Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Turn That Frown Upside Down: Tips for When You're Feeling Low

I don't claim to be any kind of psychologist, but I have suffered with depression for over six years, and haven't, as yet, given into the darkness (yes, I like to make myself sound like a super villain sometimes ok?). Being depressed is horrible, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but, if you want to, there are, in my opinion, some quick and easy ways to make yourself feel better or halt a downward spiral. These are my tips for turning your frown upside down:

Watch Something Funny

When I'm feeling depressed, 80% of the time I turn to Netflix. Mostly because being depressed not only makes you feel down, but it saps you of energy and makes it hard for you to actively 'do' anything. So, where you might feel like just crawling into bed and crying, instead crawl into bed and watch The Mindy Project. Watching a show that you love (preferably a funny one) can instantly lift your mood with very little effort coming from you. Now, it's not the healthiest thing to just lie in bed and watch TV, but sometimes you just need that time away from things to recharge, and watching something like Parks and Rec can provide you with enough laughs to make you feel a little happier.

Listen to Happy Music

I know some people are all about 'embracing the sadness', and listening to really depressing songs when they're sad, but that is just not me. When I'm down I freaking hate it! That's not how I want to feel. Ever. So, if I am feeling down I like to listen to happy songs that you can't help but smile when you listen to. If you're interested in the songs I listen to check out my playlist on Apple Music.

Read a Book 

Now, I've only been doing this recently, but it's been working really well. If I'm in a place where everything seems awful and the whole world seems like too much, I turn to the one good thing left in the world - Harry Potter. Yep, when I'm down, going back to Hogwarts and immersing myself in that world is one of the best cures. I wouldn't recommend reading anything too heavy, but something like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson are great, upbeat, easy to read romps that, to me, remind me of the good that's out there.

Buy Something for Yourself

Now this is probably the most 'unhealthy' item on the list, as spending money isn't exactly the most economical morale booster, but going out and buying something just for you can lift your mood significantly. Whether you go out and buy yourself that bath bomb you've been really wanting from Lush, or an expensive drink you absolutely love, or maybe a magazine that you really like, getting out there and doing something can really help to take your mind of whatever's making you feel down, and buying something just for yourself is a small way to tell yourself 'it is possible to feel better', even if you don't quite believe it yet.

Make Something

Unleashing your creativity is a good way of forgetting about your worries. Whether you paint your feelings, write a blog post, or build a life-size Legolas from old pizza boxes, focusing your mind on creating something helps take the focus out of your mind and onto something tangible.

Go For a Walk

This is something I've been getting into a lot more recently as it ticks 3 boxes: 1. it gets you out of the house 2. you get to know your surroundings, whether this be a park or just local backstreets, and 3. you're getting some exercise, and we all know that exercise releases endorphins! I'd also recommend getting an app like Map My Walk if you're the kind of person who really likes to see their progress.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Album Review | Nick Jonas (Deluxe Edition)

Ok, so I've never dedicated a whole post to a single album before, but I have SO much to say about this one, that I thought it needed to be done. I've talked about more than one album in a post, and I've mentioned this particular album before, but never have I ever ;) written a whole post about a single album. Truth be told, I could probably write a whole series of posts on this album I love it that much, but I'll spare you the pages and pages of 'I love this song' and 'ooh he sings so well'. 

Edit: I started writing this post back in April, it's now August, and reading the notes I've made about each song has got me in hysterics. I'm gonna try and keep in as much of these 'Dolly listens to Nick Jonas Deluxe Live' notes as possible, while removing most of the swearing and ridiculous spelling!

Second Edit: It's now nearly September and this post still needs work! If I didn't love this album so much I would've given up by now.

Chains: This song sets up the album well, it introduces the amalgam of genres that runs through all the tracks. This was the first single off the album, but he second Nick Jonas song I heard. I like Chains, but now that I've heard the remix, I don't love this version as much. This is the first song where the concept of having no real chorus is introduced. My favourite parts of the songs are 'tryna break the chains ....', the little bit of falsetto, and the MJ-esque 'ooh' at the end.

Jealous: This was the first track I heard from the album, and I loved it from the intro. The lyrics are a bit odd, I'll give you that teens, but the chorus is so catchy and lovely. I love when you can tell the artist is putting effort in, I love the falsetto, I love 'that's whyyyyy'. Obviously I love the gospel version more than life itself, but the original is growing on me. Although it's poppy it's still kind of dark; it's not exactly happy or upbeat exactly. The falsetto at the end is my jam. I love 'it's my right to be hellish' and the 'I get jealous' ad libs at the end.

