Mighty Life List
Jan 19 2012

Mix: This Particular Sadness

This Particular Sadness is a melancholy mix for hopeful people. You can see the light at the end, but you’re still in the damn tunnel. At least the radio’s working.

If you have a song that has helped you through a particular challenge, please leave it in comments. Of particular note: Frank Ocean is one of my new favorite artists, so be sure to hit that. Typhoon is an amazing band out of Portland, they’re on heavy rotation too. Please watch the video for Big Jet Plane above. Touching.

This Particular Sadness on Spotify
This Particular Sadness on Rdio

Links to individual songs:
Swim Good from Frank Ocean
Holocene from Bon Iver
No Nostalgia from AgesandAges
Big Jet Plane from Angus and Julia Stone
Sadness is a Blessing from Lykke Li
Famous Blue Raincoat from Leonard Cohen
Someone Else’s Life from Joshua Radin
Yes I’m Cold from Chris Bathgate
The Sickness Unto Death from Typhoon
Oviedo from Blind Pilot
Civilian from Wye Oak

Past Mixes:
Simple Present Mix
Yep, Yep. The 2012 Victory Mix
Dancing Alone in Your Underwear Mix

56 Responses to “Mix: This Particular Sadness”

  • Amanda Says:

    It’s a bit cheesey, but Matthew Wilder’s Break My Stride has always at least pulled a crooked smile out of me.

  • Dani Says:

    Maggie, I see big jet plane is still striking a chord. It sticks doesn’t it. I hope you find the end to your tunnel soon. Dani

  • Amanda Says:

    Such an important theme! Mine are the following, : When My Time Comes by Dawes, Feist’s I Feel It All, Blackbird by the Beatles, Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons.

  • Erica Says:

    I’m looking forward to giving this a listen.

    For me, it’s Makers by Rocky Votolato. It’s dark and depressing, but that’s somehow comforting to me when I’m facing a dark time.

  • Kate Says:

    Big Jet Plane is such an amazing song. I get feelings when I listen Landslide by Fleetwood Mac too

  • Rae Says:

    The Shins’ ‘Sleeping Lessons (RAC Mix)’ got me through the hell hole that was the latter half of 2011.

    And for whatever reason, Death Cab For Cutie’s ‘Stay Young, Go Dancing’ never fails to put a smile on my face. It just makes me feel all hopeful.

  • Sarah B Says:

    Simple Song by The Shins. New but I turned it up way loud in the car today and ached … in a good way .. the way an excellent song makes you ache.

  • Catfish Says:

    Suffering, by Satchel.It’s been on almost every playlist I’ve ever made. (And for you old timers, it was featured in the movie “Beautiful Girls.”)

  • Amanda Says:

    We Are Only Getting Better – Joshua Radin
    Keep Breathing – Ingrid Michaelson

    Both of these songs have seen me through some tough times and I still listen to them when I need a pick-me-up.

    Also, We Are Okay – Joshua Radin

  • dgm Says:

    Jason Mraz, “Tonight, Not Again” is, to me, such a great song of sadness, aloneness, followed by hope. “It’s when you cry just a little, but you laugh in the middle, that you’ve made it. And don’t it feel all right, don’t it feel so nice…” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_pdtUR1uHQ

  • Rachel Jordan Says:

    Better Now – The Hereafter
    Take it Easy – The Hereafter
    Too Many Ghosts – John Elliott (anything by John Elliott, actually. That guy’s music has been with me through many a dark time.)

  • C Says:

    As silly as it sounds – I Will Survive. Also, that video was amazing.

  • Katie Says:

    Many the Miles by Sara Bareilles
    Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons

  • Pamela Says:


    Nina Simone – Little Girl Blue

    Good piano just hits me.

  • shan Says:

    nothing is good enough – by Aimee Mann


    (ignore the visual)

  • Kathryn Says:

    Sad, but optimistic: All I Need, by Hannah Georgas
    Full on mope: I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You, by Colin Hay

  • Daffodil Campbell Says:

    “Orange Sky” by Alexi Murdoch
    “No Other Way” by Paolo Nutini
    “The Last Day of our Acquaintance” by Sinead O’Connor
    “Someone You Used to Know” by Zee Avi

    I think I’m gonna cry just typing these……….

