A graphic of the physical manifestation of catharsis. (Photo by Erika Jimenez)
A graphic of the physical manifestation of catharsis.

Photo by Erika Jimenez


April 15, 2019

Catharsis is the process of releasing and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions. My catharsis happens to be music. I constantly fill the void of emotions I’m going through with the tunes of various artist who are going through similar things. I get relief knowing that I’m not alone, even when it’s three am, and I’m sobbing on my bedroom floor to some sappy punk rock song that honestly makes no sense at any other time of the day. Life can be hard and putting things into words can be harder. Sometimes it’s just easier to listen. I’ve compiled a few songs that have helped me through my roughest hours, and I hope that they will help act as your own catharsis as well.


Time By Pink Floyd

This song introduces a man who feels as though all of his days are bleeding together. He’s doing the same old things and never ventures out to find his purpose. He expects things to come easily to him but as the years pass by, he’s still in the same place. Too late, he finds that in order to truly live you need to get out of your comfort zone. He’s lived his life doing insignificant nothings. As someone who lives in her comfort zone, this song is a scary wake up call to me. I have one more year left until I graduate and then it’s up to me to determine my future and that terrifies me. I hate change but it’s a necessary part of growing up.  


Fear of Intimacy By Zack Villere

For me, the hardest part of a relationship is allowing myself to become intimate with someone. Sharing parts of yourself that only you know with someone else is terrifying, and this song sheds light on that fear. This can be really disconcerting for people who see others in relationships being so close and vulnerable, so it shows myself and others it’s normal to lag behind in pace. Zack Villere does an amazing job showing how tough it can be accepting that it’s okay to share yourself and your emotions with the world and other people.


Dancing in a Burning Room By John Mayer

After wanting something for so long, your expectations tend to build up and your perspective on things can become idealized. When things don’t turn out the way you want, it can be disappointing and John Mayer does an amazing job painting a picture for this exact situation. He introduces the song by talking about his infatuation with the girl of his dreams and goes into his slight disappointment when it’s not as perfect as he expected. It’s a great spin on a classic love story.

Along with these three songs, here are a couple more with themes of heartache and emotional and mental battles that I recommend you listen to as well.


Love Song By Bad Luck

Private Fears In Public Places By Front Porch Step

Things That I Miss By Awfultune

Green Nail Polish By Told Slant

Zombie By The Cranberries

You’re My Girl (Lost Recording #6) By Mark Diamond

Lover Is a Day By Cuco

Slow Dancing in the Dark By Joji

Posthumous Release By Coma Cinema

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