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Playlist of the Week: Songs of Hope

When going through my repertoire and personal playlists to put this post together, I noticed that many songs, if not all, had some message of finding or losing hope within them. The overall message of hope can be dependent on personal circumstances, so there are such a myriad of options out there for music therapists to draw upon when working with a variety of clients, from youth at risk, substance abuse, oncology, rehabilitation, and other populations.I hope you enjoy these examples and that they can be useful to you in your practice. I also encourage readers to make their own personal 'Songs of Hope' playlist, and use it purposefully when you may be feeling like you are running low on hope. You may want to make a playlist of, for example, 10 songs, where the first 5 are more reflective of feelings of hopelessness, and the last 5 reflect regaining hope. It is so important to ride out the low emotions to get to the positive ones.

I hope you enjoy these examples:

1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Judy Garland

Lyric: Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue

And the dream that you dare to dream

really do come true.

2. Imagine - John Lennon

Lyric: You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one

3. One Day - Matisyahu

Lyric: Sometimes in my tears I drown

But I never let it get me down

So when negativity surrounds

I know some day it'll all turn around

4. The Climb - Miley Cyrus

Lyric: Every move I make feels

Lost with no direction

My faith is shaking, but I

Gotta keep trying

Gotta keep my head held high

5. Hope - Natasha Bedingfeild

Lyric: Remember morning always comes

As night surrenders to the sun

No matter how dark it may become

Don't stop your light from shining on

6. Here's Hope - Owl City

Lyric: Here's hope (Here's hope) Showing up at your front door Here's hope (Here's hope) Yeah what's everybody looking for

7. Keep Holding On - Avril Lavigne

Lyric: And it feels like the end

There's no place to go

You know I won't give in

No, I won't give in

Keep holding on'

Cause you know we'll make it through

8. In My Blood - Shawn Mendes

Lyric: Help me, it's like the walls are caving in

Sometimes I feel like giving up

No medicine is strong enough

Someone help meI'm crawling in my skin

Sometimes I feel like giving up

But I just can't

It isn't in my blood

9. High Hopes: Kodaline

Lyric: But I've got high hopes, it takes me back to when we started

High hopes, when you let it go, go out and start again

High hopes, ooh when it all comes to an end

But the world keeps spinning around

10. Don't Stop Believing

Lyric: Some will win, some will lose

Some were born to sing the blues

Oh, the movie never ends

It goes on and on, and on, and on

11. Only Hope: Mandy Moore

Lyric: There's a song that's inside of my soul

It's the one that I've tried to write

Over and over again

I'm awake in the infinite cold

But you sing to me over and over and over again

12. Let it Be: The Beatles

Lyric: And when the night is cloudy

There is still a light that shines on me

Shine until tomorrow

Let it be

13. Rise Up - Andra Day

Lyric: When the silence isn't quiet

And it feels like it's getting hard to breathe

And I know you feel like dying

But I promise we'll take the world to its feet

And move mountains

We'll take it to its feet

And move mountains

14. Hold On - Good Charlotte

Lyric: Hold on, if you feel like letting go Hold on, it gets better than you know

15. When You Believe - Maria Carey & Whitney Houston

Lyric: There can be miracles

When you believe

Though hope is frail ,It's hard to kill

Who knows what miracles

You can achieve

When you believe, somehow you will

You will when you believe

Songwriting Intervention Idea

Some of the songs listed above, reflect the theme of hope on a global level, not just an individual level. These themes often come up in group music therapy if there has recently been a tragedy, either close to home or afar. I have found in working with seniors, that when these tragedies occur, they can often trigger emotions and memories of their experiences living through the war.

A songwriting intervention that I have used in this group setting is changing the lyrics to the song 'One Love' by Bob Marley and having each participant contribute a line as to what they hope for the world and for the future. These lines get replaced with the verses, and then the group sings the chorus of the song together.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead!

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