Music Therapy: Theme Songs for the Five Stages of Loss

Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross had the theory on the five stages of grief and loss. It is not really a linear thing. One can jump from one stage to another, or even have them all at the same time. Anyhow, I have found these songs on my iTunes playlist that I believe depicts each of the stages. Most of the songs I placed here are ranked five stars on my playlist. I actually listen to all the songs and rank them so that I can easily find my favorites. πŸ™‚

Music is very therapeutic. I hope you enjoy this list of songs as much as I have! πŸ˜‰

(If you have a hard time downloading the song, shoot me an email at and I will send you the Mediafire link or even the songs that you want, if email attachments allow it.)

Warning: If harboring suicidal tendencies, please don’t play the Depression Songs. πŸ˜‰


Stage 1: Denial (a.k.a. Please Don’t Leave Meeee!)

Baby Don’t You Break My Heart Slow – MYMP

Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis

Can’t Let You Go – Cueshe

Come Round Soon – Sara Bareilles

Decisions – Ne-Yo and Brandy

Don’t Speak – No Doubt

Here Without You – 3 Doors Down

I Don’t Want You to Go – Lani Hall

If I Didn’t Love You – Tina Arena

If You Ever Come Back – The Script

In My Place – Coldplay

Linger – The Cranberries

Little Miss Obsessive – Ashlee Simpson

Littlest Things – Lily Allen

Love Will Lead You Back – Kyla

One Last BreathΒ  – Creed

Our Love (Don’t Throw it All Away) – Jennifer Love-Hewitt

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing – Jack Johnson

Still Loving You – Scorpions

Talking to the Moon – Bruno Mars

Torete – Moonstar 88

Tuliro – Sponge Cola

Wherever You Will Go – The Calling

Wish You Were Here –Β  Incubus

You Belong with Me – Taylor Swift

You Were Meant for Me – Jewel


Stage 2: Anger (a.k.a. Go to hell, sucker!)

Apologize – One Republic

Barely Breathing – Duncan Sheik

Because of You – Kelly Clarkson

Fuck It – Eamon

Fuck It – Eamon (Girl Version)

Fuck You – Lily Allen

Gives You Hell – All-American Rejects

H.A.T.E. – Plain White T’s

Heartless – Kanye West

Hush Hush – Pussycat Dolls

I Don’t Want to be Your Friend – Nina

I Never Really Loved You Anyway – The Corrs

Jaded – Aerosmith

Just Like a Pill – Pink

King of Anything – Sara Bareilles

My Happy Ending – Avril Lavigne

Numb – Linkin Park

Since You’ve Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson

Stronger than Me – Amy Winehouse

That’s it, I Quit, I’m Moving On – Adele

Torn – Natalie Imbruglia

Vindicated – Dashboard Confessional

Walang Kadala Dala – Sandwich

Wasting My Time – Spice Girls

You’re so Gay – Katy Perry

Stage 3: Bargaining (a.k.a. One more chance…)

4 in the Morning – Gwen Stefani

Back to You – John Mayer

Calling Your Name Again – Richard Carpenter

Can We Still Be Friends? –Β  Mandy Moore

Can You Help Me? – Usher

Emotion – Destiny’s Child

I Miss You – Blink 182

I Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

If I Never See You Again – Wet Wet Wet

Last Chance – Allure

Lie Low – Plumb

Long Gone and Moved On – The Script

Missing You- Case

Nothing Compares to You – Sinead O’Connor

Oo – Up Dharma Down

Stay – Lisa Loeb

The Man Who Can’t be Moved – The Script

The One that Got Away – Katy Perry

Unforgivable Sinner – Lene Marlin

What Can I Do? – The Corrs

What if? – Babyface

When Love and Hate Collide – Def Leppard


Stage 4: Depression (a.k.a. It’s OVERRRRRRR. wahuhuhuhu)

All Apologies – Nirvana

All by Myself – Celine Dion

Alone – Heart

Ang Pag-ibig Kong Ito – Moonstar88

Another Used to Be – Usher

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Breakdown – Mariah Carey

Burnout – Sugarfree

Butterly – Mariah Carey

Chasing Pavements – Adele

Creep – Radiohead

Exit Wounds – The Script

First Cut is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow

It Ends Tonight – All American Rejects

Jealous – Nina

My Immortal – Evanescence

Never Ever – All Saints

On My Own – Les Miserables

One Last Cry – Brian McKnight

Only Reminds Me of You – MYMP

Out of Reach – Gabrielle

So Far Away – Carole King

So Sick of Love Songs – Ne-Yo

Stop Crying Your Heart Out – Oasis

Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler

Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers

What Hurts the Most – Danny Gokey

When You’re Gone – The Cranberries

You Got it Bad – Usher


Stage 5: Acceptance (a.k.a. I am so moving forward, for real!)

