Songs of Empowerment

Music equals emotion. Music can put you into different moods, remove you from different moods… as I’ve said before, it’s a powerful force. Six months ago, I made a list of happy, upbeat, empowering songs that make me feel better. Here they are for your enjoyment:

1. What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction

I know, I know. It’s a mainstream pop song, the meaning of which was totally ripped apart by Stephen Colbert in a rather hilarious way. But it makes me happy when I hear it. 🙂

2. No One Like You – David Crowder Band

The lyrics are talking about God, and how he is unchanging, unique, and lovely. I think there’s also another meaning to the song: you, as a person, are unique and there is no one out there exactly like you, either.

3. Because I’m Awesome – The Dollyrots

The Dollyrots is one of my all-time favorite “happy” bands, and this song’s ludicrous lyrics are funny.

4. So What – Pink

I like breakup songs when they’ve got that happy-go-lucky screw-you thing going on, and this song has that quality. Also, Pink is just plain awesome.

5. Born this Way – Lady Gaga

Another mainstream pop song, but it has been an anthem of empowerment for so many. Even though I’m getting a little sick of Lady Gaga as a person, the song is still awesome.

6. Brave – Nichole Nordeman

Like #2 on this list, this song is more religiously oriented. It’s about breaking free of the status quo, no longer caring about what has previously held you back… being brave.

7. What You Want – Evanescence

Nowadays, as I listen to Ev, I find most of their songs incredibly depressing, but this is one of the exceptions. It’s an affirmation of strength and going your own way, despite opposition.

8. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) – Florence + the Machine

The lyrics of the song aren’t entirely positive, but as I see it, the prevailing meaning is you have to sacrifice certain things in life if you want to face your fears.

So what are your songs of empowerment?

The Good Times that Once Were

When I was in eighth grade (I think it was eighth grade), I learned the true meaning of the word nostalgia. The first part of it, nos, is a Greek root meaning “homecoming” and the second part of it, algia, is a Greek root meaning “pain” or “ache.” Basically, it’s feeling pain because you  miss the good old days, when you were “home,” or when you were at a happy point in your life.

I remember, upon hearing the meaning of that word when I was about 13 or so, missing the “good old days” of sixth grade. I knew that life would get more difficult and more challenging as I got older, and I already felt nostalgia for the simpler times. But I also knew that, someday, I would look back on the present day and feel nostalgia for it. And I do.

Nostalgia doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It can bring us into a more peaceful state of mind, or it can help us remember exactly what was so good about those times so we might recreate them. Nostalgia is not about dwelling extensively on the past, but about recalling something that once made us smile.

That also makes me think of sehnsucht, a German word that translates to something like “intense longing.” Sometimes it is not precisely clear what this longing is for. Perhaps it is for times past, or maybe it’s longing for a particular person or desired mental state. It could even be a type of nostalgia, wishing so hard you were back in the “good old days.”

The way I see it is that we will always feel nostalgic, and the older we get, the more things we come to know and be responsible for. We always wish to return to simpler times, times when we were more innocent or ignorant. That is why we should enjoy the present day; there will come a time when we will long for it, and miss it. Perhaps it will rank among the “good old days,” so let’s all live in the present and enjoy what we have now.

Where has my heart gone
An uneven trade for the real world
I want to go back to
Believing in everything and knowing nothing at all

-Evanescence, “Field of Innocence”

Picks of the Week

I noticed that a lot of bloggers make these “picks of the week” posts in which they talk about their latest favorite things, whether they be books, music, makeup, electronics, or whatever other item catches their fancy. So, because this blog has been devoid of pictures for some time, I shall make a “picks of the week” post!

1. ChopSaver

This lip balm is intended for musicians who play brass and woodwind instruments, but it really is great for anyone. It is excellent lip balm that isn’t sticky or greasy and it’s all-natural. It has a nice citrus/ginger odor and lasts a long time.

2. Emtec Animal Flash Drives

If you’re sick and tired of plain old flash drives, get an animal-shaped one instead! It’s kind of odd to have a panda or turtle head sticking out of your computer, but they’re cute and they can be a nice conversation starter.

3. Greenroom Recycled Notebooks

These can be found at Target (or online – eBay or Amazon) and they come in a variety of pretty colors and patterns. Like Moleskines (but a lot cheaper), they can be purchased in packs of three. Excellent choice if you’re addicted to stationery.

4. Godiva chocolate

Although I love Hershey’s, I have to admit that European chocolate, for the most part, is far better than American. And Godiva is probably the best out there. Yes, it’s a little pricey, but it’s worth it every now and again!

5. Evanescence album

I can’t stop raving about how awesome Evanescence’s self-titled album is. There aren’t really any words to describe it. Listen to it and hear for yourself.