Getting my mojo back after a down-January

Getting back in my stride following a difficult month, and the music that helped get me there!

Depression… Anxiety… It comes as a surprise to those who meet me to discover that I have long suffered from depression and anxiety. In fact, it often comes as a surprise to those who have known me for a while. It's not something I am ashamed of, and for the majority of the time, with the help of medication, it is something that does not hamper my day-to-day life. However, as fellow sufferers will undoubtedly know, there will be occasions where everything starts to spiral. Early January was one of those occasions for me.

Unfortunately for me, it started with being ill. Surprisingly it was not Covid, but it turned out to be pneumonia and tonsillitis, and it really knocked me for six. It wasn't long before the old feelings started to emerge, and despite knowing it was coming, there was no stopping it. For the first time in four years of study, I needed to use an extension. Between the depression, anxiety and being generally ill, it was a miserable few weeks for me. However, experience has taught me that I need to keep pushing, and I want to share with you the music that helped me get my mojo back.

Before I get to the music, I must admit to being a big believer in how expressionist art, particularly music and film, can really affect your mood. It is not uncommon for a song or video clip to set off the waterworks, especially when my mood is low. However, on the flip side, they have the ability to help me get through difficult times. In addition to music, my go-to has long been the Rudyard Kipling poem 'If'. 

If by Rudyard Kipling

"If you can keep your head when all about you  

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,  

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too;  

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;  

    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;  

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same;  

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

    And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,  

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,  

    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

    If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,  

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,  

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!"

On to the music… I have had a variety of songs that I turn to when I need to get my mojo back, but never thought to create a playlist. I, therefore, decided to put some of the songs together into a playlist in the hope that it might help others!

The songs on the play list are as follows:

1. The Climb – Joe McElderry

2. Could Have Been Me – The Struts

3. Break Free – Ariana Grande & Zedd

4. Chop Suey! – System of A Down

5. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For – U2

6. Your Song Saved My Life – U2

7. Tubthumping – Chumbawamba 

8. Superheroes – The Script

9. One Call Away – Charlie Puth

10. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

11. Titanium – David Guetta and Sia

12. So What – P!nk

13. Ain't No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

14. This is Me – Keala Settle 

15. True Colors – Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake

16. One Day – Matisyahu 

17. All Star – Smash Mouth 

18. Bad Day – Daniel Powter

19. I'll Be There for You – The Rembrandts

20. Cups – Anna Kendrick 

21. Best Day of My Life – American Authors 

22. Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon

For those of you who might wish to get extra support, please visit the OU Students Association's support and advice page.  

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Gareth Jones


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