Top Empowering Songs For The Domestiphobe In All Of Us.
Okay, here. You know how sometimes you just feel alone? Not necessarily in a boo-hoo-I-don’t-have-anyone-to-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-so-I’m-going-to-waste-my-years-being-miserable-before-I-die-alone kind of way but more of an existential wow-no-one-really-gets-me-and-I-guess-I-really-am-responsible-for-my-own-happiness kind of way?
When all you really need is a great song to lift your spirits and remind you, just like in the movies, that we may be alone but we’re all alone in this together?
Relief is here, my friends, because I have compiled a list of eleven of my favorite empowering songs.
Songs for the free spirit. For the person who doesn’t want to live a stagnant life. For the Domestiphobe in all of us.
These are not breakup songs, because “breaking up” implies sadness. Heartache. Breaking. And since Justin and I are still happily married, breakup songs aren’t what I need. And they shouldn’t be what you need, either – regardless of your relationship status.
What you need is empowerment. What you need is inspiration. What you need, above all else, is self-acceptance.
Because how can anyone else ever love you if you don’t love yourself?
I will not say this is a complete list of the top spirit-lifting songs of all time because, hey. This was what I could come up with before noon on a Tuesday. But these are what immediately spring forth when I reach for that boombox in the back of my mind — the dusty black one with dual speakers and giant plastic buttons and a handle on top for easy transport.
These are what I reach for when I need to belt something at the top of my lungs and when people give me strange looks on the highway.
But it’s totally — totally — worth it:
“You Gotta Be” – Des’ree
I figured I’d put my Number One go-to empowering song right up front. This is it, guys. The song that gets me through. The song that has launched countless road trips and grocery store runs. The song that sits confidently at the head of a disc I burned back in 2002 for a 5,500 mile circuit of the American West and still finds its way back to The Tracker’s CD player (yes, I still have a CD player) at least once every couple of months to this day. Des’ree reminds me that I gotta be cool. I gotta be calm. I gotta stay together. She knows that love will find a way.
I hope she’s right.
“Born This Way” – Lady Gaga
This is the most modern song on my list, but I didn’t feel right leaving it out. I mean… it kind of encompasses the very idea of self-acceptance. Of saying, “There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are.” And there’s not. I know this. Lady Gaga knows this. Do you?
“Melody” – Kate Earl
There’s a good chance you haven’t actually heard of Kate Earl. If this is the case, allow me to introduce you. Kate’s sweet voice is here to remind you if your skin is warm and your heart is full, life’s really not as bad as you might think.
“Holiday” – Green Day
If I am in the car and this song comes on the radio, it will get turned up. To obnoxious levels. I don’t care if you’re trying to sleep. I don’t care if you’re trying to read. I don’t care if your eardrums start to bleed. This song will be heard in the only way it’s meant to be heard.
“My Life” – Billy Joel
Look, make fun of me all you want, but Billy Joel is the man. Way before Green Day went all anarchist and Lady Gaga had her monsters, Billy knew what was what. He knew he couldn’t tell me what to do.
“It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi
Not to be confused with Mr. Joel’s “My Life,” Bon Jovi makes it clear: “This ain’t a song for the broken hearted,” he says. And it’s not. It’s about living while you’re alive. About having no regrets. About living in the moment. It’s one big fat giant cliché of a song and I love it.
“You Can Go Your Own Way” – Fleetwood Mac
Okay, so this one might actually be about a breakup. I’m not sure. But all you need to do is listen to the chorus. If the chorus doesn’t make you smile, I really don’t know what will.
“Bitch” – Meredith Brooks
Speaking of erratic women…
“Float On” – Modest Mouse
This song is all about learning to relax and go with the flow. Tranquilo. Everything will work out in the end.
“Goodbye Stranger” – Supertramp
So it’s very likely this song might actually be about quitting marijuana, though I’m not entirely convinced that a band named Supertramp would ever consider such a thing, so we’re going on the assumption that when he sings, “Goodbye, Mary – Goodbye, Jane,” that he’s actually saying goodbye to the various women in his life and those names are pure coincidence. Anyway. This is more of a “goodbye” song – maybe even a breakup song – but I included it to encompass all of those songs that are sad-yet-empowering in their own right — “Yellow Brick Road” and “Rocket Man” by Elton John, “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynard, and of course “Free Falling” by Tom Petty.
Anyway, it makes me smile.
And finally, an eleventh bonus song. I heard it on the radio the other day, and still — still! — it makes me laugh. It brings me joy. It erases disdain and reminds me to hold on to the ones who really care.
“MMMBop” – Hanson
It also makes me wonder what it was about that long blonde hair that got our panties all up in a twist.
So how about you? What are your go-to empowering songs? What obvious ones did I miss?