What really scared me this year is how negative I was about people and life in general. I get that there's a lot to complain about and become depressed over, but I no longer see this as an excuse when there is still so much to live for. One of the things I look for when I listen to music are messages in lyrics that are both uplifting and convicting. Music is therapy in many ways; it's one human saying to another, "I've been in the place you're in right now. This is how I'm choosing to deal with it." I one-hundred percent recommend these songs to any and every person reading this article.
1. "The Internet" by Jon Bellion
"No one cares if you're happy, just as long as you claim it, oh"
I'll be honest: this song rocked my world. Jon Bellion laughs at the ridiculousness of the act we put on for social media and how pointless it is in the end. This particular year has made me very aware of my own shortcomings when it comes to Instagram and Snapchat usage. Living authentically is something I strive for and will continue to strive for. The internet is a beautiful place, I'll be the first to admit that, but it should never make you put on an act.
2. "My Mistake" by Gabrielle Aplin
"Oh, at least it was my mistake/'Cause I choose to be this way"
An unapologetic recognition of internal conflict that says, "Yes, I am the problem, and acknowledging that gives me power."
3. "If You Want Love" by NF
"I've always tried to control things/In the end that's what controls me"
The raw emotion and truth in "If You Want Love" made me realize that while love isn't easy, it's worth it. Something I've struggled with is pushing people away again and again because the thought of burning more bridges and losing them is too much to bear. I'm a huge control freak and it's gotten the best of me in the past. It's lazy, in a way, because it allows me to ignore problems instead of facing them. Love takes time and hard work, and it's something no one can truly live without.
4. "Lonely Weekend" by Kacey Musgraves
"It's alright to be alone sometimes"
With the help of social media, FOMO is one of the biggest fears penetrating American culture. A grand majority of us have been there: sitting at home swiping through Snap stories, watching our friends and peers turning up at a party or away exploring the Caribbean islands. You think to yourself, "Why am I not with them? Why don't I get to do things like that?" Guess what? What we see online are highlights, nothing more. They say nothing about a person's mental state or emotional/physical burdens they may carry. Who knows, there's a good chance many of those photos and videos are staged.
I love this song because it confirms my conflicting need to be alone sometimes. Every so often, taking that alone time to yourself is something everyone needs for their physical and mental well-being. If you happen to be in the night everyone is out, don't worry about it. Enjoy the quiet time because it's rare in this fast-paced life. You'll have your adventures, but you have to take care of yourself first.
5. "Losing My Religion" by Lauren Daigle
"I'm getting tired, it's safe to say/Living behind a masquerade"
Anything by Lauren Daigle is a 24/7 anthem, but this song resonated with and convicted me of many things in my life that are "performances". Whether it's in my spiritual, social, or even personal life, I tend to put on an act and go through the motions necessary to make people think I'm a good person. Pretending to be someone you're not every day is tiring and losing your "religion", be it your social media persona, your job, your relationships, or anything that keeps you from truly living instead of surviving...it needs to go.
6. "Call It What You Want" by Taylor Swift
"They took the crown but it's alright"
Taylor wrote this song about how her new relationship makes her so happy that she no longer cares what other people have to say about it, but it can also be about more than a loving relationship. "Call It What You Want" acknowledges that sometimes we're going to make mistakes, sometimes people will say things about you, but at some point, you have to realize these things do not define who you are. Sometimes you have to decide on the life you know you were meant to live and let the people call it what they want. What matters most are the ones in your life who know and love you for who you truly are.