Resiliency: A Playlist for Survivors


Anna Gustafson

TW: sexual assault

Photo courtesy of Anna Gustafson

“The rape will tear you in half but it will not end you.” – Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

There’s a certain type of pain that for me, and many others, can only really be stifled by music as a bandaid you can’t really see, but you also can’t really see where I hurt the most. This was true when I was 17 and cried so hard on my parents wood floors because I thought my heart was broken and that every Bright Eyes album was written for me. I thought I was going to die, realizing I have anxiety. This was true last semester, when I couldn’t leave my bed for days and felt like emotional intelligence was a far fetched ideal I wouldn’t find again. But, I could still feel something in a song. Music was what helped. Well not only music; tears, lots of them, ears that listen and mouths that talk when yours runs dry.

This playlist is me giving you a hug, holding you and saying, “It’s not your fault that you’re still angry. It’s not your fault that it’s still hard.” We can cry together and laugh at the absurdity of it all, but also we can heal and let the positive affirmations and songs full of light in. This playlist isn’t just a few sad songs, these are the ones that helped me get better. I’m hoping maybe they will help you get better too.