When the sky is falling and this roller coaster ride called life gets way off track, sometimes the best way to pull me out of the abyss is to turn on the right track. Here are my favorites for dark times, the songs that remind me not to give up, not to give in, and that I can do this!
1. Don’t Give Up!
Pink starts out this powerful video by admitting,
“Pain is my motivator. Frustration, anger, confusion, loneliness … all this chaos is what brings us all together.” Herbie Hancock’s “Don’t Give Up!” is my favorite Bouncing Forward song, especially when it’s so movingly performed by Pink and John Legend.
When I interviewed civil rights icon Maya Angelou for my book Bouncing Forward, she advised me to develop “an attitude of gratitude. You could have died last night, you know. Be grateful. Stand on the good foot. People like you better. And you like yourself better.”
When I have trouble with this, I put on Rita Ora’s interpretation of Diane Warren’s “Grateful.” She reminds me to be grateful even for the storms and the scars. My favorite line: “I had to fall to rise above it all.” Or, as the Dalai Lama says, “Your enemy is your best teacher.”
3. Fight Song
This is where I sing Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” at the top of my lungs “Cause I`ve still got a lot of fight left in me.” I swear, the louder I sing, the higher it lifts my spirits. Sorry, neighbors.
Sara Bareilles encourages us to be brave, to speak up, and to say what we want. Let’s show her “how big your brave is.”
Christina Aguilera’s strong voice alone boosts my resilience. Thank you, pain, for making me stronger.
6. Beautiful Day
Since the devastating shooting in 2011, the joy of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords has become singing, and her favorite song is U2’s “Beautiful Day,” a song about someone who lost everything and yet appreciates the beauty of his surroundings. This is also the song she picked when she got to choose a tune her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, would wake up to in space.
Don’t let that beautiful day get away.
What are your go-to song that lifts your spirits? Please share your music medicine in the comments!