The Positivity Playlist

I’ve mentioned in a previous blogpost that from time to time I have a crippling bout of Imposter Syndrome when it comes to writing, attending conventions and many other things. If left unchecked, my brain will think all sorts of negative things. It’s a constant battle for me. To overcome this, I have to pump as much positivity into my brain as I can. I have many “weapons” to fight against my own negativity, but my strongest is music. A few years ago, I put together a playlist curated specifically for positivity. I’ll listen to the playlist when I’m driving to/from work, writing, or just to have music playing (I’m listening to it while I type this blog post). The playlist is constantly evolving. Songs will get added and subtracted and sometimes there’s a complete overhaul.

Truthfully, the list of songs on the playlist probably doesn’t make a lot of sense without explanation. It’s not just a playlist of inspirational songs, though there are many of those. Instead, it’s a list of songs that give me happy thoughts, bring back fond memories, or even just songs I like right now that makes me feel good inside. The only rule I’ve made for being eligible for the playlist is that it gives my positive vibes to combat the negative ones.

As we are in the season of resolutions and striving for positive changes in 2023, I thought I’d share some of my favorite songs that are on today’s version of the playlist. Some I’ll add explanations, others I’ll just mention.

  • “Odds Are” –Barenaked Ladies. Not the most popular BNL song, but it’s one of my favorites. The verses mention all these terrible yet very unlikely things that can happen to us (like getting struck by lightning, or killed by a Great White Shark) Then the chorus hits, “Odds are the we, will probably be, alright, odds are we’re gonna be alright”. Moral of the song, you can worry about all the bad things that could happen, or live your life worry-free because it’s probably gonna be alright.
  • “On Top of the World”–Imagine Dragons
  • “Could Have Been Me”–The Struts
  • “I Lived”–OneRepublic. This song has been on the playlist since the very first version of the playlist, and I don’t know that I’ll ever remove it. It’s just a good reminder of what living a full life means, and inspires me to carpe diem every day.
  • “Do a Little Good”–Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell (from the movie Spirited). The newest addition to the playlist. We loved this movie, and my son loves dancing to this song. I love the message about the importance of just being a little bit better each day.
  • “Say I Won’t”–Mercy Me
  • “On My Way”–Phil Collins (from Disney’s Brother Bear, which ironically I’ve never seen)
  • “Wrote My Way Out”–Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc (from The Hamilton Mixtape album) My wife and I really, really like Hamilton. After listening to the soundtrack for the thousandth time (that might not be an exaggeration) I found this album. A song about life being better through writing, not too much more explanation needed there.
  • “Never Been to Spain”–Lost Immigrants. Originally a Three Dog Night song, and I know Elvis did it too (and both those versions are really good!) For whatever reason, I like this version best, and just think it’s a really cool song that I enjoy singing along.
  • “High Hopes”–Panic! At the Disco
  • “Lookin’ Up”–Barenaked Ladies. BNL is on the playlist a few times. They are one of my favorite bandss, and it’s just feel-good music. This entire song is about looking at the bright side.
  • “From Now On” –Zac Brown Band (from The Greatest Showman Reimagined album). Another musical that had a spinoff album happen ended up on my playlist. Hugh Jackman’s original is great, and it’s been on the playlist too. I like the twang Zac Brown Band adds to it. This song ends my ruts. If it’s been a few days, weeks or even months since I’ve worked on a project, this one encourages me to change. If I feel like I’ve been too focused on writing/work, and need to spend more time with my wife and son, this song refocuses me that way too.
  • “Anti-Hero”–Taylor Swift. Parker LOVES this song, and every time it plays he dances. I don’t even know that I hear the lyrics anymore, I just see him dancing and it puts a smile on my face.

If you’ve made resolutions this year, I’m rooting for you! Stay positive! If you’re a music lover like me, I hope you’ll make your own playlist! And if you do, let me know in the comments what’s on yours, I’m always looking for new music and new additions to my list.

Have a great week!


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