November 5, 2015

Songs that Lift Me Up in My Darkest Hours: My Bouncing Forward Playlist.

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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. Grateful

When I interviewed Dr. Maya Angelou for my book Bouncing Forward: Transforming Bad Breaks into Breakthroughs, 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.”

2. 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.


3. Survivor

This is where I sing Destiny’s Child’s refrain, “I’m a Survivor, I gonna make it” at the top of my lungs. I swear, the louder I sing, the higher it lifts my spirits. Sorry, neighbors.


5. Fighter

Christina Aguilera’s strong voice alone boosts my resilience. Thank you, pain, for making me stronger.


6. Brave

Sara Bareilles encourages us to be brave, to speak up, to say what we want. Let’s show her “how big your brave is.”


7. Beautiful Day

Since the devastating shooting in 2011, the joy of former congress woman 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 favorite songs that lift your spirit? Please share your music medicine in the comments!

Relephant Favorite:

Music to Mend a Broken Heart.


Author: Michaela Haas

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Video Still

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