Sadness is an emotion that we can often dismiss and overlook, but it is also an extremely powerful and important emotion. Like most people say, without sadness we would not know how amazing happiness can feel, and without sadness we would have no way of strengthening our character and even our souls sometimes.
While I have an insanely large catalogue of songs I turn to, I figured I would write about an old favourite of mine to start. This song might be a throwback for some, while being completely new to others. Tonight, I’m talking to you about “Stop This Train” by the amazingly talented John Mayer.
Many people turn to John Mayer for heartbreaks and love songs, but I’ve discovered that some of his music is best for the moments when you feel lowest and need some reassurance. Sometimes, the easiest way to get that is by letting the smooth and comforting sounds of an acoustic guitar and velvet voice ease your pain, while helping you feel like it will be okay in the end.
What makes “Stop This Train” such an amazing song to listen to is the combination of the light and hopeful melody partnered with some relatable and emotional lyrics. This is a song that makes you think and evaluate the situation you’re in, whatever it may be. Mayer’s comforting voice sings about being scared about the unknown aspect of the future and how quickly it always seems to be coming. It’s a concept that almost everyone thinks and worries about from time to time, and it’s definitely something that often pops in your head when you’re not feeling the happiest.
While the lyrics bring any and all emotions to the forefront to help you deal with them (sometimes cathartically, a la good cry), the pairing of the acoustic guitar and piano help remind your brain that this is not a forever feeling. The consistent melody and simplistic nature of the song itself lends extremely well to the “you’re going to be okay, just take a deep breath” feeling of the song. There is nothing extreme about the musical elements, only things that sound familiar and safe, much like the idea of going home that is sung about.
One of the memorable parts of the song is the last 30 seconds. When he sings about knowing he can’t ever stop the train of life it gives you a sense of hope and it’s when those lyrics hit your ears you take sigh in that deep and relieving way that only comes after you’ve finished crying out everything on your mind.
Often when we’re sad, our brain can convince us that the sadness will last forever and that it’s something that we might not be able to deal with. In times like this, I’ve found it works best to listen a song like Mayer’s because it’s okay to purposely listen to songs that make you cry. I think those songs are a super effective way of dealing with emotions like sadness because it gives you a chance to think about life and accept the momentary nature of the emotion. You’re able to safely experience the lows that sadness can bring because you know that there is a higher, happier point not far off in the distance.
What’s your #1 song that you go to when you’re sad? Let me know!
À la prochaine,