world by persevering and helping lessen the suicide rates. 

“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen 

If you’re looking for an upbeat, encouraging tune, “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen is a classic resort. The track has listeners craving high energy, excitement and positive vibes. Freddie Mercury sings, “Don’t stop me now / ’Cause I’m having a good time/ I don’t wanna stop at all.” The song can assuredly force anyone out of a rut simply with its joyous lyrics and upbeat composition.

“Such Ease (feat. thegoodperry & Tyler Royale)” by Lil Yachty 

Many listeners who are feeling as if they are stuck in a static time of life where goals may seem unachievable should listen to “Such Ease.” Yachty prompts listeners to keep striving to accomplish their ambitions because he believes they are attainable. For instance, Yachty sings, “Told my brother just keep working; we gon’ leave ‘em all stunned / Look at us now.” For anyone looking for confidence and inspiration, Yachty’s song is the one. 

“Rise” by Katy Perry 

Clearly, the common theme among the playlist is persistence and triumph. Everyone can relate to facing adversity at some point in their life yet emerging stronger, which is the main message in the song “Rise” by Katy Perry. She sings, “When the fire’s at my feet again / And the vultures all start circling / They’re whispering, ‘you’re out of time’ / But still, I rise.” Refusing to conform and proving to others that one is resilient and more vehement than others’ assumptions and judgement is equivalent to being valiant, something most people — and those struggling with self acceptance — can connect to. 

“F**kin’ Perfect” by P!nk

In the age of social media, it is more than common to compare oneself to other influencers, models or even friends. The problem is, it has been said that we compare our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel. “F**kin’ Perfect” prods us to love ourselves and asks us to stop hating our bodies and overall selves. P!nk sings, “You’re so mean when you talk / About yourself; you were wrong / Change the voices in your head.” If you struggle with body positivity or self esteem, try to make a list of all of the traits you like about yourself and focus on those versus the ones you don’t while listening to the track.

“wish u the best (feat. Stalking Gia)” by blackbear

A more fun song on the list, with its middle finger in the air attitude and cocky confidence, is one that can easily remind one that they are better than anyone who doesn’t value their worth. By not sulking over what may seem like a loss and applying the lyrics, “I would wish you the best / But you already had it,” proves that whoever it is that may not appreciate you is the one who is losing because you will forever deserve more. 

“1-800-273-8255 (feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid)” by Logic

Lastly, one of the most paramount songs to ever be released places very heavy and real material regarding no longer wanting to live in the form of a song. Although it may begin on a depressing note by saying “I don’t wanna be alive / I just wanna die today,” eventually, the track ends with Logic singing, “I finally wanna be alive/ I don’t wanna die today.” For awareness purposes, the song startles many with its burdensome lyrics, forcing them to listen. If you are feeling as if your life is worthless and goes unnoticed, remember you are wanted, and it will get better.

Call 1-800-273-8255 if you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is. 

@emmadollenmayer

ed569918@ohio.edu