All Behind Us Now – Patti Austin

Alright – Darius Rucker

An Updated Version of Me – KC Concepcion

Beautiful Things – Andain

Better in Time – Leona Lewis

Concerto #1 in E Major Spring – Antonio Vivaldi

Cool – Gwen Stefani

Everybody’s Changing – Keane

Feeling So Good – Jennifer Lopez

Get it Right – Lea Michele

I Used to Love You – John Legend

Just Fine – Mary Blige

Kaleidoscope Heart – Sara Bareilles

Learning to Breathe – Switchfoot

Lesson Learned – Alicia Keys

Life Goes On – Leann Rimes

Lovely Day – Bill Withers

Maling Akala – Brownman Revival

Move Along – All American Rejects

Nothin Hill – Trevor Jones

One Step at a Time – Jordin Sparks

Over You – Daughtry

Perfectly Lonely – John Mayer

Rollerblades – Eliza Doolittle

Shake it Off – Mariah Carey

Smile – Lily Allen

Somewhere Only We Know – Keane

Survivor – Destiny’s Child

Tattoo – Jordin Sparks

Today My Life Begins – Bruno Mars

With a Smile – Eraserheads




Ideal Stuff on Loan

Last night, I had to visit a very close friend (one of my best friends) who is undergoing so much stress at this point in time. Possibly all the worst things that can happen to a twenty-something woman happened to her. And understandably, she wanted to die, impatient for the ending which everyone of us will inevitably face. I tried to convince her of reasons why she needs to hang on. My efforts may be lame, but they are with the utmost intentions of helping her recover– recover, and not hang herself because of these ceaseless trials in her journey.

It was strange because I recognize some things going full circle in my head as I listened to my friend tell me about how tired she is of life. She, who used to be so full of verve and was the go-to person when I was hit with the major case of the blues, is now afflicted with a severe case of depression. I often remember that she was this bubbly, outgoing woman who faced all her challenges squarely. I admired her for that.

I was chatting with my mentor a day before this and he told me that time is a relative concept: while I find my time in this life so fast and I need to catch up on a lot of things, there are clearly some people who find time to be so frigging slow as they just wait for the end of their lives. It’s sad, but it’s true. This conversation with my suicidal friend is a living proof of how relatively we view things in this life.

She had, in her mind, an ideal quest. And it frustrates her that she has not achieved that ideal situation for herself now. She thinks her life has no more meaning because she did not get the ideal job and she did not get to keep the “ideal” man.

She wanted this particular job, and was hung up with an “ideal” man that she had let go of. This was the guy, who, in my opinion, is an overly glorified and immortalized version of her flawed past relationship. He was a lesser evil compared to the man who caused her recent heartache. But he was NOT good at all. She just views him as good because she had to face so much evil after her relationship with him. Pain can simply blind you to smithereens. It takes a Herculean effort to see things as they are when you are hurting or happy.

I had to sing to her the song of her old self, because she has completely forgotten it. I sang as much as I can in the two hours that I was with her, because she has forgotten her song.Β And it is a great disservice to one’s self if you forget your song. I will be singing for quite a while, that’s for sure. But I don’t mind. In case I lose my song too, I know she will sing it back to me as well.

She vaguely reminded me of my own situation. I have my own ideal quests in life. I found the ideal person and the ideal job. But I cannot have any of it for long. I acknowledge them to be ideal for me, but at the same time, I acknowledge that I will have to let it go.

Circumstances dictate that I look on them from afar, possibly have them for a short time but not really to the point of having them 100%.

Do I whine? Do I cry that I cannot have the ones I want the most? Do I pine for that ideal object at the expense of hurting others as I do it? Do I blame God for showing these ideal stuff to me so late in life?

NO. Years ago, perhaps I would have cried for days on end and forced myself to get them.

But I have learned to be sad only for a moment and to move on as quickly as possible. Life is so short. Was it really a loss or was it just a loss because I perceived it to be so? AND, how can you lose something you never owned to begin with? Everything is on loan. Even this life we live is on loan.

Instead of whining, I remembered the prayer I recited a lot when I was attending daily Mass in the UP Parish, the Prayer of the Holy Sacrifice. “Teach us to give up our own comfort, plans and dreams if it is not for your glory and the good of others…”

I finally realized what that statement meant. Then was the time to speak out the words during Mass. This is the time to really implement the meaning behind those words.

A very smart guy friend told me recently that he finds romance depicted only in his Koreanovela obsession. He believes that marriage is primarily an economic and political decision, above all other things. The fleeting, passing fancies of falling in love are not worth the pain that follows after, according to him.Β I do not totally agree with what my guy friend said but it was something I was able to ponder on too since we had dinner at Hap Chang last week.

