Top 7 Songs I Listen to When I’m Stressed Out: Hillsong, Strahan, United Pursuit, Josh Garrels, Bethel Music & Chris Steinke

Bethel Music (Amanda Cook): You Make Me Brave

You make me brave, you make me brave

You call me out beyond the shore into the waves

You make me brave, you make me brave

No fear can hinder now the love that made a way

You make me brave, you make me brave

You call me out beyond the shore into the waves

You make me brave, you make me brave

No fear can hinder now the promises you made

Bethel Music was just nominated for a ton of 2019 Dove Awards (Lauren Daigle leads the charge with 6 as a solo artist. Her music is amazing.). The “You Make Me Brave” video has 26 million views on YouTube as of August 2019. This is my power anthem. Like Peter, we are called to step out onto the waves, keeping our eyes Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. I have blasted this song on my way to job interviews, academic interviews, Ph.D. classes, during international flights, and now, as I prepare for advanced medical screening at Mayo Clinic. It reminds me that perfect love casts out fear and I can walk with courage knowing Jesus has already made a way for me.

Hillsong United: Like Incense / Sometimes by Step and Who You Say I Am

“Oh God, you are my God

And I will ever praise You”

“Like Incense” is an anthem that’s stuck with me since my days in graduate school at Medill and throughout my days working as a journalist based in Chicago.

“Who the Son sets free, oh, is free indeed

I’m a child of God, yes I am

I am chosen, not forsaken

I am who you say I am

You are for me, not against me

I am who you say I am.”

“Who You Say I Am” is a compelling reminder that God is the one who says who I am–not what any medical diagnosis or state of mind might try to tell me.

Josh Garrels: Train Song

“Sing it on the mountain, or in the valley low

He’s my God and He’ll never let me go

…Peace runs deep in Him.”

I hadn’t heard this song until I went in for my first MRI in 2016 due to sciatic nerve pain (I didn’t know this at the time of writing this blog post, but I’m gluten intolerant, which was a huge contributor to my sciatica as it caused muscle inflammation. If you have sciatica or chronic migraines or chronic muscle pain of any kind, try dropping gluten from your diet. It worked a miracle for me!). As I lay waiting to get put into the tube scanner, the tech gave me headphones and asked what Spotify or Pandora station I wanted to listen to during the scan. I said Josh Garrels because he’s pretty chill. This song, Train Song, was the first to come on and I’d never heard it before. But God knew exactly what I needed to hear as I got moved slowly into the claustrophobic MRI scanner. Now I can’t get “peace runs deep in Him” out of my head.

Strahan: You’re the Dawn

“Many rushing waters come

Breaking like the morning sun

My heart is yours, every dawn

This light is yours.”

That guitar plucking tho. So chill.

United Pursuit: Simple Gospel

“Lord I’ve been told to be ashamed

Lord I’ve been told I don’t measure up

Lord I’ve been told I’m not good enough

But you’re here with me

I reach out and you find me in the dust

You say no amount of untruth can separate us

I will rejoice in the simple Gospel

I will rejoice in You, Lord

I will rejoice in the simple Gospel

I will rejoice in You, Lord.”

They recorded this Live at Red Rocks in spring 2019 and it’s amazing.

Chris Steinke: “I Will Be Joyful”

I play this entire album (Joyful) on repeat most days of the week. “I Will Be Joyful” is the title track off Chris’s first album which is on SpotifyApple Music, and CDBaby. He also has a websiteTwitterYouTube, and Facebook page where you can follow his updates. Word on the street is Chris is recording a new album in November so I can’t wait for that!

Hopefully these songs are encouraging to you, too! If you have any recommendations for amazing chill Jesus music let me know 🙂
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