A few weeks back, I posted on Instagram about listening to music to improve my mood. While there’s a TON of research data that supports that statement (Google it, lol), I’m going to share how I got started in making my own go-to playlist when I need a quick pick me up. I’m also sharing 14 songs you can use to get started on your own playlist.
Sharing my personal experience and inspiration behind my feel good playlist caused this post to be quite lengthy. Cliff Notes version:
- I was a young overachiever and wholeheartedly believed that things should’ve always gone according to the plans I had for myself, as long as I worked hard.
- I was devastated because I wasn’t able to attend the college I had my heart set on, even after being accepted.
- My daddy made a small, very sweet gesture, that allowed me to make an emotional connection to music and ultimately led to me creating my own feel-good playlist.
- Now, you can either continue reading to get the full story or scroll down to the playlist!
As a young adult, I could’ve been the Type A personality poster child. I was overly ambitious and had high expectations of myself. I was also pretty demanding of my parents because of it. My parents always found ways to support whatever crazy dream I had for myself. The summer after my sophomore year in high school, I spent a week at the University of Missouri-Columbia (or Mizzou) attending a journalism camp. It was the only college in the country, at the time, with an entire school dedicated to journalism.
Everything I tried my hand at, I put my best foot forward and got what I wanted. So, attending my dream college would be no different, right?! My GPA was great, I was a leader in a few extracurricular activities, had taken some sort of journalism class since sixth grade, been in advanced classes throughout middle and high school and had spent a few years as the editor of my high school yearbook staff. That was where I was going for college. I deserved it because I put in the work. Of course, I applied to a few other colleges, just in case. But, who was I kidding? If I did the work, I was going to be rewarded with the opportunity exactly as I saw fit. I got accepted to three of the four colleges I applied to, including Mizzou, which was all that mattered. Shit got real once I received my financial aid information and my parents were left with the task of figuring out how to cover the remaining $10,000 of tuition each year. In hindsight, I know that if I had been more educated on the importance of applying for scholarships, I’m almost certain that I could’ve attended Mizzou, but anyway…I didn’t worry about it because my parents always found a way for me.
After weeks of not taking heed to hints about considering other schools that accepted me, my daddy picked me up from work one day and broke the news to me. I wasn’t going to be attending Mizzou in the fall and I needed to come up with another plan. I was devastated because 1.) I obviously wasn’t going to my dream school and 2.) I couldn’t grasp the concept of a plan not working out in my favor when I felt like I had done the work. I never even considered a plan B because up until that point, there was no need.
My daddy was just as devastated as I was. At the time, Jaheim’s song Fabulous was super popular. My daddy started singing the song to me every time it came on. That was the first time I recall making a true emotional connection with music. I’ve had my own experiences in disappointing Spencer and as a parent, I know that it can leave you feeling defeated and like an utter and complete failure. To this day, when I hear Fabulous I get choked up because it makes me think of how sweet my dad was and how that bittersweet memory has never left me.
Since then, I’ve had a set list of songs that I listen to when I need to improve my mood. The songs are listed by order of tempo, from slow to hella upbeat. Depending on what’s going on, I will listen to one or two songs. But, if I’m really down in the dumps, I’m listening to every single song listed below.
Love you, mean it.
My Feel-Good Playlist
- Scars – My Brothers and I Tidal I Spotify
- Because of You – Tamia Tidal I Spotify
- My Saving Grace – Mariah Carey Spotify
- Fabulous – Jaheim Tidal I Spotify
- Love Yourz – J Cole Tidal I Spotify
- Second Wind – Maren Morris Tidal I Spotify
- Scars to Your Beautiful – Alessia Cara Tidal I Spotify
- Masterpiece (Mona Lisa) – Jazmine Sullivan Tidal I Spotify
- Ay Yo – Melanie Fiona Tidal I Spotify
- So Good – Destiny’s Child Tidal I Spotify
- Happy Face – Destiny’s Child Tidal I Spotify
- Let it Go- Keyshia Cole Tidal I Spotify
- Just Fine – Mary J. Blige Tidal I Spotify
- Good Life – Kanye West, T-Pain Tidal I Spotify
*Bonus – These are the songs I play for my daughter on the way to school some mornings and when she’s had a tough day. Our kids consume things the same way we do. They also get stressed out, just like we do. So, while you put together a feel-good playlist for yourself, consider doing the same for little one.