Hannah's blog posts are written in collaboration with our partners at Yellow House, which is a space and community for Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Colour at Queen's. Thanks to Yellow House for their partnership. Make sure to check out their Instagram to stay current with their events for Queen's QTBIPOC students!


Dear Reader, 

I have always said that I think it was music that saved my life. There is something so rich and delightful in the way certain melodies scatter across soundscapes and can become anything from soundtracks for essays to theme songs for transformative periods in your life. I think we all carry melodies inside us that have made us who we are.

Music saved my life in times when the world felt tumultuous. I live with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and music gives me breath when I feel riddled with panic. Music heals, music contains constant rhythms and tempo. Music reminds me to breathe.

We collect songs in the same way we collect stories. My playlists are a constellation of melodies that have brought me relief when the world feels noisy and loud, as well as songs that have been shared by so many different people in my life. I like running to music my mom adored when she was in high school, I like dancing to music that feels triumphant, I like listening to songs that remind me of the places where I have laughed. 

To me, music means a connection to the people and places I have loved. It is this woven bond that honors all the intricacies that make up who I am, where I have been, and who I will become.

I wonder what would happen if we all gave ourselves the opportunity to collect a mental playlist of songs that feel most serendipitous. That is, what songs feel like home to you? What songs make you feel like you are standing on top of a mountain? What songs are essential to your studying, your daily commute, or your evening rituals? Let me tell you some of mine to help you get thinking!

Dragons by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors

This song has brought me so much peace when I have felt swamped by stress and anxiety. It reminds me of my dad and will forever live in my memory as the soundtrack to being picked up at the train station when I went home for Christmas this year, my first year away from home. It reminds me of childhood, growing up, and what it means to take risks in life. 

Les Champs-Élysées by Joe Dassin

This song reminds me of my childhood, the idea of adventure and romance, and the magic of finding comfort in tangible places and landmarks on this spinning planet of ours. The melody reminds me of my childhood as a French immersion student. It feels enchanting and hopeful and—honestly—above all makes me want to don a beret and bake a lot of delicious treats.

Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
This song feels incredibly warm to me because it speaks so honestly about the human condition. I used to listen to this song with my late papa, and I remember him detailing with such delight what this song meant to him. It feels especially nostalgic and honest when "nothing ever lasts forever" is sung. 

Paris by Taylor Swift

This is one of those enchanting melodies that just feels really jubilant and sparkly. I can't really describe it any other way. I am one of those Swifties who also happens to be an enthusiast of words. My gosh, her lyricism in this song is utter magic. I like to dream about one day travelling to Paris and exploring the entirety of Europe in general; it seems like Taylor Swift captures this sentiment perfectly. It feels like an homage to the earth wanderer in me and, argh, I'm just obsessed with this song.

As we move toward spring, as the semester speeds up before it can slow down, what songs will accompany you? If you want to dig a bit deeper, what songs have saved your life? What songs make you feel like you are in the montage of a coming of age movie right when the protagonist is finally figuring their life out? What songs make you feel glowy and hopeful?

But most importantly, what songs make you feel most yourself?
Until next time!

Article tags