Teacher: OK, I love funk and the intro to this is soooooo funky. It's just bass and a beat until the chorus. I don't find Nick Jonas sexy at all, but when he says 'so let me teach ya', #swoon. I read an article about the demise of the chorus, and I think this is another song without a chorus, it just has that little funky synth bit, oh my oh my oh my <3. and then theres horns at the end. This is a great track. (I've left this one as my notes word-for-word because I think they some up my feelings on this song perfectly. #swoon) 

Warning: This song is a change of pace, it's slowed down with some modern electronic effects in the verses. This one actually has a chorus and I love it! Nick (still feels weird just calling him Nick) plays with melody a lot on this album in ways that I've not really seen in pop before. His voice sounds lovely on the second verse, but this is one of those songs where the last third makes the song and I'm just waiting for it all the way through; from his falsetto bridge with literally no backing, to the really emotional entry into the penultimate chorus. Then the last chorus with all the extra falsetto added just ends this song on a high.

Wilderness: The opening of this song is weird. It's sounds like a 1800s silent film soundtrack. In contrast the verses are quite modern and rappy. The chorus is great, ooh ooh, very sexy, reminds me of Nature Feels by Frank Ocean, subject matter wise. I love the second verse, the beat is louder and it's a bit more funky as they play around with the melody. The bridge is great, very well produced. Ohhh noooooooo sounds like it's from the Jealous Gospel Version. I love the ending with the beat, oohs and funky piano mix of modern and old crap. I love this.

Numb: I freaking love the opening of this song! It's very hard feeling, like Mercy (Good Music). I love songs like this, just disjointed enough that the verses still work with the chorus and prechorus, not like Jessie J. LOVE this chorus, obvz, I love men singing in falsetto. You could see this beat being used purely for a rap song (anyone want to do a Remix of this with more rapping? Big Sean?) Second verse is better than first. I'm a sucker for clicks. Again though it's a re-imagining of the chorus. Urgh this rap is so good. Her voice is heaven and sounds so good over this beat, when they sing together <3 works so well. Great feature. I'm waiting for when Angel Haze says 'numb' though all the way through, fav bit. Camera clicks. (haha hardly edited this one either - laughing emoji)

Take Over: This is so good!! It starts like any other song, and these are not my favourite kind of lyrics, bad gal and all that, but then when it gets to prechorus I love it - the chorus is sooooo goood! It's not the kind of melody or harmony you hear a lot and I really like it. It's well produced, I love the chorus build up/fade-in. I love his talking at the end even though the lyrics are kinda lame. 'Ooooooooh' MJ style again. adlibs at the end in flasetto <3

Push: Slow down again. This sounds like the kind of song a woman would release in that it's vulnerable and I can't think of many examples of males singing so vulnerably (except maybe Sam Smith, but his just counts as whining). Nick sounds like he's underwater. His falsetto all the way through is just lovely - I wanna give him a hug! The way he says push <3. The beat 'drops' in second verse and his voice is even more echoey. If I had to sum this song up in one word it would be dreamy. 

I Want You: Swearing! This is an angry song, 'I deserve better', not something male singers usually say. I like the effects on his voice, but this is a more generic song. It's not my favourite, but it's still good. Also, these lyrics are the most problematic - you got the key to my heart, I got the key to your apartment and I'm gonna break in etc. I love the effort you can hear in his voice in the bridge though. I love the na na na na na eh and clappy break down -I love this kind of thing, like in Gives You Hell. His falsetto adlibs towards the end are awesome, they remind me of Zayn on Steal My Girl.

Avalanche: This is good, but it doesn't feel as unique as some of the other songs on the album. I feel that I've heard a lot of this before, especially the chorus. Demi Lovato's voice sound nice (as always), but it sounds like any duet (that horrible Jessie J & James Morrison one) - they are hard to do well. This is probably my least favourite song on the album - you can tell because I've not got much to say.

Nothing Would Be Better: Slow down, me free, again a unique verse chorus sitch, it's surprisingly slow. Kinda boring, but it has a slowed down funkiness to it. You're the queen, again really well produced, and when the drums kick in at the end it gets pretty epic with strings etc. It sounds like loads of people singing kinda like 30stm This Is War. You can't help but turn it up at the end. It's pretty epic. Altogether nice end to the non-deluxe album.

