Chester Bennington and Linkin Park

TW: this post talks about suicide and mental health. Please take care of yourself first

My heart is hurting this week. As I’m sure several people have let you know already, Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park (and the Stone Temple Pilots for a hot minute), hung himself Thursday morning. His memory is survived by a loving wife and 6 amazing children.

As I’ve talked about with other singers like Prince or George Michael, this one hurt. This one struck close to home and was gut wrenching. Similar to Bennington, I’ve struggled with mental health, suicidal thoughts, and more. During the peak of it, a friend turned me on to Linkin Park, saying they were an outlet for her and helped her thru some stuff. We were about 13 or 14 and in the grand scheme of things, I’m sure our problems weren’t massive. But they were difficult and we were struggling in our own ways.

Linkin Park’s music was the first band where their songs instantly connected with me. They resonated and they made me feel like i wasn’t alone. Chester Bennington’s voice definitely helped me through some seemingly dark days and I still use them now as a go to when I was having a rough day. Sometimes, you just need music to scream to so you can get all the darkness out. Eventually, I got help and I found the light again. But I’m not sure if that process still would have been jumpstarted if I hadn’t found this band at that pivotal moment.

Which is why Bennington’s suicide was a straight gut shot. He helped me, as well as thousands of fans, through some really dark, difficult times. And I’m sure he saved a countless amount of lives with his music. Listening to his  music now, it’s different. It’s apparent he was crying out for help in his songs and though we found the light and we’re no longer one step closer to the edge, I so wish he could have found that same light himself. I wish he found what we all found in his music.

May his family be able to heal and may Chester not only rest in peace but may he finally have found it.

If you are suicidal or depressed right now, PLEASE REACH OUT TO SOMEONE. Either to me, a close confidant, or either of these two lines below. 

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 

The Trevor Project:  1-866-488-7386 

Both networks have chat or text options available if you are unable to talk on the phone. They are also 100% free & confidential.

You are so needed, so valued, and so loved. You are worth every single breath you take, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Please reach out and know that I believe in you. You’ve got this and you are needed beyond measure. There is a light, it will flicker and dim but let someone help you find it again. 


Songs I Can’t Stop Listening To pt. 2

It’s Memorial Day, I’m sitting in one of my favourite coffee shops here in Dallas, and in order to stop thinking about all our fallen soldiers & those who are still MIA, I decided to create a playlist of all the songs I can’t stop listening to right now.

  1. Sam Hunt “Body Like A Backroad” Um, can we just talk about Sam Hunt for a sec? That guy is ridiculously talented and if my boyfriend serenaded me with this, I’m not sure how long I’d last.
  2. Bonnie Raitt “Give Them Something to Talk About” This song reminds me of childhood. I loved Bonnie Raitt and I would dance around our living room to this song without a single care in the world. I probably needed dance lessons but whatever.
  3. Ed Sheeran “Galway Girl” Ugh, Ed Sheeran. Why do i feel the incessant need to be best friends with you? I love this song and I will sing every word.
  4. Shawn Mendes ” There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” Guilty pleasure right here. I love this song and its fun to blast on the freeway.
  5. James Arthur “Say You Won’t Let Go”  I want to walk down the aisle to this song. It perfectly encompasses everything I feel about the current person I’m dating. #mushymuch?

And there you have it! As I’m sure you’ve been able to tell, I have a weird mix of music that I’ll listen to. And i’m thinking of doing posts like this maybe once a month or so? Let me know what you think in the comments! Also, if you have any songs you can’t stop listening to, let me know!

Leonard Cohen and this year’s music losses

Oh, Leonard Cohen. How can you pass away on us, especially this year? If you’ve ever heard the cover ‘Hallelujah’, you NEED to listen to his version, the original one. It’s haunting and you can listen to it here.

I grew up on this kind of music and my love of songs you can sing along with or belt in the car knows absolutely no bounds. I love the depth of his voice and how no matter who sings it, the lyrics just seem to pierce into your soul. Absolutely love it when a song can do that over and over again, time and time again.

