Some days I need the music, some days I need the lyrics.


I’ve always been able to escape through635970319948640773-346724498_music music. No matter what I was struggling with, I could always find a song to help me cope or relate. I firmly believe that music has saved me from myself on more than one occasion. And even as I found myself drowning in the sea of encephalitis, I relied on the sweet escape of melody and lyrics to bring me through. I fell asleep listening to it, found comfort in it and even used it to communicate when my own words failed me.

I believe in the healing power of music with all my heart. And, so I’ve decided to compile a list of songs that have helped me through the various phases of autoimmune encephalitis and recovery. Note: My taste in music is eclectic at best, so there should be something for everyone here – I hope you find songs that comfort, inspire and even make you laugh. And please share the songs that have helped you get through hard times in the comments!

Below are links to each song and my favorite line from each of them. Click here for full YouTube playlist.

When you know something is wrong…

It’s a thief in the night to come and grab you / It can creep up inside you and consume you
A disease of the mind / It can control you / It’s too close for comfort…

Brain Damage | Pink Floyd
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too / I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
The lunatic is in my head / The lunatic is in my head
You lock the door / And throw away the key / There’s someone in my head but it’s not me…

Thriller | Micheal Jackson
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight

07926ba66a70b9b9e39d638c311fbb40Trying to ask for help…

I Need a DoctorSkylar Grey
I’m about to lose my mind / You’ve been gone for so long
I’m runnin’ outta time / I need a doctor, call me a doctor
I need a doctor, doctor to bring me back to life…

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me | Elton John
Don’t discard me
Just because you think I mean you harm
(Don’t discard me just because you think I mean you harm, no)
But these cuts I have
Oh, they need love to help them heal

Help! | The Beatles
(Now) And now my life has changed in oh so many ways / (My independence) My independence seems to vanish in the haze
(But) But every now (Every now and then) and then I feel so insecure
(I know that I) I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before
Help me if you can, I’m feeling down / And I do appreciate you being ’round / Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me

Dark SideKelly Clarkson
So don’t give up on me / Please remind me who I really am
Everybody’s got a dark side / Do you love me? / Can you love mine?

For caregivers and loved ones…

Calling All Angels | Train
I need to know that things are gonna look up / ‘Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup
When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head / When you feel the world shake from the words that are said
And I’m calling all angels / I’m calling all you angels
I won’t give up if you don’t give up

Fix You | Coldplay
And the tears come streaming down your face / When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste / Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home / And ignite your bones / And I will try to fix you…

Her Diamonds | Rob Thomas
By the light of the moon / She rubs her eyes / Sits down on the bed and starts to cry
And there’s something less about her
And I don’t know what I’m supposed to do / So I sit down and I cry too
And don’t let her see
And she says oh / I can’t take no more / Her tears like diamonds on the floor
And her diamonds bring me down / Cause I can’t help her now

How to Save a Life | The Fray
Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend / Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night / Had I known how to save a life

When you need to jam out ‘ironically’…c804dcfe5c4db47268d6edb722b3ee52.jpg

Don’t Let Me Get Me | P!nk
Doctor, doctor won’t you please prescribe me something – A day in the life of someone else?
Cuz I’m a hazard to myself
Don’t let me get me / I’m my own worst enemy
It’s bad when you annoy yourself
So irritating / Don’t wanna be my friend no more
I wanna be somebody else…

BasketcaseGreen Day
Sometimes I give myself the creeps / Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up / I think I’m cracking up
Am I just paranoid?

Bohemian Rhapsody | Queen
Is the real life? / Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide / No escape from reality

I Wanna be SedatedRamones
Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane / I can’t control my fingers I can’t control my brain
Oh no no no no no…
I wanna be sedated

When you can laugh at yourself…

Lucky 4 You, Tonight I’m Just Me | SheDaisy
Number 5 just cries a river a minute / 7 wants to tie you up and drown you in it
Yeah, 14 just wants to say so long, bygones
32 wants to do things to you that’ll make you blush / 10 would key the El Camino that you love so much
And there ain’t nobody wants to mess with 23 / Oh, lucky 4 you tonight I’m just me

The MonsterEminem
I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed / Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath / And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy…

Wonder | Natalie Merchant
Doctors have come from distant cities / Just to see me
Stand over my bed / Disbelieving what they’re seeing 
They say I must be one of the wonders / Of god’s own creation
And as far as they can see they can offer / No explanation…

Fighting back and moving on…

Ghost Ella Henderson
I had to go through hell to prove I’m not insane / Had to meet the devil just to know his name
And that’s when my love was burning / Yeah, it’s still burning
I keep going to the river to pray / ‘Cause I need something that can wash out the pain
And at most I’m sleeping all these demons away
But your ghost, the ghost of you / It keeps me awake

Skyscraper | Demi Lovato
You can take everything I have / You can break everything I am
Like I’m made of glass / Like I’m made of paper
Go on and try to tear me down / I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper / Like a skyscraper

Unwell | Matchbox Twenty
Hold on / Feeling like I’m headed for a breakdown / And I don’t know why
But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell / I know right now you can’t tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see / A different side of me
I’m not crazy, I’m just a little impaired / I know right now you don’t care
But soon enough you’re gonna think of me / And how I used to be…me

Hit Me With Your Best Shot | Pat Benetar
You don’t fight fair / But that’s OK, see if I care
Knock me down, it’s all in vain / I’ll get right back on my feet again
Hit me with your best shot

Fight Song | Rachel Platten
This is my fight song / Take back my life song / Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on / Starting right now I’ll be strong / I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes / ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Carry On | Fun.
If you’re lost and alone / Or you’re sinking like a stone.
Carry on.
May your past be the sound / Of your feet upon the ground.

Carry on.


  1. Linda

    Laura Story

    We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
    Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
    We pray for healing, for prosperity
    We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
    All along You hear each spoken need
    Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

    ‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
    What if Your healing comes through tears?
    What if a thousand sleepless nights
    Are what it takes to know You’re near?
    What if trials of this life
    Are Your mercies in disguise?

    We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
    We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
    We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
    As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
    And all the while You hear each desperate plea
    And long that we’d have faith to believe

    ‘Cause what… Full lyrics on Google Play

  2. Mark S Walker

    One of my papers in college was about the topic: Change. In fact CHANGE was the title of this 3 credit course. I recently re-read the paper. Two salient points “hit me”. 1) WE CAN NOT NOT CHANGE 2) CHANGE IS FORGED IN THE FIRES OF STRUGGLE _____This second statement seems to have become “prophetic” in my life and in so many who have taken the time to share their personal struggle with me. I, for one, consider it an honor, when someone shares from the depths of their being-anguish/fear/desperation –that takes courage to lay ones deepest feelings out in the open. Therefore, I treat it with the utmost respect.

  3. Nesrin Shaheen

    love, love, love…<3

  4. C Marshall

    My favs for fighting back are:

    If You’re Going Through Hell, Rodney Atkins
    If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
    Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
    You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
    When you’re goin’ through hell keep on movin’
    Face that fire walk right through it
    You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there

    Dog Days are Over
    The dog days are over
    The dog days are done
    Can you hear the horses?
    ‘Cause here they come
    The dog days are over
    The dog days are done
    The horses are coming
    So you better run

    Carry On
    If you’re lost and alone or you’re sinking like a stone,
    Carry on
    May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground and
    Carry on


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