Kate Vogel is finding beauty in the pain. In her debut song, “Reasons to Stay,” Vogel takes us through a journey of recovery, from attempted suicide to hope. It is not an easy song—a soft piano ballad with lyrics that hit right to the heart—but it’s not a hard one either. For me, this song feels like someone finally coming up for air, if only for a moment, and Vogel makes that moment matter.
The song opens with a reference to Vogel’s (who wrote the song) claustrophobic hometown. We soon follow her to the side of a bridge, where things seem hopeless. However, Vogel scoops us up with her sweet falsetto as she glides into the chorus, singing, “I’m just doing the best I can / I’m just living in the life I have.” Vogel’s voice is so light and sincere that when she sings the final lines of the chorus, “The beauty will outweigh the pain / We’ll all find a purpose one day / There’s so many reasons to stay,” we believe her.
Vogel references feelings many of us have probably felt and felt scared to experience in our lives, and she particularly calls out to those suffering from mental illness. In the second verse, she sings:
No I don’t wanna die, just don’t wanna live
Vogel strikes a chord with the honesty of her voice that bleeds through each lyric. In a recent Instagram post, Vogel commented on the impact of the song, writing that she has received “hundreds of messages about this song deeply affecting people and some even telling me it saved their lives as they struggle with suicide, PTSD, and the aftermath of sexual assault.”
With “Reasons to Stay” at over 2.67 million views on YouTube, it’s safe to say Kate Vogel has no problem connecting with an audience. The comments are flooded with messages of thanks and hope and love and, perhaps most important, that Vogel gets it. If anything, she’s giving listeners one more reason to stay.
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Writer, journalist, and dog-enthusiast. Student in Pratt Institute’s BFA Writing Program.