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Far Out 40: The ultimate feel good anthems


Mental health is something we vehemently care about at Far Out, not just for one month or on a specific day, but all year round. Encouraging conversation around these difficult topics is imperative for society to progress, and music can also work as the perfect vehicle to channel these difficult feelings.

That’s why for over 12 months, we have partnered up with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), they are a suicide prevention charity that produces life-saving work every single day. As part of our ‘Doctor’s Orders’ series in collaboration with the institution, we hear from musicians who provide a glimpse into their record collection and tell us the nine records they turn to during their darker days.

They offer a free, confidential and anonymous helpline for those most in need of mental health support. Now lockdown measures have eased, that doesn’t mean that the impact of the last eighteen months has ended, and CALM still needs as much help as possible to carry on with its excellent work.

We at Far Out believe in music’s ability to heal. It could be the moment that the needle drops on your favourite song and provides respite from a chaotic world, or, conversely, it might be the fanatic conversation you have with friends about which guitarist was the greatest. Music, it’s safe to say, has always allowed us to connect with one another and ourselves.

So far, during the feature, we’ve welcomed the likes of Jake Bugg, The Vaccines’ Justin Hayward-Young, Jack Savoretti, Felix White, Lowertown, among others who’ve all opened up about how important music is to them when they are feeling low.

This edition of Far Out 40 includes a sprinkling of selections they’ve provided us, combined with our own choices, which can provide you with an audio hug when you need it most. Sometimes, there can be nothing better than just isolating yourself from the world and losing yourself within a list of serotonin-boosting tracks.

When Jake Bugg needs a pick me up, he turns to the soulful voice of Tammy Wynette. “She’s probably got one of the best voices that I’ve ever heard, I absolutely love it,” he explained. “I know they have a lot of writers and things like that, but she just sings every song with such emotion and conviction. It’s breathtaking.”

Meanwhile, Felix White finds tonic within Neil Young’s ‘Paper Trail’, commenting, “I thought this is a really nice one to pick because this was a total revelation to me when I first heard this,” recalls the guitarist, “I was well aware that Neil Young was a comparatively old man. But. the nature of the song is so kind of pure and young and innocent and full of life. 

There’s something really reassuring and heartening about that.”

We all go through these kinds of days where everything seemingly goes wrong, and music can provide a healthy vice that can make you forget about these woes. These 40-songs offers up a dollop of escapism, plus a reminder about the beauty to be discovered within life’s most simple pleasures.

If you’re able, and if you can afford to, please consider a small donation to help the CALM cause. £8 can answer one potentially life-saving call.

The ultimate 40 feel good anthems

  • Louis Armstrong – ‘What A Wonderful World’
  • The Beatles – ‘Here Comes The Sun’
  • The Velvet Underground – ‘Sunday Morning’
  • The National – ‘Sunshine On My Back’
  • Weezer – ‘Island In The Sun’
  • Joni Mitchell – ‘Big Yellow Taxi’
  • Johnny Nash – ‘I Can See Clearly Now’
  • Primal Scream – ‘Movin’ On Up’
  • Bob Marley – ‘Three Little Birds’
  • Carpenters – ‘Top of The World’
  • Michael Kiwanuka – ‘You Ain’t The Problem’
  • George Harrison – ‘My Sweet Lord’
  • Fleet Foxes – ‘Sunblind’
  • Whitney – ‘Golden Days’
  • Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Kyoto’
  • Kevin Morby – ‘Beautiful Strangers’
  • Kurt Vile – ‘Pretty Pimpin’
  • The Beach Boys – ‘Good Vibrations’
  • R.E.M. – ‘Shiny Happy People’
  • The Verve – ‘Lucky Man’
  • E.L.O. – ‘Mr Blue Sky’
  • Love – ‘Everybody’s Gotta Live’
  • Bob Dylan – ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Rright’
  • The Lathums – ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’
  • Julia Jacklin – ‘Someday’
  • Dwight Twilley Band – ‘Looking For The Magic’
  • Gorillaz – ‘On Melancholy Hill’
  • Sault – ‘Wildfires’
  • Neil Young – ‘Peace Trail’
  • Tammy Wynette – ‘Yesterday’
  • Bill Withers – ‘Lovely Day’
  • Mogwai – ‘Dry Fantasy’
  • Modest Mouse – ‘Float On’
  • The Monkees – ‘Daydream Believer’
  • The Mamas & The Papas – ‘California Dreamin’
  • Angus & Julia Stone – ‘Chateau’
  • Brittany Howard – ‘Stay High’
  • Horsebeach – ‘It’s Alright’
  • The Magic Gang – ‘What Have You Got To Lose’
  • The Rolling Stones – ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’