1. I'm not sure how many truly "hard times" I have faced. The hardest trial of my life so far has actually been watching other people face some tough realities and work their way through some difficulty.
2. Music is wonderful, but it's not going to be the difference between getting through a tough situation and giving up.
3. I listen to too many different artists and appreciate too many lyrics to give credit to just one. Therefore, I am going to make a list and I hope not to tread too much on the playlist topic still to come.
Music for when you're down:
Rachmaninoff - classical music filled with passion - I love getting lost in it. Just don't listen to Piano Concerto Number 2 - it will inevitably remind you of "All by Myself" which will defeat the purpose. Unless you wish to dwell, in that case, dwell away. This video is a humorous rendition illustrating some of his seemingly impossible chords.
Crooners - I don't know if it's because they included terrible puns in their lyrics, because they each had their own funny quirk, or because they loved to hear the sound of their voices too much, but I love them. Whether it's Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Mel Torme, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby, or any other names Wikipedia might include, when I need I lift - I often turn to them. Escapism at it's best.
Smile - My favorite song from any crooner, I felt the need to include Nat King Cole's version (all others fall short). Sometimes peppy music seems cliche when you're feeling somber. This song is real, it's honest, and it's beautiful.
Brandi Carlile - I don't know if I would call her music uplifting (well, some of it is), but I would say I have gained much perspective listening to the ideas she explores through music. I keep coming back and back to it. I would have included a song of hers, but I couldn't decide which one.
Be Ok - Ingrid Michaelson has a way of making me smile. Also, this song was recorded in an effort to raise money for cancer research. In that context it gains greater meaning, because when dealing with certain burdens the goal is not to feel happy, but just to feel normal.
Details in the Fabric - I feel ridiculously girly for including a Jason Mraz song, but whenever I start to feel overwhelmed (instead of counting to ten) I just recall to mind the simple, but soothing lyrics of this song.
That's Life - Michael Buble (yes, another crooner) singing an amazing song made famous by Sinatra. I love it. And don't worry, the image clears after a 15 seconds or so. It was hard to find a good version of the song on Youtube.