Music has been one of my greatest coping mechanisms since I was a girl. I loved sitting in the family room listening to my parent’s Sonny and Cher and Barry Manilow records. (I still love Barry Manilow and have no shame admitting it.) As I grew and developed my own sense of taste in music, I realized how my mood could ebb and flow depending on the feeling of the song.
I still use music to regulate my emotions, depending on what it is I want to feel. When I am losing my fight and start letting external circumstances manipulate my emotions, I turn to my favorite playlist. It my “Girl Power” playlist. I listened to it a couple of times a day when my ex first moved out, and I still pull it out when I need a reminder that I am a strong, powerful woman.
She Used to be Mine by Sara Bareilles, from The Waitress soundtrack – This is first because it reminds me that it’s okay if I’m not who I want to be. It reminds me that it’s okay to be vulnerable and to not be perfect. It reminds me to love myself.
Brave by Sara Bareilles – Yep, I start with back-to-back Sara. Once I realize I’m not being who I want to be, I need to be brave to make a change. I tell my kids that being brave doesn’t mean not being scared. I means doing something even though you are scared.
Roar by Katie Perry – It’s only logical that once you learn to be brave, you learn to roar.
Ex’s and Oh’s by Elle King – This song was instrumental when my ex first moved out. I thought that if she could so easily connect and disconnect from so many men, I can disconnect from him. Now, it helps me remember to disconnect from whatever in my life isn’t serving me.
Rolling in the Deep by Adele – What gives you more power than singing “Your going to wish you never had met me.” I mean, really.
So What by Pink – “So what? I’m still a rock star. I’ve got my rock moves. And I don’t need you tonight. I’m all right.” ‘Nuff said.
Miss Moving On by Fifth Harmony – Another reminder that I’m better off where I am now. Even though it’s hard, “I never wanna go back to the way it was.”
Big Girls Don’t Cry by Fergie – “I foresee the dark ahead if I stay.” “I need to be with myself and center. Clarity, peace, serenity.” These are all good reminders for me.
Beautiful Trauma by Pink – I like this song for so many reasons. First, she compares love to a drug. Love can be unhealthy if not done right and when I listen to this song, I remember I never want love like that. I like that the title is a reminder that when you get through your trauma, the growth can be beautiful. And it’s just a fun song to listen to. Note – If you like this song but, like me, are offended by strong language, get the clean version.
Set it all Free by Scarlett Johansson from the Sing soundtrack – “I was a girl stuck under your thumb, but my star’s gonna shine brighter than your sun.” “This is my kiss goodbye. You can stand alone and watch me fly.” It’s classic girl power. And the guitar solo is awesome.
Speechless by Naomi Scott from the Aladdin soundtrack (added 11/17/2020) – The first time I watched the live-action Aladdin, I didn’t understand the power behind this song. But when I watched it again, it brought back memories of when I first started to share my story. I didn’t realize that I had felt speechless until I began to speak. Sharing your voice is a powerful feeling.
Fight Song by Rachel Platten – Rachel finishes up my playlist with the reminder to fight, take back my life, and prove I’m all right.
I have a couple more playlists I want to share, but I won’t go into the detail with each song like I did with my Girl Power playlist.
This one I call “Songs I listen to loud.” I put it together summer 2019 when I went through a breast cancer scare. I spent most of the summer emotionally numbed as I did a long series of tests to find out if I had cancer. I spent a lot of time just not feeling anything. When I turn up these songs, it gets my heart beating and I feel like I can feel again. Make sense?
Paralyzer by Finger Eleven
One Thing by Finger Eleven
Zombie by Bad Wolves
Heartbeat by the Psychedelic Furs
Bad Liar by Imagine Dragons
When I just need to get my butt off the bed/couch/chair/whatever and clean the house, these are my “Get Moving” songs. It’s not a long list, but it does the job.
Let’s Get it Started by The Black Eyed Peas
So What by Pink (Yeah; it’s on two playlists)
Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti and Spearhead (This song is SOOOO fun!)
Feel This Moment from The Emoji Movie by CDM Players
My next playlist I want to share isn’t fun/inspiriting/heartbeat pumping pop and rock songs. When I am overwhelmed and need the kind of peace that only the spirit brings, I turn to my LDS playlist. These aren’t hymns; those have a place in my life, too, but this is more pop-inspired. This playlist is over 50 songs long so I’m not going to share all of them. What I will do is share which artists I have and a couple of notes.
Hilary Weeks is amazing. Some of my favorite songs are hers. There are three I like to listen to in a row: This is Not Your Home, Dancing in the Rain, and Past the Point. She weaves this story of acknowledging depression, choosing to overcome it, and trusting God to take you further than you could ever go on your own.
Julie De Azevedo has some gorgeous songs with great messages.
I have a few Mercy River albums. Better than a Hallelujah and It Might be Hope are two of my favorite songs on this whole playlist.
The Bonner Family is my newest obsession. Just go listen to them. Buy their music. Just. Now.
I have a few songs each from Lauren Daigle (not LDS, I don’t think, but amazing nonetheless) and Hudson Lights. Let me say, I’m a huge Josh Groban fan. Like, huge. But Hudson Lights does Josh Groban’s Brave better than Josh Groban does. Part of it has to do with the tight harmonies, but most of it has to do with the key change. I’m a sucker for a well-timed key change.
Speaking of Josh Groban, my last playlist I want to share I simply call “Pretty Stuff”. These songs are beautiful, calm, inspiring, and… just all the good words. On this playlist you find people like Josh, Celtic Women, Celine Dion, Adele, Il Divo, Sarah Brightman, and The Piano Guys. Hmmm. It’s been a while since I listened to this playlist. Excuse me while I go press shuffle….
Well, that’s probably more than you need. But now, share with me. What are your favorite artists and songs when you need to fight? What glaring omissions do I have on my lists?