We’ve said it time and time again—music is a universal language. People all around the world sing and dance to the same songs, even if said song isn’t sung in their native language. Songs provide the backdrop for every occasion. You know what I’m talking about. We all have songs for celebrations, songs for bad days, songs for pregaming and songs for sleepless nights.
As the days get colder, it’s easy for a person’s mood and self-esteem to mirror the weather outside. Trust me, seasonal affective disorder is one thousand percent real, especially when you live in New York. In an effort to keep all of you from developing S.A.D., I’ve compiled a list of some of my go-to “get happy” tracks. Keep scrolling and check out a list, in no particular order, of my ten must-have mood boosters!
Justin Bieber “Be Alright”
When Justin Bieber released his third studio album in June of 2012, his fans were immediately drawn to “Be Alright,” the twelfth track on the album. Written by Bieber and his musical director Dan Kanter during an overseas tour stop, the three-minute song quickly became a fan favorite and a highlight of all 157 shows on Justin’s Believe tour. The song has been credited for decreasing teen suicidal and depressive tendencies, especially throughout Bieber’s incredibly dedicated fanbase. Unsurprisingly, “Be Alright” was the answer I got the most when I asked our readers which song they listen to when they’re having a bad day. His lyrics, which clearly came straight from the heart, include “I know it’s hard babe to sleep at night but don’t you worry ‘cause everything’s gonna be alright.” The emotion-catching vocals combined with the acoustic vibe of the track are enough to urge anyone to fight through even the toughest day.
Madison Beer “Unbreakable”
Bieber’s protégé and “little sis” clearly took a page out of the almost twenty-one year old’s book when she decided to record “Unbreakable.” The three-and-a-half minute song was featured on weknowthedj.com immediately following its release. For those of you who missed my recap, it can be found right here _____. The song’s powerful lyrics are accompanied by an uplifting beat with the capability to turn any day from bad to great. Focusing on the problems caused by constant social media use and cyberbullying, the music video for “Unbreakable” can empower even the saddest soul who feels like they are “running out of breath, trying to find themselves before they blow away in the night.”
Sammy Adams “Waste”
Speaking of rough nights when you feel like everything is going to “Waste”… On the nights when you just need a reminder of all the great things life has to offer, all you have to do is turn to Sammy Adams. Over the past few years, I’ve learned and accepted that Sammy Adams’ pep talks are correct about 100% of the time. Plain and simple: Boston’s Boy knows a thing or two about being doubted but he knows even more about continuously proving the doubters wrong. In this four-minute song, Sammy is “talkin’ to everybody in the world who’s ever been scared of reach.” He’s talking to “all of y’all, telling you to stand tall, ‘cause all it takes is one move to be on your way.” Trust me, if there’s one time that you should listen to Sammy Adams’ advice, it’s right now. Go ahead, stand tall.
Jessie J “Who You Are”
If you ask Jessie J, you just need to follow one piece of advice in order to stand tall. In her hit song “Who You Are,” Jessie J sings “Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars, seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing, it’s okay not to be okay.” We’ve all experienced our fair share of bad days but instead of focusing on the negatives of having a bad day, we continuously try our hardest to focus on the positives. Does that seem like mission impossible right now? Let’s put it into perspective really quick… You know all of the really bad days you’ve had in the past when you have been convinced the world was ending? Well, you got through them! In the words of Jessie J, “just be true to who you are.”
Jake Miller “Ghost”
When Jake Miller released his EP, Lion Heart, in 2014, he gave us a look into what goes through his mind on a daily basis. With a fanbase that’s growing at exponential rates, Jake has an undeniable amount of power. As he continues to expand his brand, he has the potential to influence an entire generation. When Jake released “Ghost” in October, we brought you exclusive WeKnowTheDJ coverage and dubbed him the master of music with a message. If you missed it, check it out right here: _______. With lyrics like “Sometimes it feels like you’re on your own, Trust me, you’re not the only one, life has just begun” and “You’re callin’ out, nobody’s answering but I can hear you; they don’t like me, they don’t get me, they don’t feel my pain but there’s a million people out there who relate to you and feel the same” it’s no surprise that Jake’s loyal Millertary fell in love with the three-and-a-half minute track almost instantaneously!