  • Elizabeth Says:

    Oh, Leonard Cohen. Is there anyone more deliciously melancholy than my man Leonard? Maybe Antony Hegarty singing Leonard Cohen, but that’s it.


    Oh, wait. And Elliott Smith singing anything. But especially Elliott Smith covering a Big Star song:


    Sometimes I feel as though sad songs that make me feel good are my particular forte.

  • Kristin Says:

    Kathleen Edwards – Pink Champagne

  • Stephanie Says:

    A cup of ginger tea and “We Have A Map Of The Piano” by Múm. Works every time.

  • Rebecca Says:

    The Swell Season by Glen Hansard (instrumental only, but a lovely and pure moment and heartbreaking all the same).

    Somebody that I used to know – Gotye. Anything by Gotye is good. I promise.

    I second Holocene and love the Bon Iver album. Might be my favorite release of 2011.

    This is darker and louder, but I’m absolutely obsessed with Florence + the Machine’s “Seven Devils” from her new album, Ceremonials. Very dark, though. Not so much “light at the end of the tunnel”. More like “you’ve been going through the tunnel and realize a boulder fell over the opening on the other end”. Dark.

  • AnthroK8 Says:

    Across The Great Divide- Nanci Griffith’s version of the song because it’s the first one I heard.

    Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes- Paul Simon. I still love the album Graceland.

    Blue Moon- Django Reinhardt’s instrumental version. You can rarely go wrong with Django.

  • Leslie Says:

    The Wind by Cat Stevens. Which is not to say that I would not want any water if I were sitting upon a setting sun, just that I like the way he sings about it.

    Also, Debaser by The Pixies. Because after that song is over I could breathe fire if I wanted to.

  • Ris Says:

    I’m going to throw in an oldie here, because I just love singing the words at the top of my lungs: “The Great Pretender” by The Platters.

  • Rachel Says:

    Anything by Ryan Adams, but a few that get me everytime are:
    Come pick me up
    When the stars go blue

    Just out and seriously heartbreaking is Kathleen Adams….just listen to Pink Champagne.

  • Megan Says:

    Ha! I realize how narrow my music taste is lately when the first song that came to mind was, “Let Me Live in Your City” by Paul Simon, which I suggested for one of your other mixes, too. Or maybe it says more about Paul Simon, that goddamn national treasure. Am I right?

  • Nora Says:

    Oh, and Whiskeytown’s cover of Dreams

  • Jan Says:

    My husband claims I have the most depressing taste in music possible. That being said, I love this track by Great Lake Swimmers called Everything is Moving So Fast because it’s great background music for pondering big thoughts…plus I found the drumming absolutely hypnotic when I saw it live.

  • Lisa Says:

    I can’t recommend Gotye enough, thanks for beating me to it Rebekah!

    Of his, go to Bronte and watch the youtube video. Makes me cry every time.

  • Silly Says:

    Oh god, others have said Gotye but “Somebody That I Used To Know” makes me feel every emotion under the sun. Beautiful song.

  • Lynne Says:

    “I Stand” by Idina Menzel (I prefer the accoustic version)
    “Love Over Gold” by Dire Straits
    “River Flows in You” by Yiruma
    I second “Famous Blue Raincoat” (this sung by Jennifer Warnes got me through university)
    and more recently “Turning Tables” by Adele

    Huh. Now that I see them all summed up, it appears the piano is my go-to sad day instrument. Good to know!

  • lady pants Says:

    outtasight – wilco

  • Leslie Says:

    My go to is “A Better Son/Daughter” by Rilo Kiley. Also “Plainsong” by The Cure–that opening chord gets me every time.

  • Mary Says:

    Really enjoying Freelance Whales – Generator 2nd Floor. Pump the volume and have a little dance party in my kitchen. It’s hard not to smile..

  • Shona Says:

    KT Tunstall – Silent Sea
    Kept me going when I was cut loose and had lost the controls.

