Another month is here, which means it’s time for another round of albums that have helped us in our struggles with mental illness. We find that music can be an incredible place of peace for us within our struggles with mental illness. Albums can offer us a place where we can connect with someone else’s story for at least a little bit. They are way-stations of mental ease that can help us get through each and every day. These albums are here to help give you something to listen to and connect with. While these may not be your type of music you like to listen to, we hope that you can appreciate the work and the message behind it, and we hope you can find some kind of relief in hearing these stories. 

I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning by Bright Eyes

Releasing in 2005, this album marked the sixth LP release for the band. The album is a story of sadness, joy, and triumph. It presents a biting, often sarcastic, commentary on America’s society and state. It begins with a sharp criticism of how our lives are led, the focuses in them, and how we blindly follow the things that we shouldn’t. It details real, truly real, love stories and how they are not fairy tales at all. It gives us a very honest look into life as it details the relationships that form during troubling times, and how they can offer us a juxtaposition to the horrors that are going on in the world around us. The lead singer, Conor Oberst, uses brutally honest, yet poetic, lyrics to tell these stories in a way that draws us in. His acoustic, folk-rock sound keeps us going and is the perfect companion to his lyricism. Even fourteen years later, this album is still hard-hitting, poignant, and all too relatable in today’s times. It’s a timeless piece of art that deserves several listens. 

Everything in Transit by Jack’s Mannequin

Beginning as music he wrote on the side as he sang for punk rock staple, Something Corporate, Andrew McMahon began to create something more when the band went on a break. Soon after, he was diagnosed with leukemia and the project became something more for him; it became a vessel for him to put his emotions and thoughts into melodies. This is how Jack’s Mannequin began. More or less a solo project for McMahon, this first album was released and told a harrowing story of trying to survive and keep living in this world. It talks of not only the struggles of a young man faced with his own mortality at too young of an age, but also of just being young and growing up. Coming to terms with the world, what we have to do to make our way through it, and how hard it is to just be human sometimes. He’s honest in his emotions, insightful in his lyrics, and genius in his piano hooks. The album became a staple in the indie scenes, cementing McMahon as a powerhouse in the genre; a never-flinching artist who isn’t afraid to examine the dark parts of life. Its words detail a somber, yet hopeful, outlook on life and how we can all manage the hardships in it. 

Forever Halloween by The Maine

When the punk rock band from Arizona just began, they became a pop-punk synonym, having released the hit “Girls Do What They Want” that was playing on so many teenage radios. But as their career continued, they began to break away from that image, experimenting with their sound and looking for something more. This became the most evident in their fourth studio album released in 2012. This album embraced their darker side and became a commentary on the darker parts of our minds. Still present were the catchy riffs and hooks, but now there was some dark elements to it. Whether it be the actual lyrics of the songs or the quiet undertones that lay beneath the notes, there is a sinister feeling that permeates throughout the album from beginning to end. Just as the band had done with themselves and their music, the album challenges us to look at ourselves and face the dark. They don’t want you to give into it but they want to acknowledge that it’s there and that there is something powerful in that acceptance. 

We hope you have enjoyed these monthly recommendations. For a lot of us, these albums, and the songs on them, have been companions through our journeys to recovery and beyond. We hope you can see the beauty in what has been crafted on them and find some kind of connection within the runtime. However you find your connection, we hope they bring you as much happiness and meaning as these albums have for us. 

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]