Art Therapy Song Timeline

This exercise in my out-patient therapy class was to choose a song that is significant to you, or if you’re ambitious, to write your own song (lul). I made a short timeline of 7 songs that help explain my life in the last ~10 years.


Portugal the Man – So American

I was born and raised in white suburbia before the Great Recession of 2008. This simple chorus of calling people out for being too American and selfish struck home for me. “I liked this hipster band before they were cool and released that huge hit some “Feel it Still”.”


M.I.A. – Paper Planes

The first time this song touched me was actually in a basement in Chicago. It was the social event during the Socialism conference. After hours of intense revolutionary debate and discussion, letting loose with a bunch of rad like-minded people to Paper Planes is something I won’t ever forget.


haha and skull
Skull & HAHA – Busan Vacance

This is a Korean… reggae band? Pretty confusing music video. But nontheless it’s an anthem to the city in Korea where I lived simply a one hour bus-ride away from; Busan. When they call out each neighborhood during the song, that sparks lots of memories of discussing with friends, where should we go hangout for the night. If we got bored or lost or disconnected from the group, worst case we could get a solo taxi ride home for 1 hour+ for about $30.


Chet Faker – Talk is Cheap


Talk is cheap. At some point I had been a hater. A “Social Justice Warrior” that shouted and yelled and spread my own anger to the world. Well it finally came time to grow up and this is a song that helped me get over myself. I threw myself out there into a foreign land, and it’s either sink or swim. Actions.


Frank Ocean – Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump you run my mind boy
Running on my mind boy

This one was like “our song”.. Me and my first boyfriend (now defunct).


Sublime – Doin’ Time

I went to jail in January, which has since changed my life in many unexpected ways. This is one of those songs I could sing from start to finish from memory. Takes me back my high school days of cruising around and smoking weed with my sister. 💖


jack garrat
Jack Garratt – Worry

Upon seeing the first psychiatrist of my life (in February just last month), I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression Disorder.

An unfortunate byproduct of this is that I get hyper-paranoid about my own actions. I feel scared that I’m being too extra. I get anxious that I fucked up. I put mental blocks on myself to try and be a better feminist ally, etc.

“Try and give yourself some rest.”

I’ve done a month of solid full-time therapy on my myself. It’s hard work to be vulnerable and continue to expose past traumas in order to re-train my brain. Worrying prevents progress in recovery.

I must simply *recognize* when I’m having negative thoughts and *change* my behavior accordingly. Trying to hold on and focus on the bad behavior does the opposite, creating more worrying, etc.

This is why I’m buddhist.


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