Dracula by Bea Miller

I really like this song about loving the bad boys, especially the title reference to the classic vampire Dracula. He’s so much badder…yet classier… than Edward Cullen. This is one of those songs I heard and couldn’t stop listening to on repeat for a good 48 hours. XD

~Jamie

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The Regulator by Clutch

Ahhhhhhhh heck yes a nice little throwback for me when I first watched The Walking Dead and this was used in an early season. I’ve loved it ever since. Just heck yes. Those guitar twangs. The plodding rhythm. The deep dark vocals. And the energy just grows and grows as the song goes on. It’s awesome. This would be on my playlist if I had to face a zombie apocalypse.

~Jamie

Echoes in Rain by Enya

Like with most artists, I always LOVE a select few from their discography and feel “meh” or unattached to the rest of it. Enya is one of those artists for me, I love a select few of her songs. This is one of them. It’s fairly new but it’s so peaceful and plucky! I listened to this a lot during a college math class so it reminds me of that a lot!

~Jamie

Amaranth by Nightwish (Orchestra Vs Original)

As a young teenager, I remember the thrill of discovering Amaranth, my first favorite metal song, for the first time: it was raw, harsh, sweet, and aggressive all at the same time. I absolutely loved it. I still know almost all the words by heart and my body knows every beat to dance to. It’s just such a great song.

Interestingly enough, not long after I discovered it, I heard an orchestra version of the same song, and wow. It’s so different…and yet STILL SO GOOD…just in another way. The heavy electric guitar is replaced by a chorus of angelic voice and harps and strings and brass. It’s a phenomenal version to an already awesome song and yet it changes it in so many ways. I absolutely LOVE the comparison!

I think every single person can listen to these two songs, at least like one of them. I’m slightly partial to the metal version still, but only by a bit.

~Jamie

My Empowered Playlist

(This post got lost in my drafts. I’m still going to share it though.)

music is art

One of my bucket list goals of 2016 was to make a youtube playlist of all the songs I found personally empowering. I wanted to memorize those songs so I could repeat the lyrics like mantras when I heard the melody in my head. I believe that what you tell yourself in your mind does heavily affect how you see yourself and process your life, so I wanted to give myself some musical tools to battle my own self-destruction. Considering I am a VERY musically-driven soul, I felt this would be a creative and personally empowering way to help rewire what I tell myself.

These are some of my favorite songs from that playlist.

 

Rise by Selena Gomez

At first, this melody didn’t do anything for me, but I only had to listen to the lyrics to change my mind. I remember riding my bike in the crisp winter night air over the gently rolling hills of the neighborhood park when I first discovered this: it made me feel like I was actually flying! It lifted my spirits as I listened to uplifting emotions and the rhythm made my feet pedal even when my legs were screaming on the fifth, sixth, seventh loop down that hill. This song has become a happy place for me.

Like the air you can
Rise from the rubble with your mind, you can hover
You can rise like the tide, like the heat it in the summer
Yes, I know there are those who will wanna bring you down
But you can rise with your mind and make your higher power proud
You can rise, like the air you can rise

Rise by Katy Perry

Another song by this title, but wow it’s so powerful in another way. Katy truly gives voices to survivors, to the ones who feel the heaviness of being beaten down yet keep getting up, who continue to try. I really love how dark this song sounds and yet how empowering the words are. One of my favorite combinations in these types of songs.

Oh, ye of so little faith
Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in my veins
I know it, I know it
And I will not negotiate
I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it
I will transform

Alive by Sia

You will find a lot of Sia on this list. Her songs are some of the rawest and empowering I’ve yet to find. “Alive” is a personal favorite, one that I listened to a lot early last year when I was biking to school. Its steady beat physically drove me to better fitness while the sound of a real fighter was in lyrics and vocal work. “I’m still breathing” followed by the joyful, almost vengeful cry of “I’m alive” seemed stolen right from my heart. This song made me want to keep trying, keep recovering, to keep breathing. The fighter in me who is so happy to just still be alive. “You took it all but I’m still breathing”–that there is my heartbeat. ❤

