When I was a teenager, I loved listening to music.
Going to a high school that was specialized in music, it was always a huge part of my life. But the music I want to talk about here is not the one I sang in ensembles or by myself, the one I played on my piano, or the one I listened to in class or the symphony.
The songs I’d like to honor today are the ones that helped me regulate my beautiful, messy, all-over-the-place, hormone-driven emotions.
As teenagers, our worlds seem so big, and everything in it feels amplified.
At least that’s how I remember it. At times, the pain, the anger, the suffering I felt were unbearable.
Countless times, I’d turn up the volume of my now old school CD player in the corner of my attic room and sing along—simply for the sake of feeling myself more deeply.
When I look at the list of songs and musicians that used to help me so much, I now see that many of them took their lives.
Perhaps their pain became unbearable, and putting it into a song wasn’t enough anymore.
I believe that these bands and songs had such an impact because the musicians who wrote and performed them felt their pain so deeply that their music connected us to our own pain in a way nothing else could.
They made us feel heard and seen.
They made us feel less alone.
I can’t remember when I stopped using music to regulate myself emotionally the way I used to, and I’m trying to integrate it more into my life again.
In the meantime, I’d like to take you on a walk down memory lane.
Here’s a personal list of 2000s rock favorites that made my pain feel more bearable:
(And I invite you to add any songs in the comment section that sparked the same response in you.)
1. “Like a Stone” by Audioslave
2. “Numb” by Linkin Park
3. “Here in My Room” by Incubus
4. “Starlight” by Muse
5. “It’s been Awhile” by Staind
6. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash
7. “Anna Molly” by Incubus
8. “No Surprises” by Radiohead
9. “Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd
10. “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
11. “In the End” by Linkin Park
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