Music can change your life

Three songs that mark pivotal moments

Songs by Selena Gomez, Elliott Smith, and Hovvdy changed my outlook on life.

Music has always played a big part in my life and certain songs often mark pivotal moments for me. My memories are the most vivid when I can associate them with a particular song. Here are three songs that changed my life and why.

“A Year Without Rain” by Selena Gomez

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Selena Gomez standing in the desert, her long dress blowing in the wind. I stood in front of the TV in awe of her beauty. That’s when I decided that “A Year Without Rain” was my new favourite song.

I was around eight at the time, and up until then, the only music I really listened to was what my parents played in the car—which consisted of a lot of screamo and Sarah McLaughlin. “A Year Without Rain” was the first song I got to make up my own mind about. I got to go around and show it to other people, instead of it being the other way around.

“Waltz #2” by Elliott Smith 

I first listened to Elliott Smith’s music at some point in high school and discovered that a lot of his songs were in my favourite movies. 

His song “Miss Misery” was famously in Good Will Hunting, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1998. Similarly, “Son of Sam” was played in the Love, Rosie soundtrack—a movie so heartwarming you can’t help but appreciate the music accompanying it. I’m sure there were more, but those were significant to me at the time.

“Waltz #2” caught my attention with Elliott’s lyrics, which are always the perfect amount of emo. This song was hugely significant for me because it made me realize this was the kind of music I liked. This song came to me in the peak of my angsty teenager days and spoke to me more deeply and personally than any song I’d heard before. I think Smith’s music has a life-changing power for a lot of people and that’s why he is so beloved.

“Blindsided” by Hovvdy

“Blindsided” appeared on some Spotify-generated mix of mine this past summer. It was one of those moments where you’re tuned out of the music and your brain is on autopilot, and then you tune back in at the perfect time.

Something in my brain clicked when I heard the lyrics “could’ve really used you in my life.”
It was a beautiful yet heartbreaking lyric that I kept thinking about even after the song had stopped playing.

True Love, the album “Blindsided” is on, is equally as vulnerable and nostalgic. Hovvdy’s songs walk the line between euphoric and depressing, which was perfect for the way I felt this summer. I would give anything to get to experience their songs again for the first time.


What makes music special isn’t always the songs themselves, but rather the situation or mood you’re in when you’re listening to them.

These songs are obviously very significant to me, but a lot of that has to do with when I was introduced to them and how I felt when that happened. My mood had a lot to do with how I interpreted these songs and why they affected me so much. Though they may not be as life-changing for you as they were for me, I hope you’ll give these songs a listen.

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