Bon Jovi helped me beat depression, part 2 of 2

Undoubtedly, every Bon Jovi fan in JoviNation has their favorite songs for their own reasons.

Whether your heart was torn asunder to the impassioned longing of ‘Living In Sin”; or your high school graduation class chose “I’ll Be There For You” as their parting song, many have more emotionally invested in the band than just the Looks and the Hooks.

But we’re talking about depression here, hell even a little good ol’ fashioned ordinary everyday sadness if you’ve never been in the viper-like death grip of your own mind.

When the talk therapy ends and it’s just the committee in your mind and the pharmacological concoction your doctor has you on, how on earth do you change the soundtrack of your mind so you can salvage and restore the You in You to Life?

For me, quite simply, Bon Jovi and every member of the band became the Musical Minstrels of Mental Health.

Richie Sambora, Tico Torres Jon Bon Jovi David Bryan

Richie Sambora, Tico Torres Jon Bon Jovi David Bryan

While I love all the songs, the ones that resonate most with me and healed me to the core of my being are the ones that are defiant, full of life, somewhat reflective, with words and lyrics that defied me to be sad after I listened to them.

Here then, are the songs that have acted as a Personal Prescription For Emotional Well-Being for this Bon Jovi fan.

It’s not important that you like mine, but it is important that you be able to find your own, and make them part of your feel-good regimen. It can be any combination of the melody, rhythm, or message in the song; and the best ones for me have all three.

Keep The Faith:  this quintessential Bon Jovi survival song.  It never fails to give me strength to face any moments of uncertainty or fear; and many has been the time when this song has been played over and over, all throughout my day.

“when its hard to hold on and there’s no one to lean on

Faith…you know you’re gonna live thru the rain

Lord we gotta keep the faith

Don’t you let your love to turn to hate

Now we gotta keep the faith.

It’s My Life:  if you can listen to these life-avowing lyrics and resist the electric joy of Jon’s smile in the music video then you’ve simply got no blood running through your veins..

This is for the ones who stood their ground

For tommy and gina, who never backed down

Tomorrow’s getting harder make no mistake

Luck it aint enough you gotta make your own breaks

Its my life

Its now or never

I aint gonna live forever

I just wanna live while im alive

Bounce:  Richie Sambora’s metallic growl power chord opening sends chills through my spine and always elevates my mood.  Like the singer, this mere mortal has been knocked down so many times, and until I heard this song I never thought of counting it down, 6 ,7,8,9.

Bounce, bounce, nothing ‘s gonna keep me down

Bounce, bounce, stand up shout it out

Bounce, bounce, I play hard, I play to win

Count me out, count me in

I’ll be bouncing back again


Have A Nice Day:  This catchy hit has such good melody that it’s easy to take the lyric for granted.  For me, a Bon Jovi song always contains a choice between giving up and walking away—taking the easy way out—yet the majority of the time, the characters in the songs choose the life-validating choice.

As a severe depression sufferer, I imagined myself on that window ledge one time too many, but this song ingrained in me that I could indeed be out on that ledge because of a little thing called life; I could brace myself with my hands and look left then right…and choose not to jump or give up, but to fly.  What a marvelous choice!

“oh if there’s one thing I hang onto

That gets me thru the night

I ain’t gonna do what I don’t want to

I’m gonna live my life

Shining like a diamond, rolling with the dice

Standing on the ledge, I show the wind how to fly

When the world gets in my face, I say

Have A Nice Day

You Give Love A Bad Name & Livin’ On A Prayer: play em’ back to back. ‘Nuff said.

Sleep When Im Dead: for someone who spent literally 5 days a week in bed wishing he would die for 6 consecutive months, this song in particular bucks me up and gives me strength to do things differently every day.

“Til I’m six feet under, I won’t need a bed

Gonna live while I’m alive, I’ll sleep when I’m dead

Til they roll me over, and lay my soul to rest

Gonna live while I’m alive, I’ll sleep when I’m dead”

Lost Highway:  this was the  song I was listening to—actually the entire CD—when I started to realize that for the first time in over a year, I was feeling good; feeling like my ‘old’ self again; and realized it had become effortless.  I was no longer trying to save myself from thoughts run amok behind the enemy lines of my abby normal brain.  When I saw the band live for the first time, it was on this tour, and I was in tears the minute the house lights went down and the band took the stage.

