The Soundtrack to My Angry Phase of Eczema

Sometimes we all need something to relate to when we’re going through tough times. During my formative years as a child to a young adult in my twenties, one of my outlets to dealing with the pain of my eczema was creative writing. The other major one was music. When I felt alone in my struggles and there was no one to understand or relate to, and I wasn’t in the mood to write, getting lost in music was my other escape.

Music is my medicine!

My other “drug” of choice. I would “get high” on melodies that captured my heart and lyrics that captured my mind. Often, it just took one magical chord to resonate with me and let me know that this artist or band knew the type of pain I was going through, even if it wasn’t eczema-related. To sing and listen to certain songs over and over gave me comfort and gave me much relief and release rhythmically. In hindsight, I realize it was kind emo of me, but I am an emotional person, in touch with my feelings, so I own it.

Below are some of my all-time favorite songs to vent-sing out to when eczema rashes are painful or life is stressful for other reasons than eczema: (Fair warning, I was really big into the alternative rock scene in the 1990s, so many of my choices reflect that preference.)

My top song choices

  • Bullet With Butterfly Wings by Smashing Pumpkins – The chorus is magic: “Despite all my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage.” The powerful, angry tones coupled with angsty lyrics like this makes this song feel super relatable to someone with eczema who may feel caged in their skin. I used to really love singing this as a way to channel my nervous, itchy energy.
  • Pardon Me by Incubus – “Pardon me, while I burst into flames!” This lyric totally captures how I would feel if stressed out and in the company of others. It’s nice to know that even people without eczema can have this feeling, too.
  • I Think I’m Paranoid by Garbage – Totally relevant when thinking about triggers or potential triggers. Or triggers yet to be discovered!
  • Only Happy When It Rains by Garbage – This song appealed to the gothic and sarcastic side that I developed having eczema as a child and teenager. The title is kind of ironic, but it resonated with my skepticism about whether or not life could be better than it was covered in rashes at the time.
  • The Unforgiven by Metallica – This song made me think about the people around me, mostly family at the time, who didn’t understand what I was going through.

And then for a sweeter, more peaceful vibe, I love most anything by Sarah McLachlan. There’s just something so healing about her voice. So soulful, so deep.

All of her songs are wonderful and great for when you’re feeling vulnerable and want to feel comforted, held and accepted. One particular noteworthy song of hers that I love for this is Fumbling Towards Ecstasy – “And if I feel a rage, I won’t deny it. I won’t fear love.” I think that this is the epitome of what we all with eczema need: Acceptance and the reception of love—from ourselves and from others.

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