Since rising to prominence with her band Halestorm in 2009, to releasing their most recent album Vicious earlier this year, singer/guitarist Lzzy Hale has been very open about her personal struggles and frailties, and has established a special bond with her fans along the way. "I have to navigate my own dark labyrinth and I turn to music and writing for my lifeline," she wrote on Instagram in August. "I want to encourage you to keep searching for your lifeline, something that makes you happy. ... we need to stop being quiet about our mental well-being. Asking for help doesn't mean you're broken." She started the #RaiseYourHorns campaign, encouraging Instagram users who have struggled with mental health to share photos of themselves throwing the horns, as one step toward "breaking the mental health stigma!"
Considering her openness and advocacy, we asked Hale to contribute to our ongoing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, by sharing some of the songs that have helped her navigate her "dark labyrinth." "When you are down and things seem hopeless, you need both the sad songs and the happy ones combined to help you out of that hole," Hale said when offering up her picks. "Hope you enjoy this playlist!"
"This is my go-to happy song. The sound of Dio's voice assuring me that I — and we do — in fact, rock. It's instant confidence!"
"Another Dio song — yes, there can never be too many. This is my go-to song when I'm angry. It's fully healthy to express yourself and let your feelings out. I pour them onto paper and I sing them out onstage. I relate to this song because my outlet is expressing my feelings onstage."
"Nothing snaps me out of a bad mood like 'Big Balls'. How can you not smile when you hear Bon sneering about his ballroom metaphor. One of the great first smiles of rock & n roll before Van Halen."
"I hear this one being played by my brother [Halestorm drummer Arejay Hale] a lot when he's feeling down. I asked him why, and he responded by saying some songs don't need a deeper meaning to mean something deep down to you. I think that sums it up!"
"This song is nostalgic to me and takes me back to when I was a teenager and kissed a good friend of mine for the first time. That friend became the love of my life. I can relive that first moment through that song. It snaps me out of a downward spiral."
"Because when you're sad and things are dark there's nothing like hearing a song that says everything you're feeling. It reminds you that you are not the only one with a broken heart."
"This is about love lost and trying to move on, but you can't shake it. This, as with the Ryan Adams song, reminded me of how I'm feeling at the moment and that the hurt was not something that could break me, because it didn't break Jon."
"This song is a sing-along song. It's talking about what everyone needs. It's hopeful and all inclusive to everyone battling demons. This is on my playlist because my life is spent with others, my bandmates, and this song is depicting us against the world — we are here for each other!"
"Again that rock & roll smile. This song is about going for it, even if things get tough. To me, it's a song that is about throwing away the hesitation you feel — dive head first! Might as well be happy, live your own life and be you at all costs. Might as well JUMP!"
"This cover is the best. It's part heartache, part I don't give a fuck, and part longing. It's a perfect breakup song. Because it's usually all of those things when you break up. The pain in her voice is what makes this song."
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of resources.