Lea Michele “Cannonball”
After the unexpected loss of Cory Monteith in July of 2013, the world grieved alongside his longtime girlfriend Lea Michele. Five months later, Michele released “Cannonball,” her debut single. The track, which helped Lea cope with the death of her boyfriend and co-star, has also helped her fans get through the challenges they face on a daily basis. Trust me, I know all about just wanting to stay in bed all day but the lyrics of “Cannonball” are enough to get you up and moving. The song’s lyrics include “I was in the dark and then it hit me, I chose suffering and I pain in the falling rain, I know, I gotta get out into the world again” and “I got this new beginning and I will fly, I’ll fly like a cannonball.” I have faith that all of you can fly like a cannonball!
Mike Stud “Closer”
Speaking of the heat associated with cannonballs, Mike Stud (one of today’s hottest artists—in every sense of the word!) has given a fair share of motivational music to the world. As Stud continues to make the transition from the digital world to the mainstream music industry, he’s continuously getting “Closer.” Taking a page out of Mike’s book, we’re urging all of you to keep climbing, keep getting “Closer” to your hopes and dreams. Are people telling you that you can’t achieve greatness? Just take Mike’s advice: “But there ain’t no doubt, I continue to be the doubted but that’s just motivating so where would I be without it?” Much like the “Closer” music video’s message, we’re just here to remind you that there’s always a next step and as long as you keep moving, you’re one step closer!
Colbie Caillat “Try”
While Mike Stud urges us to get “Closer” to our dreams, Colbie Caillat wants us to “Try” to ditch the makeup we have a tendency to hide behind. I think I can speak for girls everywhere when I say there’s an unreasonable pressure put on us on a daily basis. We “have” to look like a 10 at all times or we risk being put down by our peers. Well, Colbie Caillat says you don’t need Maybelline or CoverGirl to be a 10! With lyrics “Take your makeup off, let your hair down, take a breath, look into the mirror at yourself, Don’t you like you? ‘Cause I like you” she wants girls all over the world to recognize that true beauty comes from within. Although this is a much-needed message, we know how easy it is to get caught up in society’s expectations. My only suggestion is to take Colbie’s advice on this one and remember, “you don’t have to try so hard, and you don’t have to bend until you break.”
Ryan Bronson “It’s Okay”
One of my personal favorite up-and-coming artists, Ryan Bronson, knows a thing or two about people trying to put him down. He comes from a small town in upstate New York where rappers don’t “exist.” After a few long and meaningful conversations, I quickly realized Ryan and I are on the same page when it comes to chasing our dreams. Hearing “you can’t do ______” pushes us to prove the haters wrong. On his most recent release, “It’s Okay,” he’s reminding you just that: it’s all going to be okay. The three-minute song was inspired by two very true stories, explained in the beginning of the song’s music video. Throughout the video, Ryan reminds us of the important things in life, reminding us that “you need the lows to reach the highs” and “heartbreak is a blessing and lesson in disguise.”
Selena Gomez “Who Says”
Last but certainly not least, I’m ending this list with a throwback that we all find ourselves jamming to when it shows up on our iTunes shuffle. When Selena Gomez released “Who Says” in March of 2011, I was a sophomore in high school and was trying to handle the craziness that quickly became my everyday life. As many of you know, high school is full of bullies, cattiness and overthinking. Thanks to Selena Gomez and The Scene, “Who Says” came out at the perfect time. With lyrics like “You made me insecure, told me I wasn’t good enough. But who are you to judge?” and “You tell ‘em what you mean but they keep whiting out the truth,” four years of high school were explained in three minutes. Although Gomez touched on feelings that everyone experiences, she also was quick to remind us that we have “every right to a beautiful life.”
Well there you have it, that’s ten! Now that you know what I’m listening to when I need my mood boosted, send us a tweet at @weknowthedj and let us you’re your go-to songs! That’s all the time I have for today but don’t worry, I’ll be back again with some more of my must-have music but for now, I hope your mood stays high and your worries stay low!