After a grueling day at the office do you ever just get in your car and want to crawl into the fetal position? I know I do. Each day seems to be getting longer and the workload has no end in sight. That lengthy monotonous drive home seems to just add to your frustration of the day. You can’t dodge a bad day, they are inevitable. But, you can dodge the negative attitude. Sometimes the best therapy comes via your car speakers because music is healing. Studies show it can help ease depression and bring peace to people suffering from long term illnesses. So, I put together a list of songs that are not only game changers in the music world but, also a game changer to your crappy day.
1. Keep Your Head Up by Andy Grammer
Now this is the real deal. Who remembers losing that oh so important little league softball tournament. You practiced in the hot summer sun for WEEKS! You get down to the last inning and you lose. You get the crummy second place trophy while you watch the other team get their bright shiny medals. Sure, you still got your free Kamikaze soft drink mix at the concession stand but, let’s face it, your pride was pretty hurt. The second you got in the car and started pouting, your dad turned and said, “Keep your head up, practice hard, and get em’ next year.” While that is an elementary example really the same rule applies to life. Even though we like to act like we live a perfect life, our life is full of wins and losses. Some days we feel like we will never make it off the losing team but, the important thing is to keep your head up. I really like the line in this song that says, “The glow that the sun gives right around sunset helps me realize this is just a journey, drop your worries, you are gonna turn out fine.” Andy Grammer was right in saying that life is just a journey. It’s not dependent on that one bad day because your journey extends way beyond that. The root of your bad day could be financial, relational, physical, emotional, or spiritual but, know that this is a singular day. You will never have another day exactly like this. You will have more difficult days but, how you respond to this one will give you ammunition to attack that next bad day with tenacity and positivity. Keep your head up, don’t let this bad day define you. Redefine how you react. And remember, “Gotta keep you head up, oh and you can let your hair down, eh.”
2. Roar by Katy Perry
Now we are talking ladies! Belting out a little KP at the top of your lungs can definitely turn a frown upside down. Not only does this track hold an upbeat tempo that you can’t help to groove to, it holds a powerful message of strength. If you’ve ever watched the music video it starts out with Katy coming out of a wrecked airplane. She’s distressed, scared, and lost in the jungle. As the song progresses you see her find her strength in the midst of her adverse situation. What Katy brought to life via song was the strength we all have in ourselves. You see, we only find out what we are made of during the hardest times in our lives. The song “Roar” puts a fun spin on that very thing. Instead of masking in self-pity, RISE UP, and find that strength inside of you. Life puts us in situations that try to take us down. What we seem to forget sometimes is that God has given us the tools right here within us to overcome it, we simply have to dig in. This verse sums it up by saying, “I guess that I forgot I had a choice, I let you push me past the breaking point, I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything.” How true is that? Sometimes we get so used to being SICK & TIRED in life, we stop trying. Keep listening, “You held me down but, I got up (HEY!) already brushing off the dust, you hear my voice, you hear that sound, like thunder, gonna shake your ground.” Now, take ahold of that bad day. Imagine yourself standing up off the ground, shaking the dirt of a bad day, week, or year off of you and let your ROAR out. It’s within you, just channel into it. Go ahead sing it, you will feel better, “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, cause I am the champion, and you’re gonna hear me ROAR!”
3. Shake it off by Taylor Swift
Dancing Time!!! Whether you like T.Swift or not, you can’t help to sing every word while shaking it off to this mega hit. I like this song’s message for many reasons. First being that this was one of the first tracks she released on her controversial album, 1989. While the album was super popular she did receive negative feedback for releasing a pop album when critics said she clearly was supposed to be a country artist. The song “Shake it Off” pretty much summed up what she thought about that. Many of us feel like Taylor in that we are labeled to a little particular box that we better not dare break outside of. Take Taylor’s advice, shake it off. So your boss is a jerk, your love life is non-existent, and your pretty sure your light bill is getting cut off this month, listen to this next line, “But I keep cruising can’t stop, won’t stop moving It’s like I got this music in my mind, saying it’s gonna be alright.” We can’t just stop and obsess over a bad day. We can’t carry around the weight of negative words said to us, you’ve got to shake it off. If you don’t let go, your negative baggage starts becoming who you are instead of something you experienced. This song sums up what we clearly need to be in life, which is to be, resilient. T.S. goes on to sing, “I never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet, and that’s what they don’t see, that’s what they don’t see”. I can’t sit here and say life is always roses because the thing is, life sucks sometimes. But, listening to this song reminds me of my call to be resilient, and when life deals you some bad baggage, just shake it off. Cue the anthem, “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake,s hake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off.”