So I drive

Watching white lines passing by

With my plastic dashboard Jesus waiting there to greet us

Hey hey! I finally found my way, Say goodbye to yesterday

Hit the gas there ain’t no breaks on this Lost Highway

Yeah I’m bustin’ loose I’m lettin’ go, out on this open road

It’s Independence Day on this Lost Highway

Broken:   when I heard this song I was struck by the fact that when Jon Bon Jovi introduces it on the ‘Lost Highway’ DVD, he talks about all of us being “…just a little bit nuts”.   My eyes opened wide and my jaw almost fell to the floor as I listened to the words.  Here was a world-renowned entertainer with women screaming for him in every city and town on the planet and impossible good looks..and he was telling me he was human. Normal, yet with broken moments, just like us.

Step into the deep end
Make yourself at home
When you wonder why your breathing
Know your not alone
It’s so hard to believe
It’s easier to doubt
You’re trying to hold in
But your dying to scream out

It’s ok to be a little broken
Everybody’s broken

Somethin’ For The Pain: by the time I got deep into the band’s catalog and heard this song, I could have sworn they wrote it just for me.  How was it possible that a group of guys from New Jersey who I had never met had gotten inside my head and robbed my thoughts and feelings for totally accurate use in their songs?

Give me something for the pain
Give me something for the blues
Give me something for the pain when I feel I’ve been danglin’ from
A hang-man’s noose
Give me something for the pain
Give me something I can use
To get me through the night
Make me feel all right, something like you

Little Bit of Soul: from the beginning of this track where Jon and Richie are talking smack like two black blues musicians on the lead-in, you can feel the joy and camaraderie of two songwriters and their band enjoying one another’s company, and just plain rocking out.

For me this is one of their best songs, and also one of the most ignored.  Little to no radio airplay, and really only recently re-appeared in concert.  From Jon’s frenetic Detroit Medley vocals to Richie’s soaring, scorching guitar lines this tune is all about finding and taking your joy from the simplest of things in order to be happy.

When you’ve lost in the flood
And you feel like you been
Kicked through the mud
You know they still
Haven’t found the drug
To pick us up

Feeling down, misunderstood
You know these times
They ain’t looking so good
When you’re mad at the world and
You feel like you’re losing control
What we all need to get by is
A little o soul

Whoa oh
Little bit of soul
What we all need
To survive
Is just
A little bit o soul

Thanks to a lot of fight, loving family and friends and good medical professionals, I no longer ‘wonder why I’m breathin’, and I know I’m not alone.

Fellow writers like to say not to reveal too much about themselves to their audience, and to always respect the reader.  I do, which is why I shared this with you.  It is my sincerest wish that if any fans of JoviNation have had a hard time in their life, they might get some of the same strength, inspiration, and courage from this piece as Bon Jovi and his music have gifted to me.

It has been over two years since the music of Bon Jovi helped to lift very dark clouds from my life and remove the log chains of depression and anxiety from around my heart; and during that time, not a day has passed that I have not listened to their music on a CD in the car or on my iPhone at the gym; or not run out to see them whenever they come to town.

It’s my life, and Bon Jovi saved it.



4 Responses to “Bon Jovi helped me beat depression, part 2 of 2”

  1. a good read , pls chheck this out

  2. wow, I felt what you were feeling, all those songs are so much more than just a catchy tune!! ❤ must read this folks!!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with everyone. I am so happy you have come through to the other side. It’s only going to get better with the knowledge you now have and Bon Jovi music to enjoy! What a priceless gift you are giving others through your blog.

    Just imagine how happy Jon, Richie, David and Tico would be to hear what their lyrics and music have done to help you through a very dark time! Hopefully they will!!

    We are all more alike than not. This is really true. Whether we are a “normal” working person or a so called “star” with talent only few will ever possess. Believe me, the men of Bon Jovi most certainly have had times of dispair which is obvious if they can write such touching lyrics from their hearts. Jon has even said in interviews that the craziness of the “Slippery When Wet” era and newfound fame just about sent him over the edge.

    On a personal note, I am friends with a country music star (my friend married him a several years ago) and this “star” has taught me so much about life. He stepped away from the intense spotlight because it is not all that it is cracked up to be. He gave up fame and fortune to be a “normal” person like the rest of us. Now he does small concerts, really connects with his audience (he signs and takes pictures with every single person that attends), and spends more time with his own family. He’s conquered the demons fame brought upon him and is happier than ever.

    I’ve seen first hand that what fame can do to a person and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Believe me, Jon Bon Jovi and the rest of the band have had to deal with some very heavy issues due to fame and fortune but luckily they have survived and strived to give us the lyrics and music to keep everyone – yourself included – going when times get tough. You have picked wonderful role models.

    Take care!

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