It’s safe to say that in the last 18 months or so I’ve needed me some positivity. Whilst I’ve gone through some health issues and decisions on treatment options, I’ve turned time and and time again to music to get me through it.
I realised it’s importance back in 2021 when I was awaiting the results from a cancer blood test. And whilst all signs were positive and the blood test was ‘belt and braces’, the fact I needed a cancer blood test at all was petrifying. I had been listening to a normal playlist on Spotify, which ended and it did the very Spotify thing of ‘oh, you like this, maybe you’ll like this’…. and played me a song I’d never heard of before called Odds Are by Barenaked Ladies, the main lyric of which is ‘The odds are that we will possibly be alright’. I saw that as some much needed positivity and a sign that everything would be alright. And in that case it was. The cancer blood test was negative.
That became my go to song when I needed a mood boost and as my operation drew closer I decided I needed a few more mood boosts that I could listen to in the gym or the car or lying in a hospital bed waiting to go down to surgery. I thought it would be a nice idea to share some of the highlights of the positivity playlist with the world for anyone else who may be struggling and need some positivity in their lives. Some are positive in lyrics and some in musical style but I’ll try and show my workings as I go:
Barenaked Ladies – Odds Are
The song that started it all off for me. Perfect both lyrically and in terms of being upbeat and poppy. Great to sing along in the car at the top of your voice.
Standout lyric: Sure things go wrong, but I’ll take my chances, odds are long, so why not play?
George Ezra – Pretty Shining People
I’m not the biggest George Ezra fan by end stretch of the imagination but I do really love a chantable chorus and also love the themes of sticking together and helping each other through the tough times.
Standout lyric: Why why, what a terrible time to be alive if you’re prone to over thinking
Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under
It’s so lush to see a local person doing so well and I don’t think anyone can deny how good this song is. Possibly not the most obvious positivity track in terms of lyrics but I think we can all identify with feels of wishing we could go back and standing up for others or even perhaps our former selves.
Standout lyric: I was far too scared to hit him, but I would hit him in a heartbeat now
Sara Bareilles – Brave
Not exactly rocket science this one. It’s perfect even by title and something that certainly helped me a lot in the lead up to my operation. I didn’t feel brave, I felt like a bit old scaredy cat but I suppose being brave is being scared but doing it anyway?
Standout lyric: Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live, maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Tasmin Archer – Sleeping Satellite
This song has been an absolute favourite song of mine for years and years. It just makes me smile a soon as it starts and I automatically think ‘aww I love this song’ definitely a comfort song for me.
Standout lyric: And when we shoot for the stars what a giant step, have we got what it takes to carry the weight of this concept?
Tom Petty – I Won’t Back Down
Definitely my go too song when I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself and I need to give myself a bit of a kick up the bum. I had many a time over the last 2 year where I felt very ‘woe is me’ and this song reminds me to stop being wet and just crack on with it.
Standout lyric: In a world that keeps on pushing me around but I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down
Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Mixed Up World
Not one of her most famous songs but one of my favourites. It’s one I listened to a lot when I was having some mental health struggles back in 2015 so it stood to reason I would need it again when facing some physical health issues too.
Standout lyric: When you’re feeling life is just to tough just remember you’re a real tough girl
Alanis Morissette – Thank U
You can read the full story of this song where I breakdown why it’s so important line by line in a different post I did a few years ago. A great song overshadowed by a controversial music video.
Standout lyric: The moment I let go of it, was the moment I got more than I could handle
Matchbox Twenty – Overjoyed
A nod to Dave and how amazingly supportive he’s been through this whole ordeal and how supportive he is in general. It’s a very cute little love song that isn’t too gushing or over the top, but articulates perfectly how I feel about him.
Standout lyric: If you want we’ll share this life, anytime you need a friend, I’m gonna be by your side, when nobody understands you, well I do
The Goo Goo Dolls – Better Days
This song became a bit of a lockdown anthem for me; while we were all staying home and working from home and exercising at home and missing Christmases with our loved ones, there has to be hope that one day we’d all be together again.
Standout lyrics: Because tonight’s the night the world begins again
Find the whole playlist here: