"Mental health is something that is so stigmatized," Lacuna Coil singer Cristina Scabbia said in 2016, discussing her band's then-new album Delirium, a concept record that tackled the subject, with each song representing a room in an imagined sanitarium where a patient is suffering from a different kind of mental illness. "Having seen the effects of it first hand, we wanted to try and tackle it. Not because it was cool or because we are all so crazy, but because it is such a big problem in the world for so many people to really understand. And the results of it can be traumatic."
Since the issue is so close to her heart, we asked Scabbia to participate in our continuing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, in which artists share some of the music that has helped them through dark times. Below is what the singer offered up along with some advice.
This is the type of song that makes you want to destroy stuff (in a good way). Anger is such a destructive, poisoning feeling that won't allow you to see things straight. Do something to get it out without harming anyone or anything — listen to something that makes you scream it all out. "Get me out of here/I have been lost in the dark/Get me out of here/I'm locked inside me." VOLUME UP.
Just like me, lots of people tend to listen to sad, depressing, melancholic songs when they're going through something that should make them avoid this type of stuff. Maybe it's due to the fact that sometimes we need to touch the bottom to be able to jump and fly away again. In a period when it was very hard for me to keep my chin up and live my life because of some events I was dealing with, friends and music saved my life.
This song gives me a lot of different kinds of feelings. Feelings of solitude … and freedom. I don't know if that makes any sense but there you go!
We often forget that, despite what is really happening around us, it is always our personal perception that makes things look harder than they really are. Did you ever consume yourself thinking you were not being enough in a love or friendly relationship? Sometimes there are no faults — it just doesn't work out.
Accepting failures, accepting the fact they can make us stronger and make us able not to repeat the same mistakes again will really change things in your life. We have all been betrayed in different ways. It is not cool, but it makes us all equal in a way and it means we can all survive and deal with the stuff around us like champions.
You just need to listen to the chorus. You have nothing to lose, try to lay down into the grass and breathe. Maynard [James Keenan]'s words are so true. We are all so connected to cell phones and social medias that we forget real life and we tend to compare ourselves to a plasticky fake reality that doesn't really exist. Time to grasp on real shit!
I love Aaliyah (R.I.P.) and her timeless words in the chorus: "Dust it off and try again." Failures are part of life, there is no way to escape them. We have to think about failures as lessons for us to understand what not to do again, to approach things differently. They are indeed harsh, sometimes very hard to digest but they are part of the path of each one of us.
Do me a favor. Put your headphones on. Sit down. Close your eyes. Click on play as you imagine to be on the top of a mountain with a hang glider (with parachute on!!!). Imagine running into the sky and flying around while you slowly inhale and exhale looking at our gorgeous planet ... Do you feel better? It works wonders for me!
Just the whole song together with the voice of the singer, the notes, the arrangements ... it touches my heart in a healing way. I have a soft spot for notes that make my heart squeeze.
"We never look back, no, we always look forward." I'll leave you guys with this phrase, included in this song's lyrics. Don't focus on the past. LET. IT. GO. There is a reason why time doesn't go backwards.
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.