Over the past couple of months, I have experienced a lot of new and unexpected trials and challenges in my life. I have laughed and cried harder than I have in years, as well as felt a sense of fulfillment previously unknown to me. I have watched new friendships bloom in my life and also experienced the dissolution of once sacred bonds of friendship. I have struggled, but I have also triumphed and I have learned so much about myself in the process. I can’t take all the credit for my resilient spirit. Throughout the past two months, I have found comfort in the outpouring of support and love that I have received from the people closest to me, especially my closest friends. This week, I’ve been feeling especially nostalgic. Anyone who knows me knows that I will usually not be seen without my earphones in. If you happen to encounter me on any given day, chances are I’ve just been casually dancing in place, listening to music and riding the waves of someone else’s emotions. That’s why I decided to combine the two aspects of my life I cherish most: music and friendships. I have put together a playlist of 30 songs, most of which can be applied to any friendship while a couple have a special place in my heart due to nostalgia. I promise I tried to make it shorter. In this playlist I've included music from varied genres and backgrounds. Some of the songs will simply make you want to do dance, some might make you emotional, but ALL of them will remind you of the strong, healthy friendships in your life.
1. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - Ain't No Mountain High Enough
There is no limit to what I will do for my friends who are in need. I’ve learned that healthy, true friendships involve compassion, honestly, empathy and love. I waste no time in showing my closest friends how much I love them and I do so often.
2. Florence + The Machine - Stand By Me
Before I go any further, I must show some respect for the great B.B. King, the musician who performed the original version of this song. While his version is timeless, I have a deep and undying love for Florence Welch. Sometimes you don’t need your friends to solve your problems, you just need them to sit with you while you figure them out.
3. Odessa - I Will Be There
This song reminds me of several events in my life that have tested my strength and of the friends who stood by me while I struggled to find peace from within. Fun Fact: this song actually made me decide to write this article.
4. Kimya Dawson - Loose Lips
While at times morbid, this song makes me think of how easily a good friend can turn your day around and put your problems into perspective for you. Also, how can you not love the Juno soundtrack?!
5. Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On
This song is dedicated to the friend that doesn't need to hear your problems to know what you need to feel better. This intuitive, beautiful and great friend knows you need to dance and shake it out.
*Me putting my records on after that 3 minutes of pure joy*
6. Ani DiFranco - Fixing Her Hair
Now, this song holds a place in my heart for a specific reason. This one's dedicated to all the people out there who know that one of their friends is in a relationship that is dragging their quality of life down. While you might not be able to separate them from the one that's hurting them, you'll be there to pick up the pieces when your friend has finally had enough.
7. The Cranberries - Just My Imagination
This one goes out to the friends you will always have love for, but let go for a reason. Hopefully both of you became wiser because of the dissolution of the friendship.
8. Meg Mac - Roll Up Your Sleeves
This song could be a metaphor for the moment when your friend goes through a situation you empathize with all too well. You conquered the storm and so will they.
9. Atmosphere - Don't Forget
NOSTALGIA ALERT: This will take you back to high school. You will remember all of your fun (but maybe not so great) friends that you may or may not have lost touch with. You will remember first cars, first loves, maybe first experiences with partying. You will feel 16 again.
10. Beyoncé - Hold Up
11. Robyn - Dancing On My Own
This is the song you play when you're waiting on friends to arrive with wine after a bad break-up. Do not listen unless prepared to dance.
12. Beyoncé - Sorry
*Fast forward two hours* Friends have arrived with cheap boxed wine, you've had two or three or four glasses and you and your friends are ready to key your ex's car (Please don't though. Keep calm and Yoncé on), even though you've all thrown your keys into some dark corner of the room while you were dancing to Beyoncé.
13. Pixies - Where Is My Mind
You and your friend are hanging out on a day on which both of you are beyond stressed. So you listen to a song about losing your mind and for some reason (maybe the beautiful sounds of the drums), you feel a little bit more comfortable being uncomfortable.
