Posted in Mental Health

Songs for my Bipolar Experience

Music is a really important tool in how I connect to the world; I have music or a podcast playing nearly all the time for sensory reasons. Like with all creative arts, music can help us connect to others, express our experiences, and change or reflect our moods. There are some things about my experience that I feel communicated in songs more deeply than I ever good in words of my own. 

So today I thought I’d share a playlist of sorts with songs that I feel connect with parts of my experience with bipolar disorder. They may be helpful in understanding what it’s like for someone else, or yourself, but they’re also really great songs so I would recommend giving them a listen! But obviously music can be quite powerful in how it makes us feel, so please use your own discretion. Let me know what you think of them in the comments below, and if you relate with any yourselves.

  1. Control by Halsey 

Captures that feeling of dangerous energy that comes along with my experience; the desire and lack of control 

  1. Piano Sonata No.14 in C# minor, Op.27 No.2, Moonlight – Presto (aka. Moonlight Sonata Movement 3)

My favourite version is played by Daniel Barenboim, I think he really conveys the emotion of the music. Such a beautiful piece of music that encapsulates the feeling of (hypo)mania for me, the energy and beauty and pain – I can find all of it in this piece 

  1. Light of Love by Florence and The Machine 

This song resonates with a sense of healing for me, and gives me the power to keep going sometimes. It helps remind me that I am still me inside

  1. The Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel 

I know it’s become a bit of a meme song but the lyrics and harmonies of this song are truly amazing. I find it resonates with my experience of depression, especially the feeling of slipping back there again 

  1. A Reason to Fight by Disturbed 

I mean the title says it all really. A powerful message of support and willing to stay and fight when it all gets too much 

  1. Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell 

In my opinion one of the best songs ever written. It has so much love, care, and growth in it and resonates with me differently every time I hear it. It reminds me of how I feel I change and grow through each episode, and the wholeness and seasons of life 

  1. I Miss the Mountains from Next to Normal 

This musical is about a family where the mother has bipolar disorder and this song captures a sentiment I don’t hear talked about very often – that you can actually wish to go back to a time when it was worse. There’s a certain numbness and difficulty in adjusting to being ‘ok’ and a grief of life not lived, and this song really holds that message in a gentle way 

  1. Girl Anachronism by The Dresden Dolls 

This song represents so much of the feelings of (hypo)mania for me, and what that itchy energy is like, not only at the time but also how the illness as a whole makes you feel set apart from the rest of the world sometimes; how it is a huge part of our lives and our identities

  1. A Safe Place to Land by Sara Bareilles 

This song is comforting to me in a lot of situations, especially when I’m overwhelmed or hopeless. It’s full of support and helps me feel held; like it can get better again. It reminds me I’m not alone

  1. listen before i go by Billie Eilish 

Really encapsulates a feeling of hopelessness in depression 

  1. She Used to Be Mine from Waitress 

This song has been so immensely important to me on my journey, especially with addiction recovery (something a lot of people with bipolar struggle with). It holds both grief for who we used to be and a desire to fight and become who we can be. I just love it. 

  1. Quiet from Matilda The Musical 

Again this really carries the sense of what it is like in my brain when mania starts to kick in, thoughts flowing from one to the next so quickly and loudly and how that can bring such anger. But also the calm end to the song captures a part of my experience I can’t even explain but is so very very real, and almost beautiful 

  1. Everybody Hurts by R.E.M

Comforting and well known, I listened to this song on repeat as I was dragging myself out of one of my first depressive episodes 

  1. Sky Full of Song by Florence + the Machine 

Somehow carries a sense of both depression and mania for me – the exhaustion from going and going, pretending to be ok, not knowing you’re not etc etc. It is a song of pause and reconnection to myself 

  1. Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley 

Obviously there are many other versions of this song but the feeling this version gives me is unrivalled. It mirrors that desperation of that desperation in depression for me, without actually making me feel depressed listening to it 

  1. Clown by Emeli Sandé

Feel like it spans a lot of different experiences in life and trying to reckon with them, but for me it also helps process the difficult feelings that come with facing the consequences of things that have happened/ you’ve done in an episode (or in addiction)

If you liked this post, please let me know as I have many other songs that resonate with different parts of my experience and I love sharing them! Sending love and support as always xxx


A young person trying to make the tiniest difference in the world, and finding my voice

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