Music Discussions

Medicate

medicate

Medicate – Gabbie Hanna

Main Point: We find ways to medicate our pain, but God can be trusted to bring healing that lasts.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: The following info should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce teens to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most teens, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos like this one. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, Spotify, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away. If you decide to use this, do so by catering it to fit your family’s needs.
  • Hailing from New Castle, Pennsylvania, social media influencer Gabbie Hanna is one of seven children from her family which includes fellow social media star Cecilia Hanna.
  • Gabbie started her rise through the short-lived social media service Vine. After gaining nearly 5 million followers on Vine, Gabbie gained YouTube fame, amassing over 6 million subscribers.
  • In 2017, Hanna released her debut single Out Loud which was followed by her first studio album This Time Next Year which was released in 2019.
  • In a 2018 interview, Gabbie said she was raised Catholic and believes in God, but finds problems with the church’s teaching on homosexuality and sex before marriage.
  • Don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.

Introducing the Song – Say Something Like This: The latest release from her upcoming This Time Next Year album, Medicate, tells the story of someone who is trying to mend their broken heart. Hanna uses words and imagery designed to allow the audience to take in her message while enjoying the catchy tune.

The Music Video: The music video can be viewed for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw8sB99hgXc

Song Lyrics: Medicate

I’m unwell, thanks for asking
Don’t mind me ’cause I’m just passing by
In this life, been a while
Thought that you forgot, but that’s alright
How’ve you been? Glad to hear it
Just one question if you can bear it
Do you ever miss me, too?
‘Cause I spend my days still thinking of you

 Should I take the pill to numb the pain?
Change the chemicals inside my brain
I worry I won’t be the same
But I guess that that’s the point

 Can you medicate a broken heart?
Make your tragedies a work of art
Medicate a broken heart
Build your walls up just to rip them apart
Is this the way to fix this or is this a quick fix?
I really couldn’t say
Can you medicate, medicate, medicate it away?

 Doctor’s smile, kill me with kindness
And don’t ask about the side effects
Swallow hard, kills sadness with science
But the aftermath might make you sick

 Should I take the pill to numb the pain?
Change the chemicals inside my brain
I worry I won’t be the same
But I guess that that’s the point

 Can you medicate a broken heart?
Make your tragedies a work of art
Medicate a broken heart
Build your walls up just to rip them apart
Is this the way to fix this or is this a quick fix?
I really couldn’t say
Can you medicate, medicate, medicate it away?

 Whoa, whoa
Oh, medicate it away
Whoa, whoa
Oh, medicate it away

 They say give yourself a break
They told me to medicate
I don’t wanna medicate

 Oh, can you medicate a broken heart?
Make your tragedies a work of art
Medicate a broken heart
Build your walls up just to rip them apart
Is this the way to fix this or is this a quick fix?
I really couldn’t say
Can you medicate, medicate, medicate it away?

 Whoa, whoa
Oh, medicate it away
Whoa, whoa (Whoa)
Oh, medicate it away

 Oh, medicate it away
Oh, medicate it away

Three Questions to Ask in the Car (with thoughts to dive deeper with your kids):

QWhat are some ways people your age try and medicate their pain?
A: You indirectly start a conversation about drugs, alcohol, sex, and other ways teenagers try and self-medicate.

Q: Why do you think she says, “Is this the way to fix this or is this a quick fix? I really couldn’t say.”
A: Discuss the temporary nature of the ways people self-medicate.

Q: What do you think Jesus would say to Gabbie if He heard this song?
A: A great opportunity to talk about Jesus’ perspective on self-medicating and turn the conversation to God’s Word and how God’s goodness and presence is what we need.

Where to Take It from Here: Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful!  (There is a guide just after that paragraph that helps you do just that.)  If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged – the next time it feels right, try out another song.  Keep engaging them.

For Deeper Discussion: 
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)

Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our “Parenting Help” page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today’s Teens.

