About ten years ago Dr. Gregg Jantz, who runs The Center, a Christian counseling center in Edmonds, Washington just north of Seattle, said to me “The next great wave to hit the United States over the next ten years is going to be depression.”
Not surprisingly then, one of the requests we have heard over and over in the last several years is, “Do you have songs for depression?”
Music for the Soul creates songs for the most difficult circumstances people face. So many of our songs – while not necessarily written with it in mind – have proven helpful to those who are battling depression.
Depression can be situational – perhaps the result of a shattered relationship, a death in the family, or the loss of a job. It can be trauma related – due to verbal or physical abuse, an assault, or a tragic accident. It can also be clinical – as in related to the biology of the brain.
Fortunately songs can help with depression in all of these categories.
Current neurological theories associate positive mood and effect with increased dopamine levels. That’s one of the reasons that many of the newer antidepressants act on the dopamine system.
Daniel Levitin, author of This is Your Brain on Music says, “The rewarding and reinforcing aspects of listening to music, seem…to be mediated by increasing dopamine levels.” He adds, “Music listening (has) been shown to help people overcome a broad range of psychological and physical problems.”
Greg Hasek, Director of Southwest Florida Christian Counseling in Bonita Springs, FL, uses music extensively in his practice, especially to help clients dealing with trauma.
“Songs and music do help with depression. Music is a tool that can aid in relieving or reducing depressive symptoms.”
Heidi Austel, one of our Music for the Soul care team members, has assembled an extensive list of songs she turns to that help her when she is feeling depressed.
“For me, music can do one of two things. On one hand, a soothing melody can turn down the volume on the self-condemnation of my racing thoughts,” Austel says.
“But more importantly, when I’m longing to make sense of my aching existence in light of my faith, lyrics that speak hope and truth combined with a melancholy melody have a miraculous power to gently usher my brain into a proper godly perspective.”
In our Music for the Soul presentations we often say that people put up walls of defense to protect themselves from pain. Words alone can often bounce off those walls of defense, not able to get through. Songs have a way of seeping though the cracks and softening the resistant heart.
Austel confirms this. “My spirit in depression is naturally resistant to anything anyone would say to me. But somehow, miraculously, music is granted access to my hardened heart. It gently peels back layers of self-preservation and whispers truths to me that I wouldn’t be able to hear any other way.”
One of the great heartaches for those experiencing depression is the loneliness of the experience. There is a longing for someone to understand the hurt and the pain. The song Every Single Tear says that God knows how you feel and understands, bringing comfort to the one who feels isolated and alone.
You feel insignificant
A whisper in the wind
Sometimes you think nobody knows your name
But there’s somebody watching over you
and He knows everything you’re going through
He sees every single tear
He feels everything you’re feeling
He wants to hold you close and dry your eyes
Your heart is what he hears
When the world just hears you crying
No matter what the pain, He cares
about every single tear
Overwhelmed by circumstances
out of your control
Hope can be the hardest thing to find
When you’re like a heart without a home
You don’t have to face this hurt alone
He sees every single tear…
If God adorns the Lilies of the field
and cares for every sparrow in the sky
How much more is He aware of your sorrow and despair
How much does He care about your life
He sees every single tear…
Based on one’s own personal story there may be many songs in the Music for the Soul catalog that will be helpful with depression. To see a listing of a dozen songs we’ve identified as helpful songs for depression go to the homepage and check the depression box in the search-by-topic section. Then click submit.
We hope the songs you find here will help lift your spirit.
God does see every single tear.