4. Hall of fame by The Script featuring Will.i.am
One word, Inspiration. This song is the ideal song for when your bad day consists of some form of defeat. The first few lyrics caught my attention by saying, “Yeah, You could be the greatest, You can be the best, You can be the King Kong banging on your chest”. Sometimes we need to hear that. We could be the best at our jobs, relationships, or goals. What’s stopping us from being great, is usually ourselves. We live by our feelings instead of our reality. If we don’t feel great then we don’t put effort into achieving great things, we settle. The song continues singing words of encouragement and explaining that becoming great does not depend on our luck but, instead our dedication. Hmm, interesting. Who feels that their goals have been on back burner because we don’t “feel” we are worth being great? I’ll raise my hand to the fact I’ve been there. We don’t feel like we will ever be worthy of an honor especially one that would get us inducted into the the hall of fame? Guess what, on your crappiest days, know this: You were meant to be great. We are not meant to settle being less than what God created us to be. This is one of those songs that you listen to on a crappy day and use it to fuel your fire again. Whatever your dream is, whether it is big or small, don’t wait for it. Start working for it. Great things happen when you get out there and work for it. Now blare it, “And the world’s gonna know your name,’Cause you burn with the brightest flame, And the world’s gonna know your name, And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame”.
5. Firework by Katy Perry
Miss Katy Perry makes the list again. Firework is THE anthem for you when you’re feeling unimportant, lost, or uninspired. Sometimes there are days when you feel like your dreams are dumb, you feel like nothing you do is appreciated, or you feel that you’re not good enough. These lyrics relate to those days saying, “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again, do you ever feel so paper thin, like a house of cards, one blow from caving in, do you ever feel already buried deep, six feet under screams, but no one seems to hear a thing.” Some days I listen to those lyrics and think Katy pulled them straight from my mind. Just wandering through life, not fully understanding what you are supposed to be doing with it OR knowing your purpose but, being fearful of failure or ridicule. Listen to this next line, “Do you know that there’s still a chance for you, cause there’s a spark in you, you just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine, just own the night, like the fourth of July.” Here’s the thing, we all know that there is more to life than waking up, autopilot driving to work, mundanely performing tasks, and going to bed to do it all over. We know that. But, in those days where are hope tank is on empty, we’ve got to know we are built to be better. Do not continue to go through life hiding your flame because your afraid. Sing those lyrics loud, “Cause baby you’re a firework, Come and show ’em what you’re worth, Make ’em go oh, oh, oh! As you shoot across the sky-y-y.” The thing is, there is something inside of each of us that we are supposed to be lighting this dark world with. Sometimes we are scared to ignite that purpose God placed within us but, don’t be. You were made to do this! Turn that volume up, and let your light shine!
6. Cant stop the feeling! By Justin Timberlake
The beat alone is worth smiling for, add in a little JT, and your day already is getting better. Justin Timberlake delivered us a huge hit that you literally CAN’T STOP moving too. I love this song because from the lyrics to the music video is filled with positivity. In the first few lines it says, “I got that sunshine in my pocket, Got that good soul in my feet.” Drop the mic Justin, we know what to do next. Let yourself, let loose. Sometimes the cure for a bad day is letting yourself dance it out in the front seat of your car, raging like a idiot, hoping the car stopped next to you doesn’t film you and put you on youtube. The next few lines go, “Ooh, it’s something magical, It’s in the air, it’s in my blood, it’s rushing on, I don’t need no reason, don’t need control,I fly so high, no ceiling, when I’m in my zone.” Hate to break it to you but, a good mood starts with YOU. Like Justin says, its in the air and its in my blood. In order to live a happy positive life we’ve got to truly become happy. Happy starts within. That concept is something I still struggle with from time to time but, when we figure out our happiness is within our power, our lives change for the better. Let the good vibes settle into your attitude, turning your crappy into happy. Crank this baby up and feel the weight of today sail away.
7. Love on the Line by Hillsong worship
Goose bump time. This is what your bad day really needs, some quality time with JC. The root of a bay day begins with the pressure of thinking WE have to have it all figured out instead of giving our anxieties, fears, and hardships to God. We allow the weight of the world to crush us down until we are so physically and mentally fatigued, we just give in to the temptations of the world and develop a negative outlook. In order to really let go of a bad day we have to spiritually give it to God. Listen to this lyric as it reads, “With arms held high, Lord I give my life, Knowing I’m found in Christ, In Your love forever……With all I am, In Your grace I stand, The greatest of all romance, Love of God, My Savior.” Take the hardship of today and raise it up to God. While this playlist can help bring you a “happy” on a hard day it will not be your solution, God is. There is a very particular reason we are expericing the hardship we are today. Our life is a process, we are being crafted by our father for a much greater purpose. God is watching our response. How are we doing? The song goes on to say, “To the One who has rescued my soul, To the One who has welcomed me home, To the One who is Saviour of all, I sing forever.” You will be rescued from the blues of today, if you chose to give it to God. He wants to rescue you, let him. As you continue to walk ahead in life there are hundreds of more difficult days to tackle, there are hundreds of negative people we will have to deal with, and there will be hundreds of times in life that the world tells you that you are not good enough. This song reminds you that you are rescued, redeemed, and risen by Christ himself. You have a purpose, now go out and use it!