14. TLC - What About Your Friends
Okay, so while this is a song about friendship, it was not intended to be in this playlist. I found a CD-drive for my MacBook and I was able to upload the entire TLC greatest hits album to iTunes this morning. Needless to say, I am currently wishing I could be dancing alongside Chili and T-Boz (R.I.P. Left-Eye).
15. Lauryn Hill - Doo-Wop (That Thing)
Oh Ms. Lauryn Hill, how I love thee. Lauryn Hill, like all of your true friends, is going to tell you like it is. The healthiest people in our lives have no problem admitting that they and others suck pretty bad at times and Lauryn Hill is here to remind you and your friends that you need to be a little bit more self-aware when it comes to relationships.
16. Oh Land - White Nights
NOSTALGIA ALERT: Senior year. Friday nights riding around with the homies in my trailblazer, listening to this blare from my (semi, now non-functional stereo). Reminds me of the simple days before College when my only worries revolved around who's house I was going to stay at over the weekend.
17. Lykke Li - Dance, Dance, Dance
This is another song that is perfect to dance to with your friends when you've drank half a box of wine and you feel invincible. This song pulls something very innocent and pure out of you (I'm cheesy).
18. Animal Collective - Golden Gal
I bet you $5 (except I don't actually) that you could gather all of your most depressed friends in a room and play this song and by the end of it, you will be surrounded by dancing, less-depressed homies.
19. Matt and Kim - Daylight
This song is for the adventurous friends who are too big for the little city they reside in. These friends bring out the best in you and make you see yourself in a more artistic light.
20. Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work
Are you starting to sense a theme here? All these indie songs are probably making you feel all those positive vibes I'm sending your way (I'm a cocky music snob and I don't care). You've probably been talking to your friends about how everything's changing and that's the truth. Everything is changing as we're entering adulthood, but we're gonna do great things. I don't even know you and I have faith in you!
21. Imagine Dragons - It's Time
22. Chance The Rapper - Everybody's Something (feat. Saba and BJ The Chicago Kid)
Play this for your friend that needs a reminder that they are very important to a great deal of people.
23. Rusted Root - Send Me On My Way
For when you and your friends have the urge to abandon all responsibilities and take a spontaneous road trip.
24. Florence + The Machine - Dog Days Are Over
Florence + The Machine needs no explanation, but I’ll still give one. I dedicate this gem of a song to you after you’ve conquered your demons and are celebrating a new lease on life with those closest to you. It will be or has been a beautiful moment because everyone surrounding you is genuinely happy that you’re happy.
25. Regina Spektor - On The Radio
I dedicate this to the friends that are scared of what reality is throwing their way. Yes, reality can be incredibly frightening, but listen to Ms. Spektor. She’ll calm your anxieties, I swear it.
26. Ida Maria - In The End
Remember this song when you're witnessing your friends walk gracefully into their future. Even if you're 1,000 or 2,000 miles away from each other, you're only a phone call away.
27. Frank Ocean - Thinkin' Bout You
NOSTALGIA ALERT: 2013-NOW. Frank Ocean has helped me and my friends grow in so many ways. Whether it was challenging my views on sexuality or helping me become a more emotional individual, Frank Ocean will always be welcome in my heart and ears.
28. Stevie Nicks - I Miss You
To that beautiful friend I have that’s living in Hawaii. I miss you ALL THE TIME. I think about what you would say to me about the events in my life on a daily basis. We’re far away from each other, but you’re always on my mind.
30. Rocky Horror Picture Show - Time Warp
Okay, I threw this one in here just for fun BECAUSE THERE'S ONLY 3 DAYS UNTIL HALLOWEEN. SO GET UP, DO THE PELVIC THRUST AND BRING YOUR KNEES IN TIGHT.
29. Rihanna - Umbrella (feat. JAY Z)
For all the true friends I’ve found in this life, and to all of the reader’s as well, you can stand under our umbrellas.
Just kidding! I learn from my friends on a daily basis. They teach me how to be compassionate, kind, honest and as self-less as possible and that is so beautiful. I hope you guys have found the same in your friends.