The Greatest by Sia

In my humble opinion, Sia has some of the best lyrics and musical sound right now in modern music. So much of her music is truly uplifting, while still satisfying my need for the minor key to present in melody, as you can hear in this song. Between the music and the lyrics, this is magic for me emotionally and mentally. I love the positive chants left to echo in my mind. I love how the song is not “I AM the greatest” in a prideful way, but is rather saying “I’m FREE to be the greatest” as in almost giving oneself permission to blossom into something you can’t even comprehend. ❤

Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no
Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no
I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest
The greatest, the greatest alive
The greatest, the greatest alive

Unstoppable by Sia

Never tell yourself you’re worthless. Empower yourself instead. While God is the one that gives us the strength to keep fighting, I want to give myself the mental edge in thinking such powerful thoughts as this song gives. ❤

I’m unstoppable
I’m a Porsche with no brakes
I’m invincible
Yeah, I win every single game
I’m so powerful
I don’t need batteries to play
I’m so confident, yeah, I’m unstoppable today
Unstoppable today, unstoppable today
Unstoppable today, I’m unstoppable today

Hold Tight by Madonna

This is a very personal choice of a song. It’s more something I’ve come to rely on after I left my boyfriend behind for the first time in May. I had a lot of fear being so far apart; but one thing I knew: I really loved him and he loved me. I wanted to hold tight to that. For me personally, this song took the words out of my heart for him, and yet also reassured me the more I listened to it. That I recognized my confidence in us and our love for each other. Thousands of miles couldn’t stop it and this song still helps remind and uplift me even now.

A million miles later, we walked through the valley of the darkest night
We made it through the fire, scarred and we’re bruised but our hearts will guide us.
Together, I know our love’s gonna last forever, we’re gonna be alright tonight.
We live with no limits, we’ll dance in the middle of a freezing rain
With you and I in it, we’ll survive the eye of a hurricane.
Together, we’re gonna make this better, we’re gonna be alright tonight.
Hold tight, as long as your by my side.
Hold tight, everything’s gonna be alright.
Only love, only love tonight
Like stars we’re burning so bright,
Hold tight everything’s gonna be alright.

Stand By You by Rachel Platten

This song brings me to tears because the words feel ripped right from my heart to all who I call a friend or hold dear, and who hold me dear in return. It’s less a personal mantra on self and more a mantra about how one wants to treat those they love. I heard this a year ago and singing its lyrics have always helped me express how much love and empathy I have in my heart for those around me and it encourages and empowers those feelings.

Hands, put your empty hands in mine
And scars, show me all the scars you hide
And hey, if your wings are broken
Please take mine so yours can open too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you
Oh, tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes
And hurt, I know you’re hurting, but so am I
And love, if your wings are broken
Borrow mine so yours can open too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you

Hall of Fame by The Script

This is actually a long time favorite of mine, so it was less of a “discovery” and more a song I just couldn’t leave off my list. This is the definition of a classic uplifting song, from the major chord to the empowering “you can do it” like chanting. Its almost cheesy, something you’d hear in the climax of a feel-good movie maybe. But hey, we all need a cheesy movie moment, where we’re Rocky Balboa at the top of the stairs feeling like we can do anything. This my song for those moments.

You can throw your hands up
You can beat the clock
You can move a mountain
You can break rocks
You can be a master
Don’t wait for luck
Dedicate yourself and you gon’ find yourself
Standing in the hall of fame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Just like Fire by P!nk

I had nearly forgotten this song till later into the year when I heard the lyrics on the radio. A family relative recently described memories of child me as “a ball of fire.” And honestly remembering, it’s a great description. As a kid, I had so little that held me back. I lived life loudly, boldly, unafraid to express every bit of emotion and thought in my mind. I was just like fire. Besides maturing since then, I’ve been smothered a lot too, through fear and depression and insecurities of all sorts. But I really want to get back to being like a ball of fire again. So, I’ll keep singing this song to myself to I’m finally who I was made to be. Cause no one can be just like me anyway.

Just like fire, burning out the way
If I can light the world up for just one day
Watch this madness, colorful charade
No one can be just like me any way
Just like magic, I’ll be flying free
I’mma disappear when they come for me
I kick that ceiling, what you gonna say?
No one can be just like me any way
Just like fire, uh

Before I end this, I just want to pose a question for everyone to think about quietly to themselves: What are the words and lyrics you allow into your head and why? I don’t think there’s a wrong answer to that question. I just think it’s a great question. ❤

~Jamie