IDEAL is defined by Merriam Webster as “exactly right for a particular purpose, situation, or person” But I am starting to realize for myself that my ideal job and my ideal person is, more or less, an illusion produced by my limited perception of things.

Certain circumstances allow us to conclude that this person or this thing is ideal for us. But honestly, the ascribing of the ideal is just as relative as human perception of life and time.Β We think it is ideal for us based on our perspective. But ours is not the only perspective to consider. I, for one, believe in the hand of a God who sees the bigger picture.

Even if we have reached our dreams, a certain detachment is needed because other people need to be considered. Most of all, becoming too attached to the ideal stuff, no matter how good they are, can destroy you later on. You become so consumed into possessing that ideal object that you end up not appreciating the other things of life.

The greater good is more important than fulfilling one’s fancies.Β And in this forced detachment of not owning my ideal stuff, I become most thankful at each instance that I get to spend time with them. The recognition that they are “on loan” makes me appreciate them more and derive more meaning in my interaction with these ideal persons and objects.

You know what’s the best thing about letting some of our ideals fly? It empties our hands.

And in that selfless emptiness, you give yourself a chance to be filled with the unexpected.Β Over time, you discover that you are more fit for this new and unexpected thing. You will laugh at how you placed a period where God has only placed a comma.

So I guess, my ideal stuff on loan have to be returned pretty soon.

But surely, I will bloom where I will plant myself anew.

It’s no cause for despair. A better tomorrow is on its way.

All that life asks of us is not to be perfect in every way, but to BE OPEN to the next bend.

My arms are wide open and waiting and optimistic.

Indayog (A Tagalog Urban Inanimism)

Backgrounder : I have this category on my blog called Urban Inanimism (see right side of my blog for post categories), the idea of which came from my old wordpress blog in college. The posts involve making inanimate objects talk. So far, I have done it all in English. Planning to do one in French in the far future. Hope this Tagalog debut will not be the last…


Ganito mo ako naabutan nung pumasok ka sa makulay kong sayawan. Heto ako noon: maganda, maningning, at masaya sa pedestal na pinaglagyan ko sa aking sarili.

Pinilit mo akong angkinin sa panahong hindi ko na gustong magpaangkin kahit kanino. Dumating ka sa puntong kuntento na ako sa pagiging mag-isa. Inimpluwensyahan mo ang mga desisyon kong manahimik sa solitaryo kong pamumuhay. At nagpumilit kang pumasok sa sayawan. Dinaan mo ako sa dalaw, sa pagpapakitang mahusay kang magbigay ng mga bagay.

Ngunit habang pinalapit kita ng pinalapit sa akin, unti-unti mo akong sinakal. Hindi mo ako gustong ibahagi kahit sa ibang taong nangangailangan ng tulong ko. Sinarili mo ako ng matagal na panahon. Ginawa mo akong de susing makina na susunod lang sa lahat ng gusto mo.

Halos masira ang ulo ko noon. Hindi mo ako pinagkakatiwalaan kahit na wala naman akong ipinapakitang masama sa iyo. Sinumbat mo pa ang mga dating sumayaw sa buhay ko. Ni hindi mo naisip na pinaalis ko na nga lahat sa entablado para mapapasok ka lang sa buhay ko.

Marami ng nakasira sa akin noon. Pero sa lahat, ikaw ang pinakamalala dahil ikaw ang pinagkatiwalaan ko ng lubos. At ang dami kong binago sa sarili ko, mapasaya ka lang. Hindi na nga ako disco ball nung naghiwalay tayo. Hindi ko na alam kung ano ako, palagay ko naging karugtong na lang ako ng perpeksiyonistiko mong pananaw sa buhay. Kung buhay pa nga bang matatawag ang impyernong iyon.

Ang malaking kasalanan ko lang sa sarili ko ay hinayaan kitang lumapit. Dinalhan ng dusa ang aking sarili sa walang pakundangang pagpatay-sindi mo sa buhay mo. Nilinlang ako ng kadilimang nagtatago sa katalinuhan ng pantas. Nalilo ako upang maniwala na karagdagang liwanag ang dala mo. Isang makislap na pambalot ka lang pala ng regalo na walang laman.Β Β Kinuha mo pa ang kung anumang kakarampot na liwanag na mayroon ako sa buhay ko.

Isang araw, namalayan ko na lang na ayoko na ng ganitong buhay. TAMA NA ANG PAGSAYAW MO SA BUHAY KO. Sumira ka ng bagay na hindi mo naman pala kayang ayusin. Kahit anong pagsisisi pa ang ipakita mo ngayon ay wala ng talab. Patay na ang mga ilaw. Sira na ako. Sira na tayo.

