For those with borderline personality disorder who ride a rollar coaster of emotions almost daily, having a good playlist on hand can help bring you back into the moment and take your brain to a place of calm. And while music certainly can’t erase strong emotions – sometimes it can help.
To find out what songs helped people with borderline personality disorder in tough moments, we asked people in our community who live with the disorder to tell us one song that helps them get through.
Here’s what they shared:
1. “Breathe Me” by Sia
“Help, I have done it again / I have been here many times before / Hurt myself again today / And the worst part is there’s no one else to blame.”
2. “On a Good Day” by Above & Beyond
“Little bit lost and / A little bit lonely / Little bit cold here / A little bit feared / But I hold on / And I / Feel strong / And I / Know that I can.”
3. “Drown” by Bring Me the Horizon
“It describes how I used to feel before DBT and now serves as a reminder that only I can save me from myself and only I can stop myself from drowning.” — Niki G.
“It comes in waves, I close my eyes / Hold my breath and let it bury me / I’m not OK, and it’s not alright. /Won’t you drag the lake and bring me home again?”
4. “Skin” by Sixx AM
“I did a cover of ‘Skin’ for my freshman choir karaoke day right after I was diagnosed with borderline. It made me feel less like a freak and more like a human.” Jey S.
“‘Cause they don’t even know you / All they see is scars / They don’t see the angel / Living in your heart / Let them find the real you / Buried deep within / Let them know with all you’ve got / That you are not your skin.”
5. “Asleep” by The Smiths
“Sing me to sleep / Sing me to sleep / And then leave me alone.”
6. “Broken Arrows” by Avicii
“[This song is] especially meaningful to me, as I have scars from my self-harm and I have black and white thinking from BPD, plus I’ve now got an amazing partner who supports and understands me. It’s a great feel good tune to pick me up!” — Merc Y.
“I’ve seen the darkness in the light / The kind of blue that leaves you lost and blind / The only thing that’s black and white / Is that you don’t have to walk alone this time.”
7. “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
“This song has gotten me through hell and back time and time again. When I was at my lowest point, it brought me back up. It made me take back my life, and prove that I’m alright. It made me fight, made me not give up. Made me strong. I still listen to this song when I need a mental/emotional boost. It still gets me through my toughest days. This song inspired me so much that I ended up getting a piece of the lyrics tattooed on me, along with an anchor. It was my first tattoo, and it’s my most cherished piece of art on my body. Since then, I’ve met Rachel twice and found my very best friend because of her. I owe her the world.” — Olivia C.
“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.”
8. “Sunshine” Matisyahu
Keep on moving till the first rays of dawn / Keeping it on till the day is done / Morning till the night time blaze is on / All along I keep singing my song.”
9. “Identity Disorder” by Of Mice and Men
“Your heart is a fire / But the cold is comforting / My mouth is a liar / With my silver tongue in cheek / The silence is deafening / My words cut deep / The darkness is blinding / Consuming me.”
10. “Shake it Out” by Florence + the Machine
“Regrets collect like old friends / Here to relive your darkest moments / I can see no way, I can see no way / And all of the ghouls come out to play.”
11. “Gasoline” by Halsey
“And all the people say / You can’t wake up, this is not a dream / You’re part of a machine, you are not a human being / With your face all made up, living on a screen / Low on self-esteem, so you run on gasoline.”
12. “Torrek” by Hildur Gudnadottir
“Soft songs with no lyrics help me out so much. I focus on the melody and it helps my brain slow down the pacing, racing, emotional thoughts.” — Katie J.
13. “Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple
“I certainly haven’t been shopping for any new shoes / And / I certainly haven’t been spreading myself around / I still only travel by foot and by foot, it’s a slow climb / But I’m good at being uncomfortable / so I can’t stop changing all the time.”
14. “Warrior” by Demi Lovato
“Now I’m a warrior / Now I’ve got thicker skin / I’m a warrior / I’m stronger than I’ve ever been / And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in / I’m a warrior / And you can never hurt me again.”
15. “Blackbird” by The Beatles
“It’s simple enough that I can sing without music and it always soothes me.” — Katey B.
“Blackbird singing in the dead of night / Take these broken wings and learn to fly / All your life / You were only waiting for this moment to arise.”
16. “Cry Baby” by Melanie Martinez
“‘Cry Baby’ is literally my BPD anthem. It is so relatable to me and makes me feel less alone.” — Aqua K.
“Your heart’s too big for your body / It’s where your feelings hide / They’re pouring out / Where everyone can see.”
17. “Sweet as a Whole” by Sara Bareilles
“But like most creatures down here on the ground / I’m composed of the elements moving around / And I grow and change and I shift and I switch / And it turns out I’m actually kind of a bitch.”
18. “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers
“I wanna get better / I didn’t know I was broken ’til I wanted to change / I wanna get better, better, better, better / I wanna get better.”
19. “Talking to Myself” by Watsky
“Watsky has pulled me back above water too many times to count.” — Eri A.
“Do you ever get lost, deep in your thoughts, tripping when you think about the cost of seeing this through / When you tie your stomach into knots that you don’t know how to undo.”
20. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash
“What have I become / My sweetest friend / Everyone I know goes away / In the end.”
What would you add? Tell us in the comments below.