You can’t get more depressing than Nick Drake. One man who struggled with depression, who may have committed suicide, playing often with just a single acoustic guitar. it’s a prescription for jumping off a bridge.
Yet “Northern Sky” is so uplifting – he must have written it on a good day. The acoustic guitar is still present, but there are bells, drums, piano, with a chord progression that advances up the scale slightly, giving it a positive vibe.
His lyrics, usually morose, are especially positive:
I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you’re here
Brighten my northern sky.
When I’m depressed, I play a positive song by a depressed man, which gives me hope that yes, today can be a good day. Not every day has to be a downer. There is hope. And if that doesn’t work, I just find a song that makes me happy.