Transition Statement – Say Something Like This: There are many ways we try to medicate the pain we encounter in this life. This song focuses on dealing with a broken heart and explores the failed attempts at finding an action that will take away the pain. The question raised from this song is whether or not there is a way to deal with our pain that will last, or if it’s all just a futile exercise. Obviously the medicating we are talking about is not drugs prescribed by a doctor, but the different ways we self-medicate in our lives. Let’s talk about that during our time together.

Discussion Questions:

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you have a favorite YouTuber or YouTube video? Share who or what that is.
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When Hanna sings, Don’t mind me ’cause I’m just passing by in this life, what do you think she means?
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some ways people try to medicate the hurts they encounter in this life?
  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When you look at the different ways people try to medicate the hurts they encounter in their lives, would you say those things are temporary fixes or permanent? Explain why you think the way you do.
  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Gabbie seems to express uncertainty in her different attempts to medicate the pain, singing: Is this the way to fix this or is this a quick fix? I really couldn’t say. Why do you think she feels uncertain?
  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: At one point she sings, “make your tragedies a work of art” explain what you think she means by this. (After they respond, point to Romans 8:28 and how God has promised to work all things for good for those who love Him – the very thing Gabbie is hoping for in her own life.)
  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think this song resonates with people your age? Explain why you think the way you do.

Read the following passage:

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

  1. ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS:  Let’s read all of Psalm 34 together. What do you think David (author) is trying to express in this psalm?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:  Look at verse one, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Why do you think it’s important to David that he is constantly praising God? Explain why that can be difficult sometimes.
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Look now at verse 4, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” What did David do that caused the Lord to answer and deliver him?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Now looking to our main verse, 18, what does it mean that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted? How have you experienced this in your life?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think it means to be crushed in spirit? Would someone be willing to share a time when they felt this way?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does it mean that the Lord “saves” those who are crushed in spirit. How do you think He saves them?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What would it look like if you and I lived with confidence that the Lord would be close when we are brokenhearted and would save our crushed spirits?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is the difference between the different ways we medicate our hurts and what God is offering in these verses?

Wrap Up – You Say This: While this discussion is not talking about proper medication which a physician prescribes for a diagnosed illness, the song raises some good questions about the ways we self-medicate the hurts we experience in this life. In this song, Gabbie Hanna sings indirectly about things such as drugs, alcohol, sex, food, and other things we turn to in our attempts to numb the pain we feel. The question to be asked in response to those things is – do they work? Do they last? Hanna herself seems to admit that she has doubts that these things are going to get the job done when she sings: 

Is this the way to fix this or is this a quick fix?
I really couldn’t say 

Take a few moments and consider the ways you try to self-medicate when things are tough, and consider if there are things you need to surrender to God in this moment. 

(Pause and give them a quiet moment to pray silently.) 

In Psalm 34 we see David’s clear understanding of God’s goodness and presence – and how that reality allows Him to experience joy in the hardest times. In verse two he says “let the afflicted hear and rejoice!” This means even those who are afflicted, those who are experiencing hurt, can experience the goodness and presence of God. In verse eight he says to “taste and see that the Lord is good” and follows that saying “blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” In the midst of our pain, we are invited to experience God in a new way, to see His goodness, and to find Him to be a safe place. Take a few moments and talk to God about how you need to experience His goodness and presence. If you’ve “tasted and seen” then reflect to Him how you’ve experienced Him and express thankfulness. 

(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.) 

God never asks us not to experience hurt. He never directs us to be “happy all the time.” What He does promise is that He is good and He will be present in the midst of our hurt. He wants to be close to us when our hearts are broken. He wants to save us when we are crushed in spirit. He wants us to have the joy that comes from knowing that He is good and He is near – even in the toughest times. Let’s be people who are willing to “taste and see that the Lord is good” even in the most difficult circumstances, and there we will find healing that lasts far beyond anything self-medicating could ever bring into our lives. 

CLOSE IN PRAYER

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Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at chagdeswrites@gmail.com

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