This year has been rough on the music industry as well as the arts in general. We’ve lost Prince, David Bowie, and now Leonard Cohen. It’s such a buzzkill! But in other news, we are getting so close to Christmas! Who all is in holiday mood? I know I am. Now if only I could figure out what to get for everybody on my gift list……

The Songs That Always Get Me

So, as I’m sure it’s evident by now, I’m almost always on the hunt for new music. I love that first moment when you fall in love with a new band that just seems to get it. It’s a feeling unlike most anything and it’s almost exhilerating to find a new band that you just vibe with, even if there’s no chance that you’ll actually meet the band in person anytime soon. But this post isn’t about any new band that I’ve discovered lately. It’s about the songs and some musicians that always seem to be there, even when I move or change or grow in some way. These are the songs that always seem to be there when I need them, no matter how long it’s been since I’ve listened or the amount of times they’ve been on repeat throughout the years.

My best friend actually recommended I do a post on this because of our shared love of Josh Groban, 90s music, and the like. So here goes!

  1. “The Only One” by Tracy Chapman. Close seconds are “Fast Car” or her album called Telling Stories. But this song, whenever it comes on, I’m always reminded of the people I’ve lost and how I’m always left questioning “Does heaven have enough angels yet?” every single time. This song will make me cry and feel a wide array of emotions every single time.
  2. “Little Things” by One Direction No shame, I love One Direction. Especially if I need to reminisce about boy bands and not feel old for listening to the ones from the 90s. But I think this song was the one that solidified it for me. Because it put into words all the things I’m self conscious about in a relationship and that i really am worthy. Cliche and overdramatic? Possibly. It’s still true though. Plus, the music video is so simply stunning, especially for a boy band
  3. “Piece by Piece” by Kelly Clarkson. I freaking love Kelly Clarkson. There are so many songs of hers that I am in love with. Another favourite that always gets me is “Good Goes the Bye”. These two songs basically are all about how sometimes saying goodbye you care about immensely, albeit difficult, sometimes really is the best thing for your sanity and for your life. And though I can’t relate to her story of a father walking out on her at an early age, I can relate to the sentiment of friends or loved ones walking out for seemingly no reason and the pain that always seems to linger a little longer than desired. But it’s all about picking up the pieces, no matter how long it takes to do so. And once you find someone who restores your faith in love and happiness, it’s a feeling unlike anything else. This song will always make me cry.
  4. “Home” by Blue October. I’ve written about this song before, here, and it felt apt to include it in this post. It’s a stunning song that always reminds me that home isn’t always necessarily a place but a feeling you get. And no matter how much things change or how difficult they may get, home is always where the heart is. It’s always where you can come, broken or in full. Home is where you feel revitalized and like you can take on the world.
  5. “Dumb It Down” by Lupe Fiasco. I’ve always loved hip-hop to get me pumped for a game or for a tournament. But only recently did I start looking for the songs that actually had a message. I was tired of Lil John or the Ying Yang Twins because I look terrible getting low and still can’t shake it like a salt shaker. And like fate would have it, I stumbled upon Lupe Fiasco. This song is probably my favourite because he takes on all my qualms with the rap industry and how ‘dumbing it down’ may make you more money but it won’t help your conscious when you have a platform where you can speak out. And this song does it perfectly while still getting you hyped.

Clearly, there are more songs that dive deep into my soul but these ones top out the list every time. Let me know your thoughts and what your go to songs are!

‘Let It Go’ by James Bay

This song is pure magic. The singer is almost angelic and I just might have spent $1.29 on it because i needed it. Clearly. I first heard it on the radio and absolutely wept. In a good, uncertain way. But in a good way all the same. It’s a magical song that’s pure bliss with an acoustic guitar.

Plus, the music video is just dark enough that you don’t mind listening to it or watching it in a coffee shop. Because it just feels perfect. Anyway, maybe I’m PMSing a little bit but that’s a sidenote. It’s a perfect song for a rainy day at home, covered in blankets and snuggling up to a loved one. Or the great song that just feels right at your favourite coffee shop. It’s catharsis in a song and you can’t help but sing along, even if you’re terribly off key like I am.