Chains (Remix): Urgh this is so good. This song should be the only version of chains. Not that I don't like the original, it's just that this remix is so much more dynamic and suspenseful. I love the build ups to the awesome chorus, and when the beat drops, especially the second time. Nick Jonas Fan Tip: listen to this song with headphones. 

Santa Barbara: This is the best song I've ever heard, I love it so much. It's so lovely and sweet and his voice is high and the chord progression is so sweet and bittersweet. It's dreamy too. I prefer the verses to the chorus, but I could, and have been, listening to this on repeat. The lyrics to this are realllllly sweet - it makes me want to be the gal he's singing about. It reminds me of Hey There Delilah subject matter wise. Ah this song is so beautiful and ethereal, I want this at my wedding. The spoken word bit works so well too. The verses remind me a bit of Misguided Ghosts in their simplicity. Not so much the chorus, that's more kind of Coldplay-esque. 

Closer: This is nice, but again I feel like it could've been sung by someone else, like dareisay Robin Thicke or someone like that, even JT. Mike Posner is creepy af, he sounds like a woman and a fake ass weezy. Also I don't like the sexism ok? Maybe even someone like Miguel?

So, I hope that this stream of consciousness makes you want to buy the album, as you can see, it's taken a long time to write! Researching this i found out that Nick Jonas' middle name is Jerry which I find very funny. Since I bought this album I've got back into listening to whole albums, I haven't really done that since Lady Gaga and Paramore released things back in 2013, and I'm really enjoying it. I actually might have a couple more album posts in my mind bank. Anyway, if I were ever to release an album, I want to work with whoever worked on this album and on Yours Truly.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Changing Directions (Blog Update)

Ok, so that title kinda makes it sound like I've made a huge change in my life and decided I now want to blog about nothing but monster trucks, but don't worry, that is most definitely NOT the case. This year I've been really struggling to write on this blog, and I've realised that the main reason is because I worry too much about what other bloggers (usually successful ones) are doing: I need to post more DIYs. Why don't I talk about make-up more? Why am I not sharing gorgeous selfies all the time? Shouldn't I be doing the Boyfriend Tag? Or eating foreign sweets? However, I've come to the realisation that this blog is ME, and I should be writing about what I want to write about, not what's working for everyone else. I know, I know, people say things like this all the time, but until you realise the detrimental effect trying to be someone else is having on you, it's kind of hard to follow this advice. 

What all this means is that I want to focus on writing a mixture of posts that come naturally to me, and that I am interested in - hopefully both! Try as hard as I might, a post about all the things I've bought from Lush isn't going to be as fun for me to write, or you to read, than a post all about Nick Jonas (coming Thursday). The posts that I am most proud of are the ones that I've spent the most time on, or that I've been able to write easily because I'm passionate about the topic, not the ones I've just chucked together because I want to post three times a week. Some of my favourite posts are my Mindy Project Drinking Game (research for this one was more than a little fun), my depression fuelled post about YouTubers, my (still needing a part 2) post about the best episodes of Supernatural, and my first delve into talking about representation in the media

Ok, so with all that said, I'm going to be moving my blog into a more 'journalistic' territory. Personally, I really like reviewing things, because I'm very opinionated (shocker right?), so I'm going to do that as much as possible. I also get annoyed when the blogs I love (ABM, elisejoy, Zoella etc.) don't talk about the things that I think they should (god that sounds self-centred). What I mean is, I sometimes feel that people who have gained success in the blogging world don't use their platforms as well as they could. ABM are based in Missouri, yet mentioned nothing of the Mike Brown shooting last year. Come to think of it, very few of the American's I follow have said anything about the disgusting state of things in the US at the moment. But then I thought, how can I have a go at them for not standing up, when I'm doing the exact same thing on my blog! Just trying to take pretty pictures and show off the nice stuff I've bought (usually what Zoe tells me to - what? I'm very impressionable). 

Over the past year I've changed drastically, and I feel like I'm finally coming into my own. So, with that said, I want to make this blog a truer reflection of myself: 90% social justice warrior, 5% full on nerd and 5% Photoshopper, wrapped into a giant ball of anxiety and depression. On top of all of this I've asked some of my friends, budding writers and the like, to contribute to this new fangled blog! I know!! Exciting right? Because there's only so much I know and have experienced, I thought it was important to open the floor to some differing views, opinions and backgrounds.

Through this new transition I'm going to change up the posting schedule to Tuesday and Thursday at midday (GMT). I hope you're as excited about this new direction as I am, and I can't wait to get started on Lost In All My Selfish Thoughts 2.0!