How can we help those who are suffering, feeling confused or stuck in life?—Use a song! In this case for a teen who is depressed and in order to bring out heart pain or to jumpstart discussion about their present futility, even a secular song can offer the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. For a seeker or even unchurched non-believer as well as those with faith, the song, “Feeling Good” can be used to point the heart of acceptance found in a new life in Christ (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15, and Eph 4:23, 24). The original song, written by Cy Grant, has been remade by many artists. A later version by the band Muse might be a song that resonates in the heart of a depressed teen (if not, you can ask them what their favorite songs or artists may be). Although we tend to not saturate our biblical therapy in secular psychology like David Burns (author of the book, “Feeling Good”) may offer, it is still helpful to climb out of depression, not perpetually embracing pain and this can be accelerated with musical aides. The lyrics to “Feeling Good” are:
“Birds flying high you know how I feel, Sun in the sky you know how I feel, Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good. Fish in the sea you know how I feel, River runnin’ free you know how I feel, Blossom in the trees you know how I feel. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good. Birds flying high you know how I feel Sun in the sky you know how I feel. Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good. Fish in the sea you know how I feel. River running free you know how I feel. Blossom in the trees you know how I feel. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good. Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know. Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean. Sleep in peace when day is done And this old world is a new world. And a bold world for me. Stars when you shine you know how I feel. Scent of the pine you know how I feel. Oh freedom is mine. And you know how I feel. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good.”
The dissection and discussion of “Feeling Good” during a therapy hour can easily lead into heart-discussion then towards guidance about living a redemptive, new life in God’s created order. While relating to your counselee by the line “you know how I feel” and so does our omniscient Jesus, start with the simple “smell of the pine” or “seeing the birds in the air” then go into heart-pain. The “whole creation groans (Rom 8:22)” so we can bring an existential biblical concept from this song into alignment with healthful living, since we all “groan” and wait for the day of complete redemption–a way to relate to and process depression NOW. We are waiting in the “not yet” for fullness. Having a focus on the created order, going for a walk outside to think and heal helps see how redemption does and will take place personally for them. It is very possible for a depressed teen to sing, play or just listen to Muse’s version of “Feeling Good” to spark some relation to new life in Christ–in their present life while offering out the hope of the now and the not yet of our fallen world transitioned into a whole new world; inside of their hearts today and into their future.
Romans 8:20-25 New Living Translation (NLT)
“Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)”
Cinda Marturano, M.A. “Counseling Tool #2, Deep Waters documents”.