Music Monday: Start it All Over Again

Music Monday!

It’s not Monday*, and I don’t even care.

Music can be a great source of comfort and inspiration when you’re feeling down.

Today’s song is: “Start it All Over Again” by Heidi Talbot

Listen to the song here:

Lyrics:

“I’m the sea that surrounds you
The garden that grounds you
The sun and the wind and the rain
I am every season
You’re every reason
To start it all over again

Soon you’ll sail a wild river
We’ll set sail together
And oceans will call out your name
And by stars you will follow
Your hopes for tomorrow
And start it all over again

And if you stagger or stumble
If dreams start to crumble
I’ll pick up the pieces of pain
I will cradle you cry with you
Pray that you’ll try to just
Start it all over again

Who has eyes that can see
All the things you could be?
Who has ears for the sweetest refrain?
May your heart sing forever
Where the sea meets the river
And start it all over again”

Why this song’s so cool:   Don’t think I could say it better than this guy in the comments: “Makes me feel like I’m in The Shire, smoking a pipe with Gandalf. In a good way.” – Dane Cobain

Oh, HEY, apparently he has a website about writing and music…. 🙂 http://danecobain.com/
And also a fun book blog!!  http://www.socialbookshelves.com/about/

I guess I could only add that if I could marry someone’s voice, it might be Heidi Talbot’s.

Why this song’s helpful: Still don’t think I could say it better than this other guy in the comments: “With a little faith, this lovely song allows for hope beyond what at times feels as if there is only hopelessness.” – Legrand Bakker

No website for this deep thinker. 🙁


More about Heidi Talbot:

http://www.heiditalbot.com/

More about the Mahogany Sessions:

About

*It feels like a Monday to me…

Music Monday: Something to Sing About

Music Monday!

Music can be a great source of comfort and inspiration when you’re feeling down.

Today’s song is: “Something to Sing About” from Once More With Feeling, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode.

Listen to the song here:

Lyrics:

“Life’s a show and we all play a part
And when the music starts,
We open up our hearts

It’s all right if some things come out wrong.
We’ll sing a happy song
And you can sing along.

Where’s there’s life,
There’s hope.
Everyday’s
A gift.
Wishes can
Come true.
Whistle while
You work.
So hard
All day.

To be like other girls
To fit in in this glittering world.
Don’t give me songs.
Don’t give me songs.

Give me something to sing about.
I need something to sing about.

Life’s a song
You don’t get to rehearse.
And every single verse
Can make it that much worse.

Still my friends
Don’t know why I ignore
The million things or more
I should be dancing for.

All the joy
Life sends.
Family
And friends.
All the twists
And bends
Knowing that
It ends.
Well that
Depends…

On if they let you go,
On if they know enough to know

That when you bow
You leave the crowd.

There was no pain,
No fear, no doubt
Till they pulled me out
Of heaven.

So that’s my refrain.
I live in hell
’Cause I’ve been expelled
From heaven.
I think I was in heaven.

So give me something to sing about.
Please give me something.

Life’s not a song.
Life isn’t bliss.
Life is just this.
It’s living.
You’ll get along.
The pain that you feel
Only can heal
By living.
You have to go on living.
So that one of us is living.”

Why this song’s so cool:  Sure – let’s do another Buffy song.  Because they’re great!

Everyone feels like they’re just faking their way through life, hoping nobody notices we’re all just big frauds with no clue what we’re doing. When this feeling gets to be too overwhelming, we can get a bit frantic and spin out of control as we try to grasp anything to hold on to. Buffy LITERALLY spins out of control and almost combusts. But she is saved from an unexpected source, Spike. Which is great because sometimes you can’t predict who or what is going to help you.

Plus I wouldn’t have wanted to see that SUPER CUTE shirt she was wearing to be destroyed.

Why this song’s helpful: Once again, Buffy expresses her struggle to fit in and be ‘normal.’ She is lost and directionless and frustrated about feeling that way when she didn’t used to feel that way.  She doesn’t know how to communicate with her friends, she doesn’t feel like they understand. In addition, she feels extremely guilty for not feeling more happy and grateful that she’s alive. She is trying so hard to focus on the positive and to find something to be happy and sing about, but it is just not working.  That’s not her fault. Sometimes you do everything right, and you still don’t succeed.  Isn’t that a Star Trek quote…? Anyway, so Buffy is trying to fake her way through her life and just pretend that she is experiencing happiness, when the reality is that she constantly feels like she is in hell, that is what depression feels like.


