I was musing about mainstream, secular songs that have an uplifting theme and meet my criteria for worthiness: either glorifies God, or contributes to personal holiness. And I came up with some great 80s songs that were on the radio all the time.
Higher Love - Steve Winwood
Kyrie Eleison - Mr. Mister
In the Name of Love - U2
anything by Enya
But it’s a shame. The music I listened to as a teenager, and held on to into my 30s, such as alternative rock, new wave, gothic, industrial, those genres are a wasteland when it comes to Christian values and morals. Sometimes the best you can hope for is a love song that’s not full of innuendo. There’s a lot of negativity and hopelessness. I suffered from depression for years. My mother asked me a couple of times whether the music I listened to was contributing to it. I denied it at the time. But part of having a positive outlook on life is about rejecting negative influences. The Evil One would like us to think that we are strong enough to resist, that a little poison won’t kill us. But listening to negative music all the time is not the way to build up a resistance to it.
It’s OK to have moods, and it’s great to have a spectrum of music to match those moods, but for me, the best moods are prescribed by our liturgical year. If you attend Mass regularly, you will have mood swings as the Church cycles from the signs and portents of Ordinary Time, to the anticipation of Lent and Advent, and the extreme sorrow and anguish of Holy Week, to the utter joy and celebration of Christmas and Easter. Take a look in the back of any good hymnal, you will find a variety of music for any occasion. Pick up a copy of Christian Prayer and you will find all the psalms, arranged for daily recitation. What a treasury that is! And there is a complete hymnary in that book as well. Once you run out of music from those two resources, you might have time to listen to mainstream music.