Sometimes, you just have a rough day. Whether it’s caused by stress from work, stress from being a mom, stress from your relationship (or usually all of the above) – we all have them. Personally, I keep a Spotify playlist for days like that. It’s called “You Got This,” and it’s full of songs that I know I can rely on to help snap me out of my bad mood, or at least temporarily distract me from it. Here are some of my favorite songs from the list.
“My Shot” by the Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton
I fully accept that not everybody is as obsessed with this show and its soundtrack as I am. However, this song will win over even those who are not fans of musical theatre. Your day may have goals nowhere near as revolutionary as Hamilton, Lafayette and crew, but by the end of this song, you’ll still be chanting, “Rise up, rise up!”
“I’m Every Woman” by Whitney Houston (originally done by Chaka Khan)
People are on different sides as to which version is better. Personally, as someone who wore out their cassette copy of the Bodyguard soundtrack, I give the edge to Whitney. It’s such a feel-good anthem. The video for the song (which features a pregnant Whitney, Chaka Khan and TLC) is also worth revisiting
“A Praise Chorus” by Jimmy Eat World
I have been playing this song to pump myself up for almost 20 years, and it never fails. It’s very optimistic and encouraging, in a very specific early-aughts/emo-pop way.
“I’m Still Standing” by Elton John
I’m a lifelong fan of Sir Elton, and this is one of my all-time favorite songs of his. The whole message is not letting negative events keep you down, and the upbeat melody always gets me moving. As a bonus, due to its inclusion in the movie Sing, my 6-year-old enjoys it, too.
“Woman” by Kesha
Just as a heads up, this song is NSFW, so it’s best listened to (at full-volume) in the car after you’ve dropped off the kids in the morning and before you’ve picked them up in the afternoon or evening. It also features the Dap-Kings horns, for some extra funkiness to your day.
“Better Get to Livin'” by Dolly Parton
Who doesn’t love Dolly? Her sweet, strong and uplifting voice can pierce through whatever dark cloud happens to be surrounding you and, however temporarily, you instantly feel better. I especially love these lyrics – “The day we’re born, we start to die, don’t waste one minute of this life.”
“Send Me on My Way” by Rusted Root
OK, so the lyrics of this are seemingly nonsensical. But it’s just such a happy song – the flute, the pacing, the falsetto vocals… it’s good stuff. It might not be particularly empowering, but it will definitely put a smile on your face.
“Wrecking Ball” by Bruce Springsteen
The Boss is my forever favorite musical artist, and he is on this playlist multiple times. However, this song is the one that most makes me want to take on the world. It was written to commemorate the demolition of Giants Stadium in New Jersey, but the lyrics, “C’mon and take your best shot, let me see what you got, bring on your wrecking ball,” take on a more figurative than literal meaning when you’re just trying to make it to bedtime.
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship
This is pure 80s cheese. But it’s glorious, and singing it at the top of your lungs will absolutely make you smile. For extra fun, watch the movie Skeleton Twins and try to recreate the choreography.
What are some of your go-to songs that help you feel empowered, happy, or both?