May 2014
Amanda Brandt

Playlist: It’s gonna be alright

Amanda shares her playlist for when the going gets tough.

hang in thereI know what you are thinking. Things are awful. In fact, they just went from bad to worse. You feel alone. Tired. Stressed. Sad. You literally just can’t, and TBH the new Snapchat upgrade was the last straw. You are soooooooo over everything and everyone. It looks bleak.

You know what you need? A ¬†playlist. (Well, you probably need a pep-talk as well. Check out mine here.) These aren’t you typical “pep up, buttercup” motivational songs–no Pharrell here. They aren’t necessarily easy listening, but ones that you place on playlists that you share with nobody, except, apparently, the entire universe. These are songs that understand what you are going through. They appreciate your situation, and they are going to tell you one very true and undeniable fact: it’s gonna be OK. Everything will be alright, and this too shall pass.

***WARNING: extremely cheesy songs lie ahead***

1) “Endless Night” from The Lion King musical soundtrack. Showtunes are always a good choice for motivation, and this Disney classic is no different. Very inspirational. Simba feels alone, and he gets pretty angsty. (Hey, no judgement. We’ve all been there.) Applicable lyrics: “You promised you’d be there/whenever I needed you/whenever I call your name/You’re not anywhere.” Oof. Cut Mufasa some slack, amirite? But, fear not, Simba comes to the realization that “I know that the night must end/and that the sun will rise.” It is so catchy, and so true, and will be sure to put a smile on your face.

2) “The Angel and the One” by Weezer. This one comes from their The Red Album, in which the group experimented with different sounds and meanings. I love the slow-jamming guitars and the ending refrain. It always leaves me feeling relaxed and hopeful, especially the pipe organ cameo. Applicable lyric: “Peace, shalom.”

3) “Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson. Michaelson’s latest single is an infectiously catchy blend of melancholy and acceptance. It’s like a happy breakup song. Applicable lyric: “I got two hands, one beating heart/and I’ll be all right, I’m gonna be alright,” she croons, with staccato handclaps in the background. (And you know what? She is right. It’s going to be alright.)

4) “When You Believe.”¬†from the soundtrack to The Prince of Egypt. Cheesy? Yes. Overtly religious? Yes. Michelle Pfeiffer singing? Yes. But the Ancient Israelites were an enslaved people who still managed to be hopeful. Plus, I love this song. It reminds me of my childhood. Applicable lyric: “Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.”

5) “I am Not a Robot” by Marina & the Diamonds. You have feelings. That’s okay. And you aren’t a robot, which is good. So go ahead, let those feels out. You are magnetic! Applicable lyric: “You’re vulnerable, you’re vulnerable/You are not a robot.”

6) “Being Alive” from Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Company.” This is one of my absolute favorite musical theater songs. Dreaming of becoming a hermit because the world is too difficult to bear? Not after listening to this song. You need other people, even though they sometimes–okay, oftentimes–suck. Applicable lyric: the whole song. Listen to it.

7) “The Heart of Life” by John Mayer. Deep down, you know that it will all work out. Applicable lyrics: “No, it won’t all go the way it should/but I know the heart of life is good.” “You know it’s nothing new/bad news never had good timing.”

Bonus song: “We’re All in This Together” from High School Musical. By now, you want to leave on a high-spirited note. You realize that everyone has rough patches, and that together we can get through it! Maybe you will give a friend a hug, or call your siblings, or even perhaps blog about the songs that get you through a difficult situation.

Keep on keepin’ on, friends.