Listening to music helps me grieve, and has caused me to stumble upon a deeper meaning to some of my favorite songs.
Most people have listened to at least one AJR song since they became popular. But, if you're anything like me, you’ve listened to them much longer than that.
After my dad died, I found myself listening to all of my favorite AJR songs, including the old (if they're even old yet) ones that I used to listen to 24/7. As I was listening to The Click, an album of theirs, I realized something. Four of the songs that I had listened to on repeat for a year suddenly had a much different meaning to me: grief.
One of the first songs that came up was “Drama.” At first, it seems to just be a reference to high school/college drama that almost everyone experiences in their lifetime. But, as I continued listening to it, the lyrics hit me harder than usual. When they sang about how their friends suddenly seem so loud, how everyone seems to be caught up in un-meaningful discussions, and how much unnecessary drama is going on in their lives, I was reminded of after my dad died, when I went back to school. I hated how everyone seemed to be going on with their lives, chatting about homework and crushes while the weight of the world was loaded on my shoulders. A week before, those conversations had seemed important, but suddenly I just didn't get it. And, AJR didn't either.
A few songs after came “Normal.” I related to the lyrics, as AJR sang about how they didn't know if what they were feeling was normal. Describing how they didn’t like their favorite song as much anymore, how they felt out of place, and how they weren’t normal anymore made me think of all of the changes I went through as a person after losing my dad.
"Come Hang Out” has always been one of my favorites, but when I was sitting with my cat listening to it before writing this article, I couldn’t help but think of my grief. AJR sings about their friends trying to get them to come hang out, but instead skipping on plans and making little excuses. Missing out on experiences with my friends was one of the horrible things about my grief, and caused me to miss out on high school memories that I would have otherwise had and enjoyed.
Last (but not least) came "The Good Part.” AJR sings about trying to move forward in life, and not being sure if they were achieving anything. During the song, they sing about trying to figure out when they’ll get to the "good part.” This seemed to be a direct connection to grief and wondering when the pain of a loss would be okay.
During grief, music can be one of the best things to help you let out your feelings. And, even if you don’t like these four songs, there are thousands of others, including a few more from AJR, that can be listened to with grief in mind. If you know any other songs that can be related to grief, comment them below.
Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks. Photo by Agnieszka Kowalczyk.