About the musical episode:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0533466/

The Buffy wiki page:

http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Once_More,_with_Feeling

a Daylio in the Life

Daylio is the name of a free habit-tracking app that I find really helpful.


Every day you do your daily check-in, you customize activities and then check them off if you do them that day.  Easy as that.

The best part is that the app generates statistics based on your entries.  You can look at different activities and moods on a calendar, a chart, and more! ooohhhhhh color-coordination! Such fun!

My best best-day streak yet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see which days you are most consistently happy, and which days you are more often sad (probably Mondays, amirite!?)  Weirdly for September so far I seem to be saddest on the weekends?

In addition, you can look at data about how your mood correlates to the activities you do.  For example, you may discover that on bad days, you frequently eat junk food.  Of course, who knows if you’re eating junk food because you’re feeling bad or if you’re feeling bad because you’re eating junk food? It’s correlation, not causation.

heeeyyyy – I am happy on days I write! Or I write on days I’m happy! whatevs….
ooOOooo look how much I meditate! I am fancy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With this super fun app, you can work on improving good habits, eliminating bad habits, and becoming more aware of how your activities affect your mood and vice versa.  Huzzah!

and now I can check my little ‘writing’ bubble AND my ‘blog’ bubble for today!

Music Monday: Going Through the Motions

Music Monday!

Music can be a great source of comfort and inspiration when you’re feeling down.

Today’s song is: “Going Through the Motions” from Once More With Feeling, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode.

Listen to the song here:

Lyrics:

“Every single night, the same arrangement,
I go out and fight the fight.
Still I always feel this strange estrangement,
Nothing here is real, nothing here is right.

I’ve been making shows of trading blows,
Just hoping no one knows,
That I’ve been going through the motions,
Walking though the part,
Nothing seems to penetrate my heart.

I was always brave and kind of righteous,
Now I find I’m wavering.
Crawl out of your grave, you find this fight
Just doesn’t mean a thing

(Henchman) She ain’t got that swing.

(Buffy) -pause- Thanks for noticing.

(Demon & Henchmen) She is pretty well with fiends from Hell
But lately we can tell
That she’s just going through the motions
Faking it somehow.

(Demon) She’s not even half the girl she…owww!

(Buffy) Will I stay this way forever?
Sleepwalk through my life’s endeavor?

(Handsome Young Man) How can I repay…?

(Buffy) Whatever!
I don’t want to be
Going through the motions,
Losing all my drive.
I can’t even see,
If this is really me,
And I just wanna be alive.”

Why this song’s so cool:  At this point in Buffy’s story line, Buffy is really struggling to readjust to ‘normalcy,’ cause… you know… she DIED.  Also, when she was dead, she was in some version of heaven.  Her friends brought her back to life because they thought she was trapped in a horrible hell dimension, but in all actuality, she was safe and at peace. It’s just a very fun song that packs an emotional punch.  It’s a great way to visualize the feelings of depression as something more tangible, even if it is fantasy-based.

Why this song’s helpful: Buffy’s feelings are so applicable to someone struggling with depression.
Season six is probably Buffy’s darkest season.  And this makes her especially relevant for those struggling with depression.  Buffy doesn’t enjoy the things she used to, she struggles accomplishing basic, everyday tasks, no one understands why she is so sad and changed and her friends want her to just get over it already.  She feels lost, alone, guilty, worthless, helpless, empty, directionless: THESE ARE LITERALLY SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION.  She doesn’t know who she is anymore, and that is what depression feels like.

