Life,  Wellness

The Value in a Power Song List

In Monday’s article, “How to Rise Like a Phoenix After Adversity,” I list five techniques to help you rise from the ashes of adversity and become a stronger person. Today, I’d like to talk further about the value of a Power Song.


Some Background

In 1997, I had two sons on the horizon of preteen status; I had a house and home to maintain; I held down a full-time teaching career with extra-curricular responsibilities; and I had a husband who decided that our marriage wasn’t worth saving and that the woman he was having an affair with “needed someone to love her.”

So, he walked. Or as he tells the story, I forced him to walk because I wouldn’t put up with his games. On Halloween, I made sure when he came over that he took the boys out trick-or-treating while I manned the door at our house and packed up all his stuff. Or at least the stuff he said he wanted at that time.

That night I didn’t sleep, and the next morning (a Saturday), I wandered aimlessly through the house without being able to focus on anything. After a couple of cups of coffee and the wrap-up of Saturday morning cartoons, I got to work on quarter grades while the boys went to the basement to play and build with Legos. I turned on the radio hoping that music could distract my mind from the events of the previous evening and that I could get my grades done.

A Song Changed Me & Helped Me Gain Focus

It was in 1997 that my first power song aired on the radio. It had a strong beat and a strong message. It made me sit up and say, “I will make it through this.” It made me sit up and say, “You, (insert ex-husband’s name), had no right to treat me that way.” It made me sit up and say, “I’ve got this and everything that divorcing this man will throw my way.”

Did the song take away the hurt I was experiencing? NO

Did the song make it easy to deal with everything? NO

Did the song change my frame of mind? YES

As long as my boys were not in the car, I cranked the volume every single time that song came on. Every. Single. Time. Why? Because it helped me realize that I’m not the only one going through struggles. Because it helped me realize that I was a stronger person than I was giving myself credit for being.

The Song

Ok. Don’t laugh.

I’d sing along with the chorus. I’d drum the beat on my steering wheel. I’d let the power of the words and rhythm take over my soul. And I would hope that the song would come on again before too long. (Yes, that was before streaming music and pay-for radio. No, my vehicle didn’t have a CD player, and disc players skipped and jumped. I was stuck, like most people, relying on the radio.)

The song? “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba (Click HERE to listen to the song.)

I get knocked down

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

If I was going through a divorce or a messy break-up today, I might be playing “I Miss Me More” by Kelsea Ballerini or “Girl” by Maren Morris. (Although the video, “Girl,” seems to be about being pregnant too young, the words focus on picking yourself up and moving forward. It could be any adversity that feels soul-crushing.)


As my husband struggled over the past few years with the realities of dialysis and kidney transplant, his Power Song List included “Build a Better Boat” by Kenny Chesney and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” by David Lee Murphy and Kenny Chesney. These two songs helped keep his mood on the positive side.

Today, I am working through the struggles and emotional breakdowns that have affected my soul as a caregiver and losing my husband to COVID. I searched for Power Songs to use on those days that I don’t want to get out of bed, on those days when grief comes storming in to take over my soul, and on those days when I just don’t have it in me to face life. I made a promise to my husband several years ago that if and when I survive him, I would continue to live passionately, to continue to explore the world, and that I would not become a lonely, old widow.

I have found more songs in the past four months and added them to my Power Song List. I play “Unstoppable” by Sia almost every day.

Interested in my current list of power songs? Sign up for the newsletter “Let’s Chat.” (CLICK HERE!)


What Makes A Good Power Song

There are two specific characteristics a good Power Song needs.

  1. A Power Song needs a beat, a driving beat, that gets deep down within your soul like a heartbeat. A beat that you feel with your whole being. A beat that you can crank up the volume on and lose yourself within.
  2. A Power Song needs, somewhere in the lyrics, words that speak to you, words that tell you that you will get through this.

However, your Power Song List might not fit anyone else, and other people’s Power Song Lists might leave your soul dry. Search for the music that moves you and the music that speaks to you.


Thanks for reading.

I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and questions in the comment section below.


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As you move through your day, please remember to

Live Life –

Keep Things Simple –

Look for the Positive –

AND

Smile.

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