Songs That Saved My Life – High Fives & Stage Dives edition

We take Hopeless Records’ compilation albums and share our own life-saving tracks. 

“Now who’d have thought that after all,
Something as simple as rock ‘n’ roll would save us all.”
– Frank Turner

Today marks world suicide prevention day, and whilst we could share the awful stats of men and women, boys and girls, seeing no other way out every year, we’d like to focus on prevention and action. Hope For The Day have launched a Stigma Swear Jar this year, where you can tell stigma how you really feel and donate to help HFTD run their proactive suicide prevention and mental health education programmes.

In 2018, Hopeless Records a series of covers for Songs That Saved My Life, now a 2 volume LP series, to showcase how much music can benefit our mental health for bands and fans. Everyone has tracks that helped them through a tough time, Songs That Saved My Life benefits charities such as Hope For The Day, The Trevor Project, To Write Love On Her Arms and Crisis Text Line. (For the UK, please check out MIND charity and CALM for info and help on mental health and suicide prevention).

With Songs That Saved My Life in mind, we took a look at all the songs and bands that have helped us through various tough times throughout the years and we hope you can also find some comfort in them in some way. Words by our founder and editor in chief Marie. Share your life-saving songs with us in the comments!

Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen could probably save my life by just reading the phone book to me. He’s the only god I accept and the only church I attend religiously every single day. Thunder Road holds a special place in my heart though. For every Springsteen show I’ve seen, Thunder Road always gives me the most goosebumps. There is nothing on this earth like a full stadium of Springsteen worshippers, hanging at his every word and singing at the top of their lungs as the man himself is on stage solo, with just a guitar and a harmonica. And then there’s those lyrics. Never have I heard a song with more poetic lyrics – “There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away, they haunt this dusty beach road in skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolet. They scream your name at night on the street, their graduation gown lies in rags at their feet…” How does he do it? We’ll never know. But it’s a little bit of magic.

The Gaslight Anthem – Here Comes My Man 

This one’s a special one. And although if Springsteen is god then Gaslight Anthem is Jesus, Brian Fallon has always had just a little more emo in his lyrics than Springsteen does. And when you get your heart broken into more pieces than its made of by a tool of a man Here Comes My Man blasted on loud and on repeat reminds you that he’s just a silly boy and not worth any of your tears, especially when he pretends he doesn’t know what happened. “Maybe time will tell you, why I’ve got so much hell to sell you, please please understand me, oh you can’t just dance around me. Maybe your work will love you when I’m just not there to hold you, maybe your pride can be your companion, but I just won’t be here to stand for it, not one moment will I stand for it.” YAS QUEEN! Empowerment at its best, I always loved Gaslight Anthem for knowing exactly how I feel at any time of the day and for wrapping it all in some good Jersey punk.

Dave Hause – Bearing Down

Dave Hause’s Bearing Down is a song that never fails to give me goosebumps and make me cry. Its powerful lyrics and references to the greats of our time that we’ve lost to suicide, make it such a striking track. Whenever I’ve heard it live, Dave has extensively talked about his own mental health struggles. And something that’s been taboo for so long for men to speak about their feelings, it’s so inspiring to see men like him kick stigma to the curb and if it saves just one soul in the room he’s accomplished more than he knows, so speaking of music that saves lives, Dave Hause is pretty much up there, because music saved his live too.

All Time Low – Kids In The Dark

Pop-punk much like emo, has been exceptional at talking about mental health struggles. And alongside songs like Missing You, Baltimore quartet All Time Low have always held a special place in my pop-punk heart. Kids In The Dark is the perfect description of how we felt when we were younger, and how many kids feel now. Left alone because you’re moody, your friends thinking you’re a bit weird for liking weird bands, all that stuff. But knowing at the same time, I was 29 when the song came out, that it gets better and there will be kids who understand you, even if you don’t meet them until you’re in your twenties.

Famous Last Words – My Chemical Romance

Who’s live hasn’t MCR saved? Let’s be honest, all us little emo kids wouldn’t be the same without Gerard and Co giving us the music to get by. Blasted out so loud in your headphones you get looks on public transport, but with My Chemical Romance by your side you can master anything. Even to this day, when things are really stressful for me, the only ones who can make my head clearer are My Chem.

I am not afraid to keep on living
I am not afraid to walk this world alone

I Still Believe – Frank Turner

“And I still believe (I still believe) in the saints. Yeah, in Jerry Lee and in Johnny and all the greats. And I still believe (I still believe) in the sound,
That has the power to raise a temple and tear it down. And I still believe (I still believe) in the need, For guitars and drums and desperate poetry. And I still believe (I still believe) that everyone, Can find a song for every time they’ve lost and every time they’ve won.”

If you ever need someone to restore your faith in what music can do for people, Frank is your man. Never have I felt my love for music and live shows and crowds more than at a Frank Turner gig. And he’s always there to remind you that music can help you through all things in life, through heartache and heartbreak, it gives you the best friends and something to believe in.

Good Riddance – Green Day

Green Day’s Good Riddance always reminds me of my 18th birthday – my brother did a photo slide show for me and this was the last song he played. And to this day, we still every now and then remember that one version of the track where Billie Joe Armstrong messes up the first notes and starts again. Having lived abroad for most of my adult life, these songs that remind me of little things from home can be life savers when you’re feeling just a little too homesick.

The Handwritten Letter – As It Is

“You take my silences and make them less alone” is one of the best lines in a song that best describes what music does for most people. What is it about music that even when you listen to it on your own, you know there’s people out there who love this band or this song as much as you do and suddenly no matter how terrible you’re feeling, you know that someone at some time had the same terrible moment and might be going through the same thing.

So there you have it, a few of our live-saving songs, though there are many, many more we could swoon about forever. As the saying goes, “it’s only rock’n’roll but it feels like love”.