Have you ever seen memes like this? I relate so hard. Sometimes when I’m sad, I have to take a deep dive into that space and just exist there for a while. I laugh about it, but there’s truly something cathartic about the whole experience.
Since my mom’s passing, I have compiled a small playlist of songs that have the power to send me into my grief. Every once in a while I discover a new one and add it to the list–but not just any sad song will do. I need songs that tap into the depth of my loss, the power of my mom and I’s relationship, and that have the unique ability to break down my mental walls. Sometimes its an entire song, other times its a single line. I think a lot of us find relief this way; there’s something about powerful music that not much else compares to.
Early on, I struggled to find music that really spoke to me. So, I thought I would share the songs that not only give me relief, but touch my heart unlike most others. You can follow my playlist on Spotify, or feel free to just snag the songs that move you. Regardless, I hope this is a resource for someone who needs it.
My Top 10
Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran — This was the opening song I chose for a slideshow at my mom’s funeral. I knew it was the one instantly; in the first few lines, he mentions both supermarket flowers and pouring out old tea–lines that took me back to experiences I had immediately after the accident. My mom always had flowers from her favorite florist at the farmer’s market down the road from her house. She had also been on a kick of making her own tea for the couple of months leading up to the accident. Almost every morning she would boil a huge pot of water and make entire pitchers of tea to keep in the fridge–sometimes she would forget about the pot and let it boil for hours until all of the water evaporated leaving only burnt tea bags. I can remember standing in her kitchen, days after the accident, pouring out a pitcher of old tea and just sobbing over the sink. The rest of the song follows suit–it’s sad, it’s heavy, but it’s positive–exactly like my own experience of grief.
I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe — This song. This flipping song. I think every day for a month I would turn this song on over the entire house speakers, get in my mom’s shower, and just belt this song out through my tears. God was beside me nonstop for those first few months–carrying me through each and every moment when I couldn’t carry myself.
Miss You All The Time by O.A.R. — Whew. I remember the first time I heard this song. It was on the radio as I was on my way to a lecture–needless to say, I had to take a moment before walking onto campus. There are too many lines in this song that hit home to mention. But it especially holds a special place in my heart because on my first visit to Nashville I attended a free outdoor concert where I was surprised with O.A.R. as the headliner. One of those full circle moments, you know?
Drowning by Chris Young — Oof. This one sends me. I was shocked the first time I heard this song on the radio. It had just released and for some reason, I just couldn’t wrap my brain around a brand new song summing up my grief so well. This is truly the lyrical explanation of what diving deep into your grief feels like.
When You Love Someone (Acoustic) by James TW — If you are a child of divorce, I warn you to listen to this one with caution. It has nothing to do with the loss of my mom but it HITS. This has actually been a song in my repertoire for years. I remember the first time I played it for my mom, it moved her to tears as well. It’s just a raw, beautiful song about the unfortunate realities of life.
Hey Mama by Hollyn A friend of mine sent me this song, and boy am I so glad she did. Everything about it is so relatable as a daughter without a mother.
Happy & Sad by Kacey Musgraves — If you’ve ever lost someone significant enough to throw your life off track for a while, then you know how wrong it can feel once you start to feel happiness again. This song illustrates that feeling perfectly.
Two of Us by Louis Tomlinson I feel this song on another level. Being that she passed so young, I find myself thinking about all the things she had left to do–all the memories we would make together. But I know she would never want me to dwell on thoughts of that nature, instead, I imagine her feelings would want something similar to what Tomlinson describes here.
Parallel Line by Keith Urban — One time this song came on the radio while my mom and I were riding in the car together. I reached over to turn it up, but just before touching the dial I said, “I do not care for Keith Urban but I LOVE this song”. She looked at me with excited eyes and explained she felt the exact same way. We laughed and sang it aloud together.
Monday Morning Merle by Cody Johnson — Ugh. I. Love. Cojo. I absolutely love this song. Its smooth, it flows, it just makes me feel peaceful. I relate to it a lot because early on I struggled to tap into my grief during the week; I was so busy and stressed that it wasn’t until the weekend that I could release the grief that had built up all week long. This is the kind of song I can put on, dance around the kitchen with a glass of wine, and immediately feel better.