Playlist 3: Self-Aware, Self-Care

I started this week with some things to work through…

Music video by Gavin DeGraw performing Everything Will Change. (C) 2013 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment


“Everything Will Change”
Gavin DeGraw

India Arie f/ Gramps Morgan

Music video by India.Arie performing Therapy. (C) 2009 Universal Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

It’s Twofer Monday! Not quite the same ring as it would have tomorrow, but I try…

My two picks today touch on two sides of managing anxiety: finding inner strength and seeking help. Many people believe that finding the power to overcome anxiety comes from within. Although I agree to an extent, I also know that relying on others can help, too.

“Everything Will Change” was my “power within” anthem today. To me, it speaks about using your struggles as motivation, as the fuel to your fire to keep moving forward and staying strong through tough situations. The lyrics are pretty spot-on so I’m not even going to elaborate too much, but definitely have a listen.

On the flipside, sometimes I need to rely on others when my inner strength is feeling a little weak. This can be tough for me because I never want to be burdensome, but I try to remember that the people who love me don’t see me as a burden. “Therapy” expresses exactly how I feel knowing I have someone special on my side who is optimistic, patient and there for me when I need some extra support like I did today. It’s okay to lean on people; sometimes a little positivity from someone else is all the fuel you need.

Music video by Wakey!Wakey! performing Light Outside. ©2010 Family Records


“Light Outside”
Wakey! Wakey!

The anxiety I was trying to overcome from yesterday has trickled into today, though it’s taken a different form. Yesterday I was anxious about something in particular, but I sought out a support system who really helped me calm down, and was also able to find that little glimmer of inner strength to build upon. Today, I had no ‘real reason’ to feel anxious, though as some of you know, anxiety doesn’t always need a reason to stick around. Either way, my body was still holding onto the stress.

As much as I am a believer of motivation and inner strength, I also know that sometimes we just need to be kind to ourselves. I chose this song and am using it as a message from myself, to myself…a “Thinking Of You” card of sorts:

Dear Elena,

I know that things feel hard to handle right now, but know that there are brighter days coming your way. For now, take a breath and relax. It’s all going to be okay.

Love always,



Matt Goss

Mental fatigue --> Physical fatigue; it all caught up to me today and I was tired. Any upbeat song that came on felt like it was hurting my brain, so I’ve chosen one of the chillest songs I know. I related to one of the lines in a visceral way: “…in life sometimes everybody needs to freefall, think about a good time with no fear.”

I heard those words and felt my shoulders sink down as I thought “YES, I DO.” That’s exactly what I felt like doing today, freefalling, relaxing and totally letting go without any fear. Since I’m still learning how to let go in certain situations (sounds ironic doesn’t it, learning how to let go?), I relied on art today in a moment of practicing what I preach to help shift my focus and free my mind. No surprise here, but it helped a lot. It took my mind off of things and helped me focus on something else, something beautiful if I do say so myself.

Here’s a little personal Creative Art Therapy P.S.A: Art has so many benefits. So. Many. If you’re feeling curious, if you’ve ever felt curious, I challenge you to give it a try. Start small, make a scribble drawing or color in a picture. Immerse yourself in it and see how you feel after. I don’t think you’ll regret it!

Filmed and edited by Jeff Venable. Music video by Ben Rector performing Brand New. (C) 2016 Aptly Named Recordings, LLC.


“Brand New”
Ben Rector

I woke up with a clearer mind and a feeling of determination that today needed to be all about me and keeping my spirits up! I would relax! I would take things slow! I would focus and stay calm! (Insert triumphant jingle here). Then I proceeded to have the busiest day I’ve had in quite a while.

As it turns out, I had the wrong approach: today didn’t need to be about me at all. Today needed to be about anything and anyone else but me.

I pride myself on being very self-aware and in touch with my feelings, and even if I don’t fully understand them, I am pretty attuned to them. I’m starting to think that this attunement can become detrimental if it’s not balanced out by a shift in focus. In this case, taking the attention off of myself and taking a break once in a while. Not everything can be sorted out right away, that’s a lot of pressure.

I had played this song in the morning in my search for a pick-me-up, and it popped back into my head as I snuggled up on the couch. Although it feels a little ill-fitting for my current state of lethargy and exhaustion, I’m choosing to take it as an indicator that a little lightness is right around the corner.  

Record Company – Warner Music Group Copyright (c) – Fueled By Ramen, LLC Copyright (c) – WEA International Inc.


Twenty One Pilots

I’ve felt like a ping pong ball today. I feel like I was bouncing around between tons of different things, feeling productive, more positive, but very scattered at the same time. I find a lot of Twenty One Pilots’ songs to feel scattered too, like this one: it starts out mellow, has a techno breakdown in the middle, and ends with these alarmingly raw screams.

Honestly, I have a feeling I was looking for a song that was even more all over the place than I was so I’d feel grounded. It actually worked! Tyler Joseph is my spirit animal of the day, not that I want to go around screaming at things and/or people, but I think I relate to that need for release. The good news? After a long and trying week, I do feel like I landed on my feet.

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week was very introspective, with a little anxiety and a lot of soul-searching. Finding music for each day really helped me to better identify some of what I was feeling, which helped not only me but the people I relied on for support.

Stand-Out Song of the Week: “Light Outside”

As tough as things can get, try and remember that there are better days ahead. This song linked up with the WIMH Tuesday Thought so it definitely stood out!

Who do you turn to when you’re having a hard day?

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© Copyright Whatismyhealth, March 26th, 2017