About the musical episode:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0533466/

The Buffy wiki page:

http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Once_More,_with_Feeling

Apps for Naps

Apps for Naps:

THESE ARE ALL FREE (with options to upgrade, cause that’s how apps work)

Calm: The only app I actually paid for. This app has tons of music, meditations, and sleep stories to help with insomnia. I believe the free version had three or four sleep stories, and some basic meditations as well as “The 7 days of calm,” a week-long series of guided meditations focused on relaxation.  It keeps track of your statistics and has a variety of background moving images with sounds you can choose to activate or not. I tried the free app for about a month and really loved it! It quickly became an integral part of my night-time sleep ritual.  Finally, I made an investment in my well-being and bought a year-long subscription.  Totally worth it. The meditations are organized into categories such as ‘relationships,’ ‘calming anxiety,’ ‘forgiveness,’ and ‘deep sleep,’ then time, and most of them are guided – great for a beginner like me!  They also have many 7-day programs on different topics: ‘7 days of managing stress,’ 7 days of gratitude,’ ‘7 days of self-esteem,’ and more!  The sleep stories are awesome! They have a variety of readers reading a variety of types of stories of variety of lengths in soothing voices.

My favorite non-fictions are “Blue Gold,” a story read by Stephen Fry about harvesting lavender in France, “Scotland’s Hidden Hideaways,” a history of the bothies (free adapted shelters for hikers and travelers) of Scotland read by May Charters (yes, she has an accent!), and ‘The Sequoia,’ a nature essay about the Sequoia tree written by John Muir!  My favorite fiction sleep stories are many! They have Greek myths, childhood favorites, fairy tales and more! The Dragon Tamers by Edith Nesbit is my favorite new story!  I even bought her biography! But I am almost too into the sleep story to be able to fall asleep! Fortunately, the app provides a vast range in level of monotony.  There’s one story that is just the British shipping forecast.  “Dr. Orma’s Sleep Science” is also a great non-fiction one to listen to when your especially frustrated about sleep – it reassures you and dispels common myths about insomnia.  This app really makes me feel better about the time I spend in bed, not sleeping.  Because I am meditating during that time, I can see that I am accomplishing SOMETHING.

Relax Melodies – This app has a free 5 day meditation program to help you manage your sleep better and stay asleep longer so you wake up well rested and energized.  It teaches you about the benefits of meditation and each 10-minute meditation is designed to guide you to sleep.  There are a couple other meditation programs on this app that provide you with the first few free as well.  You can create your own custom combination of relaxing sounds to lull you to sleep and set them on a timer length of your choosing.  I didn’t know there were types of noise other than ‘white noise,’ but apparently there exists ‘pink noise’ as well as ‘brown noise?’ (Sounds gross…lol)  The melodies included are fairly simple and repetitive, but they get the job done.  They also include isochronic tones and binaural beats if you’re into that.

Atmosphere – An app to customize your atmosphere, this helpful tool provides a variety of sound options organized by environment.  So you can choose to hear rain as it sounds on the beach, in the forest, in the city, etc. You can also import your own sounds, program favorite combinations, and set the timer for whenever you want.  Like Relax Melodies, this app also includes binaural and isochronic sounds that are supposed to help reduce stress and anxiety and stimulate creativity and mental clarity.  There are some unusual sounds – who wants to fall asleep to the sound of construction, sirens, or a rooster? But hey – whatever floats your boat!

Sweet Sleep – This is another free app for your phone and/or tablet that plays soothing sounds and music. My favorite is ‘lullaby of the forest’ combined with ‘gentle rain’ and ‘morning beach.’  You can customize melody/nature sound combinations, adjust the volume of each one in your mix, and set them on a timer.  This app has somewhat more variety in music choices, which is nice.  And they are less repetitive as well in addition also too.

Forest – Not specifically for napping, but if one of your sleep-related obstacles is your phone, this can definitely help. Basically this app helps you reduce the wasting time on your phone, keeping you focused and in the present..  I tend to just browse or play games on my phone at night when I should be trying to sleep.  And we all know electronic devices are supposed to be a no-no at bedtime! With this app, you choose an amount of time to commit to being phone-free and you plant a ‘tree.’ As long as you leave your phone alone during this time the tree grows and flourishes.  But if you interact with your phone, your tree dies 🙁 and your forest is ugly. With your rewards you can buy fun trees shaped like octopi, or made out of candy, or with awesome treehouses in them.  ALSO, If you plant enough trees in your forests, the app is partnered with a tree planting organization that will plant a real tree! (Alas, I’m not focused enough for that yet…) But it is also a great way to commit to focusing on getting daily tasks done, studying more efficiently, working, etc.!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….