Sumambulat ang buo kong pagkatao at kumubli ang mga basag na piraso sa ningning ng ilaw ng mga katawang nagsasayawan. Nanatili ako sa mga dating ginagawa.Β Hindi na ako nagpapahalatang basag para hindi maalarma ang ibang sumasayaw sa mundo ko. Pinipilit pa ring magbigay-liwanag sa kabila ng lahat. Hindi mo man alam, naging sakim ka sa liwanag na winasak mo at halos wala ng natira sa akin noon. Hindi mo lang alam, pero baka sarado na ang sayawan ng buhay ko dahil binomba mo ng walang kapantay na sakit ang mga mekanismong bumubuhay dito.

Napilitan lang akong paalisin ka, kahit sinanay mo akong nandiyan ka. Ginawa ko iyon para mabuhay naman ako– para mahanap ko ang mga basag na aspeto ng sarili kong nagkalat sa lapag ng kaguluhan at kalituhan. At ito na ako ngayon:

Maganda pa rin naman ako, pero hindi na buo sa loob. Hindi na halos makaakyat pabalik sa pinanggalingan kong pedestal. Pedestal na winarak mo para sa pansarili mong interes. At sa gitna ng lahat ng sumabog kong kalooban, pinipilit kong bumangon at ayusin ang lahat ng mag-isa. Maaari akong magpatawad sa pagkayurakan mo sa pagkatao ko, sa pagpapadilim mong muli ng dating tahimik na mundo ko.

Pero ang magkunwaring parang wala lang ang lahat at panatilihin kang sumasayaw sa buhay ko kung kailan mo gustong sumulpot ay hindi ko na maaatim pa… Sa pagsara ko ng pinto sa iyo, umaasa akong maibabalik ko ang sarili ko sa dati kong masiglang pamumuhay.

Pasensya na dahil isa lang akong bolang bilog na madaling mabasag kahit ang nakikita lamang sa akin ay ang walang maliw na kutitap. Ni hindi ko na maaninag ang bilog ko ngayon. Pakiwari ko’y nilamon na ako ng mundo at wala talaga akong permanenteng hugis. Kahit ano pang sabihin mong pakunswelo ngayon, dumidilim at napupundi rin ang kahit anong makislap na ilaw. At pag-alis ng mga bisitang napaligaya at napagsilbihan ng aking ilaw sa araw-araw, dinadalaw ako ng luha, pagkahapo at matinding panaghoy.

Hindi ko na maibabalik ang panahon.

Hindi ko na maibabalik ang dating indayog ng mapagtiwalang disco ball.

Malamang lang, mag-iiba na ako ng negosyo. Tapos na ang pagiging disco ball ko. Natuto ako ng husto. Hindi dapat ipinauubaya ang indayog ng kaluluwa sa mga taong nagdudunung-dunungan lamang.

Iiwan na din kita sa memorya ng dating buong liwanag na sinabog mo sa kawalan.

At sana, hindi na ito maulit kailan pa man.

>park bed and breakfast hotel

>After a painful decision of ending a romance, my balm of healing came from a hotel room. No, it is not what you think. I spent the night in Malibay’s new hotel with my mom and sister Harvey.
There is something about being alone…
The allure of solitude beckoned to me once again, like a tiger licking its wounds so that it can spring much higher after its fall.
I savored each moment in transit. There was some intimate cord that makes Pasay’s streets seem so homey and unwelcome at the same time. I embrace the irony.
Aboard the train on my way to this place, I saw the pink hues of the sky along Jones Bridge at sunset. It was as if a huge pink cotton candy was swirled and flattened on the gray sky. Like a retarded child who accidentally did a masterpiece on canvass.
But God is no retard and He does not commit accidents…
I journey again back to being child like. Childlike, not childish.
There was once upon a time in my life where everything was filled with wonder. Where the mundane stuff like entering a mall seems like entering a cave of wonders.
Yesterday, I said goodbye to two dozens of roses that symbolized two people who desperately tried to make it work. At the expense of themselves. It was a romance that began and later departed from grace.
The pain will stay for awhile. The sting will come when Time bids the true signs that everything is now a thing of my sorry past.

But I know that things will get better. I might have some more of these days like here at the hotel now. Crying when no one is watching. And just watching other people and things the rest of the time.

It does not make sense now. It does not have to, really. When the puzzle pieces do not seem to form anything, glue all those brokenness with hope and faith.
They will get better. They have gotten better before. And in this life, the only legitimate action is to keep moving forward.

Life will be roses and chocolates anew when my time comes for it. And I will have my world of wonders again, hopefully never to be taken away again.