“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”
― Maria Augusta von Trapp
I often joke about how I am obsessed with lyrics and quotes. They say 50% of a joke is truth, well in this case I think 99.9% of the joke is truth.
Music and lyrics have helped me through every situation I can think of; happy, sad and everything in-between.
I think what really draws me in, is the way they prove we are not alone, especially in tougher times. I look to music and quotes to show me other people have been here, there is a way out and up again.
When we get stuck in a negative mood, we tend to get stuck on a cycle of negative self-talk. If we want to feel better in that moment, we have to break the cycle. Music can do that. Not only does it distract you from the negative thoughts, if you pick the right music, it can force you to say kinder, stronger, happier words to yourself.
I have a playlist named ‘Hush Mean Girl’. This playlist is specifically for when I need to be reminded I can cope, I’m OK and it’s time to get my sh*t together. I can’t even tell you when I created it. The words to these songs remind me of my inner strength; allowing me to overcome self-doubt and rise above whatever is pulling me down.
It would seem silly that sharing a playlist could make me feel vulnerable; but this playlist is one I turn to in my ‘weakest moments’. It changes my thinking and mood so quickly, I decided I had to share it in case it does the same for you.
Now I feel the need to say – when I listen to these songs, they are not aimed at another person. In fact, quite often, though the artist may be referring to another person; I am usually referring to my inner critic, my younger self, or even my future self. Fear not – I have the ultimate break-up lists too ;).
Anyway, here is a narrowed down list of ‘Hush mean girl’:
This song by far gives me the most intense emotional response. I LOVE Jess Glynne and sometimes I think she could be in my own head (in fact I have plenty of hers on the playlist – make sure to check out ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself’ and ‘Thursday’).
At the risk of sounding deep: this one I see as my younger self speaking to me now. That indeed, can be enough to encourage me to get my s**t together. Occasionally when I mess up, or fall into old, unhelpful habits; I can see I am letting the little girl inside of me make decisions, but that’s not what is good for her or me. Sometimes, you need to look within, remind yourself of the little girl inside and treat her/you with the absolute respect you deserve, and go get everything you dreamed of 😉
You rationalise my darkest thoughts
Yeah, you set them free
Came to you with a broken faith
Gave me more than a hand to hold
Caught before I hit the ground
Tell me I’m safe, you’ve got me now
This is a favourite!!
Every now and then I can fall into the trap of wishing I had made different decisions. This song reminds me not to regret where I’ve been or how long it took me to get to where I am today. Building your self-esteem and learning to love yourself takes time, there will be times where you want to give up. This song is the encouragement you need to keep going, be brave, it is worth it. The lyrics also hint that not everyone is going to like this brand new you, loving yourself is going to come with change, that’s brave; don’t let others stop you becoming that person.
I don’t need your opinion
I’m not waiting for your okay
I’ll never be perfect, but at least now I’m brave
Now, my heart is open
And I can finally breathe
When I hear this song, it is the words I would love to have said to the younger me, every time she struggled or went through pain. When you go through a tough time, that’s the time compassion is needed most, and usually when we provide it for ourselves the least. Rather than blame and criticise yourself; listen to this song, and take it in. Be your own best friend and cheerleader.
(SO hard to pick a favourite line because the WHOLE song means something to me):
I’m never gonna let you down
I’m always gonna build you up
And when you’re feeling lost
I will always find you love
I’m never gonna walk away
I’m always gonna have your back
And if nothing else you can always count on that
This song helps me put a bad mood to bed. Perhaps I am having a moment and got sucked into ruminating over memories and/or regret. That’s OK, but at some point, you have to make the shift. You have to decide when enough is enough, you can’t change what has been, but you can change now. Blast this one out and start fresh.
This song is the boost I need when my self-doubt has been running the show. That voice telling you you’re not good enough, pretty enough, happy enough, successful enough is not a voice of reason. It is probably not even your voice. It is not speaking truth. It is a false belief you have taken on.
Who says you’re not perfect
Who says you’re not worth it
Who says you’re the only one that’s hurting
As someone who can have a tendency to close up; this song is a quick reminder to relax and approach life, others and myself from a place of love. There are lines in this song to remind you what is important in this world and where your focus is best aimed. Stop waiting for tomorrow and live for today. If you’re not a natural optimist, have a go at singing this one from the rooftop.
I live my life like everyday is the last.
So we know how the bad and the good can soon come,
Don’t think second best, be number one.
Spread some love, don’t give to receive,
Strive to be happy and live to believe
For me, this song represents a favourite topic of mine – finding that bravery to get out of my comfort zone. I will sing along to this one when I am tempted to shy away from big goals. You don’t have to be perfect or fit in. Be you, be the person you wish you were, say the things you’ve been longing to say, do the things you dream of… be brave. I love when she goes on to sing that we’ve all got lost in the fear, all of us. But it doesn’t have to be that way, it doesn’t have to hold us back. Don’t let what other people think or do hold you back from rising up and living the life you are here to live.
“Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is”
Well, Delta is my woman crush. She has spoken my mind since a young teenager when I experienced a strong episode of unrequited love.
Dear Life comes in handy when I need to just hold on in there and trust. There are highs and lows in this life; at times you just want to know if you are doing this right and would love a bit of direction. Well, we can’t know what’s ahead for sure; we just have to have a bit of faith, trust in life and look for the lessons.
“Sometimes it hurts you
Maybe it’s a lesson learned
To bring my feet back to this Earth
To find what’s real”
Need I say any more? Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know this is an ultimate self-acceptance song!
Iplayed this repeatedly before I launched my blog. I knew it was time to be me. This is a gooden if you are overthinking what other people might think. Be you. Don’t be ashamed of who you are or your scars. Rise up, and show the world who you are.
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
This one crushes doubts and ‘shoulds’. I could get so lost thinking about my future and where I want to be or ‘should be’, it’s so easy to forget about the here and now. This songs helps with my ability to appreciate my life as it is.
Stop, take it in, notice the good and what you have, before it’s too late. It will all change.
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days
This is a relatively new one added to my list.
Now this one really does seem to be a break up song – but as I explained on a recent Instagram post; for me it is all about knowing you need to be a whole person before giving yourself to someone else. That’s powerful, because to become that person takes a whole lot of self-discovery.
There is a message in this song about not running from yourself; get to know you, learn to be comfortable with your discomfort; only then, will you really be able to face it all.
I ain’t runnin’, runnin’, runnin’, runnin’
Runnin’, runnin’, runnin’
Ain’t runnin’ from myself no more
I’m ready to face it all
If I lose myself, I lose it all
When this songs is playing, I have an overwhelming feeling that the only validation I need in this world is mine, anything else is a bonus. Of course I want to make others happy, but not at the cost of my own happiness, and certainly not if you don’t get any effort in return. If you are a people pleaser or feel the need to be liked, repeat this one to yourself. You don’t need to spend all your time trying to fit in or spend your time thinking of what others think of you. Your priority is to get you to like you, not anyone else. The right people will show up. Also, it’s OK to tell yourself you like yourself.
Take your make-up off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don’t you like you?
‘Cause I like you
There you go.
Any time I feel a bit off, I hit ‘Hush Mean Girl’ and a mixture of all of the above really throws me back on track. It has been so interesting going through them and working out what it is about each song that speaks to me. No one, except my best friend, has ever told me I have good music taste. It’s all about the lyrics, it’s out of my control!
What song empower you? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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Carly Ann xx