7 Artists To Turn To During Tough Times

By: Caroline Burkhart//

Music changes lives and can help people through the toughest of times. When people listen to music they realize that the artists they look up to also experience problems in their own lives and many times they’re similar to what the person listening is going through. I know I can speak from personal experience when I say that music means a lot to me, and I turn to it when I am having a tough day, so here are a list of artists that have helped me, and I think they can do the same for you!

  1. Demi Lovato
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Photo by: Jordyn Tilchen

Anyone that knows me knows how much Demi Lovato and her music mean to me. One of my favorite quotes of hers is, “If you ever feel alone, put on my music and I’ll be there for you.” I have been a huge fan of her since 2009, and many of her songs have helped me through my worst days. I’m not the only one though; Demi is a huge advocate for mental illness and has written a lot of music about coming out of challenges stronger. ‘Warrior’ and ‘Skyscraper’ are two of the songs known for comforting her fans through tough times, and many fans even have tattoos of the lyrics because of how much they mean to them. Demi’s music kept me from transferring when I was bullied during high school, and it also helped give me the strength to get out of an abusive relationship. When you know that your favorite artist is writing the music from his or her personal experience, you feel less alone.

  1. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is a huge LGBT advocate and someone who is definitely not afraid to be who she is. I got to see her live when I was in middle school, and I was absolutely amazed by everything about her. In high school I had a few boys who would bully me for my leopard print rain boots, and I would always think of the incredible outfits that Lady Gaga absolute rocked and how she was never afraid to be herself. Her song ‘Born This Way’ has always been an anthem for me ever since it came out. We are all born a certain way, and we deserve to rock who we are! Also, her song ‘Till it Happens to You’, which was written about sexual assault on college campuses, will absolutely stop you in your tracks. The emotion can be heard from beginning to end, and a portion of the proceeds from this song goes to organizations that help survivors. I absolutely applaud Lady Gaga for all she does to make people feel comfortable in their own skin.

  1. Selena Gomez
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Photo by: Jordyn Tilchen

I have loved and admired Selena Gomez since the Wizards of Waverly Place days. When her song ‘Who Says’ came out in 2011, I couldn’t have fallen more in love, and I still feel the same now! It’s a perfect song for anyone who is having an off day or feeling a little insecure about themselves. In particular, the lyric, “I wouldn’t wanna be anybody else” is something that I constantly remind myself of. I even remember putting it as a Facebook caption in one of my photos from high school. Everyone deserves to realize how special and unique they are. People should love being themselves, because they can only be that. More recently, Selena was diagnosed with Lupus and has been taking some time off from showbiz, which only makes all of her music that much more inspiring. She just finished a huge tour and took pictures with fans after every stop. Even the song, ‘Kill Em With Kindness’ is a great reminder of how to deal with things when people are rude or mean.

  1. Rachel Platten

Don’t even get me started on how much I love Rachel Platten and her hit, ‘Fight Song’. It may have been overplayed on the radio, but this song means more to me than I can ever put into words. On one of the toughest days I’ve had to date, this song came on in the car and it reminded me to keep fighting for the good, because there’s something good in everything. This song reminds me of my aunt, who is also one of my best friends. We always remind each other to keep fighting and to stay strong no matter what is going on in our lives. If you really listen to the lyrics of this song, it’s a great reminder to always keep pushing forward. I also love ‘Stand By You’, which has an incredibly catchy beat, but most importantly it’s also an incredible reminder how important people are and how much others can help you during tough times.

  1. Mike Posner

The first time I saw Mike Posner live was back in 2010, and I also got to see him twice this summer on the Future Now tour. He has come such a long way since then and one of his new songs has just been added to my inspiration playlist! The song ‘Be As You Are’ is all about ignoring labels and focusing on loving yourself. It’s definitely a side of him we’ve never heard before, but the music video could quite possibly bring you to tears. What I also love about Mike Posner is that during both shows this summer he sat down and took the time to make up a different poem in each city. Although this was definitely something that surprised me, I loved how the poem always had a positive and uplifting message. I appreciate it so much when an artist goes on tour and spreads positivity from city-to-city, and I felt Mike Posner did an exceptional job at that.

  1. The Fray

I absolutely love The Fray and got the chance to see them live for the first time this summer. It was incredible! Singing along to ‘Over My Head’, ‘How to Save a Life’, and ‘You Found Me’ with two of my best friends and thousands of strangers is something I will never forget. The messages that come through their songs are so powerful and something I really admire. Another song of theirs that I love and is super special to me is ‘The Fighter,’ it was one of my retreat songs in high school and is an incredible reminder of how everyone loves in a different way.

  1. Katy Perry
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Photo by: Jordyn Tilchen

Every time I hear ‘Firework,’ I get chills. It’s a song that I always turn to when I need a bit of a pick-me-up and a reminder that I can do anything in the world that I set my mind too. My uncle told me right before I moved into college that this song reminded him of me, and I would listen to it anytime I was feeling homesick freshman year (which unfortunately was a lot). The song still always makes my days a little brighter and puts a huge smile on my face when I hear it. Everyone should be reminded of the spark that they have inside of them. I also love the songs ‘Part of Me’, ‘Love Me’, and ‘Choose Your Battles’ as reminders to never settle in a relationship and to walk away when you have to start compromising yourself for someone else. Basically, I just think that Katy Perry is an absolute GIRL BOSS and I applaud all she stands for.

Here are some other songs that always inspire me:

The Rose- Bette Midler

Black Mermaid- Esthero

Living Louder- The Cab

Give the Love Around- The Script

Keep Your Head Up- Andy Grammer

Beautiful- Bethany Dillon

Give Me Your Eyes- Brandon Heath

Love is Louder- Cameron Ernst

Fighter- Christina Aguilera

The Climb- Miley Cyrus

Who You Are- Jessie J

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Caroline Burkhart

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