  • Megs Says:

    Proving that I will always be an angsty teenage girl at heart, Fiona Apple. All of her songs, for always, forever will make me feel like it is okay to be me. Whoever the heck that is……

  • Daniella Says:

    Also Everything But The Girl was what inlistened to on repeat last time I was in the tunnel. Especially ‘missing’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAZthLPMcZY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • greyfavorite Says:

    Maggie, I love when you post about music. Thanks for sharing.

    Definitely agree about Civilian by Wye Oak!

    Also get that mournful but stubbornly hopeful feeling from…

    Waiting in the Airport by River City Extension

    Permanent by the Milk Carton Kids

    Any thing by Jeff Mangum

  • Stacey Says:

    I agree with Gotye and Mumord and Sons. Great stuff.

    “Rootless Tree” by Damien Rice is both very sad and intensely angry. Anything by him is great, really. Also, “Keep Breathing” by Ingrid Michaelson helped me realize that, sometimes, all you can do is let go and survive.

  • Aimee Says:

    Alanis Morissette. More specifically, and when that particular sadness is of a brokenhearted nature, this one:

  • Peggy Says:

    Through a particularly tough time last year, I got comfort from “We’re All In The Dance” by Feist.

  • alisonsanborn@yahoo.com Says:

    Florence and the Machine’s Breaking Down and Never Let Me Go.

    The former track is particularly interesting to me; I’ve taken it to mean she’s talking about darkness or depression. When she talks about it creeping into her life, lurking at the edges, it paints a very vivid picture in my head of a little dark cloud hovering.

  • Audrey Horne Says:

    First high school breakup: Don Henley, End of the Innocence. Man, I’m cool.

  • Helen Says:

    For me recently it’s been an obsession with La Roux.


  • Wilhemina Says:

    The best song for transitional melancholy (and total cool points!) is Changes by Black Sabbath.(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otSXkJWeSFoz0)

    Don’t let the hard rock front scare you. It’s a great song that perfectly balances harmony and fear of the unknown. As far as break up songs Meg has that on lockdown here (http://webebrave.blogspot.com/2012/01/have-your-friends-collect-your.html)
    so good because it’s so hard.

  • ashley Says:

    “this year” by the mountain goats. works like a charm every time. also “going to georgia”.

  • Amber, theAmber Show Says:

    One day I’ll tell you how spot on this was for me right now.

    Thank you.

  • Natollie Says:

    I have to mention The Ark with “Tell me this night is over” and Snow Patrol’s current single “This isn’t everything you are”. I am not one for subtleties when stuck in tunnels, no.

    The Ark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMY_EUw1MUI&ob=av2e

    Snow Patrol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_hhc-QLbyQ

  • cmb Says:

    Eet by Regina Spector
    Disarm by The Smashing Pumpkins
    I wish I could go back to college from Avenue Q (yes, I am that kind of a dork)
    Motorcycle Drive-By by Third Eye Blind
    Pretty much anything off of REM’s Automatic For the People
    Natalie Merchant
    Counting Crows (esp Recovering the Satellites)
    Coming Around Again by Carly Simon

    Way, way too many more

  • Andrea Says:

    Wow… that video! Astoundingly similar to me as an angsty teenager, right down to the depressing job in the dollar store. My go-to album for hopeful melancholia is I Wish We Were an Eagle by Bill Calahan.

  • Catherine Says:

    I heard this recently and thought someone had been reading my mind. Someone named Mason Jennings.


    Thanks for all the song suggestions. Really enjoy them.

  • Lindsey Says:

    so weird. I was listening to Frank Ocean on iTunes when I came to your site from a link on another blog. I paused it to start the video and then read down where you mentioned him. I’m really enjoying him right now. It’s such a nice change from what I have been listening to. Also really enjoying the Tuneyards.

  • Caitlin Says:

    Florence and the machine – Shake it Off

    “And I’m ready to suffer, and I’m ready to hope”
    “It’s always darkest before the dawn”

    this song’s a powerhouse. awesome video as well

  • Joyce Says:

    Shawn Colvin’s “I Don’t Know Why” for grief I want to feel keenly and still find hope.

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