7 Songs to Foster a Quiet Hope
Hope is a fickle thing to hold on to. Everyone goes through trials in their lives and sometimes it can be particularly difficult to predict when they will end. Art in general, but music especially, is a great asset to use during those tough times. Life will never be perfect but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be perfect and beautiful moments. It is important to nurture a quiet hope - a feeling that recognizes that things are not okay but there is still the possibility that tomorrow may be better than today. I have compiled a list of seven songs that communicate this idea. I have also deliberately chosen to give them each their own description and video link rather than creating a playlist. Personally, I am a big fan of really consuming art and that means thinking about the lyrics, watching the video, and honestly reflecting on them. Enjoy!
1. “Time After Time” by Rob Thomas (Cover)
To kick of the list we have a beautiful cover of a classic song. Rob Thomas’s live vocals are flawless and I love the little speech he gives prior to his performance about searching for connections within music. In general this song has a bit of a melancholy tone but is still comforting; the “it’s okay” at the end exemplifies this nicely.
2. “Truce” by Twenty One Pilots
The message of this song is simple yet profound. It is essentially a plea to keep going even though times are tough because there is always tomorrow where we can try to make it better. The great thing about Twenty One Pilots is that although their lyrics are very heavy and heartfelt they do not make light of any issues, rather they convey a feeling of understanding and perseverance. The video for this song is especially moving with the juxtaposition between the lyrical content and the more upbeat visuals from live performances.
3. “These Hard Times” by Matchbox Twenty
This video is simple and beautiful, just like the song. My favorite part is when the music cuts out and it is just the vocals for a moment. This is not in the original studio version of the song and I think it adds something really special to the video. The choice to isolate the vocals is not often made in music and it really captures the listener’s attention in an earnest plea for them to believe that life will get better. Once the backing music stops, the singer (Rob Thomas) stares more directly into the camera, directly at the viewer, and the multi-color balloons start floating into the city life - introducing simple beauty into an otherwise mundane scene.
4. “Heavy” by Linkin Park
The artistry used in this song and video depict intense internal conflict and it is pretty impressive. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Sometimes our head is not a safe place to be. This is especially true for people with mental illnesses. This song and video portrays that struggle very well.
5. “Light in the Hallway” by Pentatonix
This is a gorgeous lullaby. It kind of leaves you with this bittersweet peacefulness that somehow still makes you smile. It is a reminder that you are never alone in whatever it is you are going through. Sometimes that can be comforting enough.
6. “Oh Ms. Believer” by Twenty One Pilots
This song is sad, and sweet, and beautiful. I once read a Tumblr post that described Tyler Joseph’s voice as the feeling you get when you are driving in the middle of the night and watching the street lights pass. That is a pretty accurate description.
7. "Someday" by Rob Thomas
To me, this song is what hope sounds like. It is so simple and earnest. It is not saying everything will magically be okay. It is merely saying that maybe someday, somehow, it will be. Sometimes that is all we can ask for.
For me, music makes me feel better in a way that almost nothing else can. These songs and the artists who recorded them are so important to me. It is so much more than just music. I would highly encourage everyone to find the music that speaks to them and use it as a tool to maintain mental health. Hopefully some of these songs can get you started!