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Everyone is a separate, distinct person and has different needs, but we can all admit there’s power in music. There are specific songs that help me feel empowered as a person with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD). I want to share a few of those.

Thunder” by Imagine Dragons. I find storms comforting because they remind me I’m not alone. So, the melody and lyrics really caught my attention. I liked the song the first time I heard it. Also, I can identify with the words of the song: “I was lightning before the thunder…” I am not the type of person who is cookie cutter or fits in a box, and AATD doesn’t do that either. This song reminds me that if anyone thought of me as weak before, having an illness has made me a stronger person.

God Help Me” by Plumb. This made me stronger through a crisis involving faith and the sometimes overwhelming feeling that I was not OK. You can hear it in the lyrics: “And I know that you’re faithful, but I can barely breathe, God help me.” She describes that tension that combines known weakness and faith into a perfect surrender.

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Wildflower” by Clay Finnesand. This is not something that I’m perfect at by any means, but I realize faith is essential. This is especially true when facing chronic illness. Someone once said that flowers and words don’t worry, just like these lyrics: “Beautiful wildflowers, no need to impress, without even trying, they’re perfectly dressed.”

Read about HCP resources for AATD

Head Above Water” by Avril Lavigne. When this song came out, I had it on repeat immediately. It helps to know someone out there understood how deep the lies of chronic illness can pull at you. It’s a cry to either God or another person to help them when their thoughts get too dark to be healthy. It’s beyond nice to be understood in life. It’s necessary for me, as never knowing when my lungs will give out can feel lonely. This song makes me feel less lonely.

Delirious” by Jesus’ Blood. This song has been calming me for years, somehow it just seems to cast a spell on me. I like that it reminds me that no matter what, Jesus’ blood conquers my guilt and allows Him to know me and my issues. It makes me feel less alone and more inspired every time.

It’s OK” by Nightbirde. This song is short and it was on America’s Got Talent. It’s sung by a woman, Jane Marczewski, who understood life doesn’t always make sense and wrote this song about it. She had cancer and wrote that it’s OK when “you’re lost, we’re all a little lost and it’s alright.” One reason it’s sweet to me is this musician died this past year. In reading her blogs, I found her words made more sense to me than most do as she encouraged people to be happy. She knew how to value life while she lived.

Jesus, Strong and Kind” by CityAlight. I discovered this (admittedly a lullaby) song on YouTube a few years ago. It has been one that I sing or hum when I’m having a bout of anxiety. It seems to really help me calm down as it reminds me I have a protector to look to.

I Wonder As I Wander” by Future of Forestry. If you’re asking, “Isn’t that a Christmas song?” you’re right. But Future of Forestry makes it seem like I am walking in the woods at nighttime while snow is on the ground. This isn’t something I normally do, so it just feels like an escape into an adventure. Often those of us with lung disease are encouraged to not do some activities, and for good reason. Usually, this means not going out in bad weather or not doing too much exercise. Sometimes I want to be able to just take a long hike and forget about being sick, and things like this help me.

Homeward” by Future of Forestry. Yet another song about not being alone, this one reminds me of my dad. Sometimes the world seems like a dark and lonely place. I particularly like the lyric: “I will search for your heart when the world is dim.”

I have enjoyed music for a long time and I hope it uplifts you and helps you understand a little bit of my world. I believe there’s a lot of great music out there that can inspire a person to be a healthier soul.