Throughout the song, you can’t help but feel like it’s about a past relatiohsip that’s just run its course. Nobody to blame but love fizzling out. ANd you can tell there’s still quite a bit of love and respect between and for both parties involved. It’s a love song that isn’t one at all. At least not in a cliche sense.

And it got me thinking about what my mother always told me. That matters of the heart are always complicated. It wants what it shouldn’t have and disregard what is right for it. It hardly ever feels like what is depicted in the movies and it hardly ever is perfect. But it can be right for who’s involved. As you can probably tell, my mom taught me a lot about love and how absurdly confusing it can be at times. But once you’ve found it, you can’t stop fighting for it.

It also makes me think about past relationships that were never good for me but I thought I was in love so I stayed longer than I should have. And this song puts perfectly into words how it felt when I finally made the decision to just walk away. It was painful and it was hard but it was worth it in the end.

I feel like that’s what this song is trying to convey. Love is never perfect, it’s often complicated and confusing. But if you fight for it and you walk away when you need or have to, it can be perfect for you.

Favourite lyric: Everything’s that’s broke/Leave it to the breeze/Why don’t you be you/And I’ll be me

‘Home’ by Blue October

So I’m writing this on a jet plane that’ll land in Vegas and then we’ll join my boyfriend’s parents on a 3 hour drive to Los Angeles. And I could not be more excited to going home to California, even if it’s just for a few days.

We’ll be celebrating his nephew’s first birthday, surrounded by family and friends. It’ll be a grand time. And I’m sitting here 3000 feet in the air in a steel box with wings, listening to one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite bands. It almost makes me want to cry, in a good way, that I’ll be in my home state. Where I went through so many changes, experienced so many things, and where I grew.

This isn’t to say I don’t love Dallas. It just hasn’t become home yet. Because I haven’t fully made it one yet. Listening to ‘Home’ by Blue October reminds me that home for so many people constitutes a slew of emotions. For me, it’s always the one place that no matter how long it’s been, it still feels comfortable. Like your favourite broken in pair of jeans. And that though you have changed, that place hasn’t. It’s a place you can keep coming back to, still welcoming you with open arms.

And the music video for ‘Home’ is heartwrenchingly beautiful. Watch it here on Youtube. The lead singer has clearly been through some tough times and home was the one place where things always made sense. Check it out, listen to the song, and you’ll fall a little bit more in love.

Favourite lyric: It’s the little things that make a home.

What does home mean for you?

The New Britney Spears Album….and Why I Love Her

I love Britney Spears. I’ve loved her music when I was a kid, an awkward teenager, and when I was having mental breakdowns. Honestly, there are no words to justify how much I look up to Godney. Now, before you ask, yes I do know about her meltdown in 2007/2008. And i respect the hell out of her for it.

Mental health is a HUGE debacle in this country and coupled with the fact that she was going through a terrible divorce, she’s ridiculously famous, and trying to come to terms with the fact that she had an undiagnosed illness, she’s a BAMF in my book for dealing with her illness so publicly and explosively. But more importantly? She came back. 

She took a few years off, got her shit together, and came back like nobody i’ve ever seen before. She got ridiculed at the VMAs at the beginning because she gained weight and had already lost some from previous years. Now, she has a show in Vegas, custody of her kids again, and a seemingly healthy life – according to social media at least. She’s fucking thriving. And I love it.

So naturally, when she released her new album ‘Glory’, I had to buy it. True, I waited a couple days because I was too lazy to update the payment info on iTunes but whatever. Even the first song ‘Invitation’ is a gem. Her voice may be slightly nasealy but i can look past that. Britney has always made me want to dance, sing, and believe in larger than life things again. My favourite song just might be either ‘Clumsy’ or ‘Make Me’. They’re just sultry enough to turn you on yet innocent enough to grace the Top 40 charts. Good combination in today’s over saturated entertainment industry

But really, it’s been years since Britney Spears has released an album. SHe’s been shuttling back between Vegas & LA, doing a residency in the former and raising her kids in the latter. She’s a real comeback story if i’ve seen one. And this album lives up to its name. Its absolutely glorious.

Though not the deepest or the most personal of albums, it’s still a decent comeback album that’ll make you want to dance

Favourite lyric: Nobody should have to be alone