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Music and My Bipolar Life

If you have read my KatGalaxy Blog, you know that music means a lot to me.

I have created mixtapes and written songs devoted to bipolar disorder.

When I was at my highest and lowest moment in life, I was listening to music."Cat Scratch Fever!" - Ottawa 2002 

Many individuals with bipolar are artistic, and maybe this is where my love of music comes from.

I also think it comes from my stepfather.

He had me listening to The Beatles and The Clash and The Doors from the time I was five years old.

I grew up listening to these bands and more—Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, The Violent Femmes, Tom Petty.

There was a soundtrack to everything, and I became dependent on music to explain what I couldn’t put into words.

I started using music as my translator, writing the lyrics of important songs on my social media profiles, and quoting lines to make a point.

When I was amidst another turbulent time in a romantic relationship, I would play a playlist I created especially for this moment—with songs like “Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead and “Self Esteem” by The Offspring.

The first time I experienced a manic episode, I wanted to listen to anything fast.

I was drinking beer, listening to Motorhead, head banging.

I remember I was really into “Mother” by Danzig, and at my most manic point, the profound bass of dubstep was what I craved.

Listening to music, singing, making playlists, and sharing lyrics are how I stay sane.

I have so much energy inside, whether it is manic—high-speed, fuzzy, and instinctual, or depressed—slow, foggy, almost too cerebral.

I feel the urge to get out what is bubbling inside of me, what is flying around inside my head—and I’m determined not to use that energy in a negative way.

Instead, I dance and sing and thrash and feel the comfort of knowing that there is someone out there that has felt the same way that I have—maybe they don’t have bipolar, but they have felt the pain of loss and feeling like a loser and not being able to relate to anyone.

Musicians have the ability to express these feelings beautifully—fluidly, one by one, no matter what the circumstance.

Music can be amazing therapy. I want to share with you some of the songs that I can relate to when I’m feeling like feeling

Feel free to comment with songs of your own to share with the mental health community.


Kat’s Song List- April 2013

  • “Ache With Me” –Against Me!, White Crosses
  • “Born To Die” –Lana Del Rey, Born To Die
  • “Oh My God” –Ida Maria, Fortress ‘Round My Heart
  • “All That You Have Is Your Soul” –Tracy Chapman, Crossroads
  • “Feel The Pain” –Dinosaur Jr., Without a Sound
  • “Maybe Not” –Cat Power, You Are Free
  • “The Cave” –Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
  • “Society” –Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild Soundtrack
  • “You Know What I Mean” –Cults, Cults
  • “Colorblind” –Counting Crows, This Desert Life
  • “Goodbye” –Best Coast, Crazy For You
  • “Youth” –Daughter, The Wild Youth
  • “The Engine Driver” –The Decemberists, Picaresque
  • “Shake It Out” –Florence and the Machine, Ceremonials


Hope you enjoy! –Kat 


Follow @KatGalaxy

Photo Credit: Mikey G Ottawa via Compfight

Music and My Bipolar Life

Kat Dawkins

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APA Reference
Dawkins, K. (2013). Music and My Bipolar Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Apr 2013
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