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Welcome back to the second article in The Ultimate Girl Power Playlist series!  I’m super stoked to continue with this series because music moves my soul.  Music has played a such a pivotal role in my life and my (ever on-going) empowerment journey.

[In case you missed it, tune into Volume I!]

I’m not a musician, but I kinda wish I was.  Really, I’ve always wanted to be a vocalist, but fortunately for those who have the ability to hear, the only places I sing are in the shower or alone in my car.  I’m so tone deaf, I don’t even think a punk band would accept me.

But connecting to music as a listener, as a human, has given me some of the most profound experiences in my life and helps me makes sense of emotions and situations as I move through my own life journey.  My journals are dotted with lyrics excerpted from songs that relate to my life at that time. (I also have a theory that Taylor Swift sneaks into my bedroom and reads my diaries before she writes her albums.  It’s sometimes too close it’s scary.)  And when certain chords, melodies, beats, or lyrics hit me a certain way, I can get goosebumps, chills, tingles, and surges of emotion.  And I’m not the only one.

The Magic of Music

Many people experience music this way (half to two-thirds of the population some research suggests).

Recently in 2016, a scientific study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience concluded that the brains of people who experience such reactions to music (or other forms of art) are wired to have more nerve fibers connecting the auditory cortex (the region of the brain that processes sound) and the anterior insular cortex (the region of the brain that processes feelings), and their auditory cortexes had strong connections to other parts of the brain that may influence emotions.

But even for people who never experience physical tingles, music can be a powerful force.  Music can change an atmosphere in a room and can change your outlook, perspective, and emotions.  It can give you confidence and comfort, joy, sadness, and allow you to rage your anger without causing harm to anyone else.  It is a catharsis.

We can’t always explain why music is so powerful.  But it is.  And it’s been with us as far back as our humanity can remember.  Indigenous drumming and chants are just as powerful as Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, and Lady Gaga.  (If you don’t believe me, go to a drum circle.  Find out for yourself.)

In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on.”  And I couldn’t agree more.  But here we’re talking love for yourself, girl, your experiences as a woman, and our collective experiences as women.

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The Ultimate Playlist

No, the title isn’t clickbait.  I do indeed, mean “ultimate” and it will probably be different from any other girl power playlist you’ve seen.

The songs featured on this playlist span many genres and decades.  They also span themes.  You’ll definitely find your confidence-boosting rally cry anthems and celebratory singles to independent women on here, but we all know being a woman is much more than clinking champagne with the girls and calling it a day.

We’ve all have had people and experiences in our lives that have caused us a great deal of pain.  Pain that has transformed us, strengthened us, and allowed us to rise from the ashes as a diamond.  And we all have our dark sides, our secrets and vices.  (As Marilyn Monroe said, “I’m good but I’m not an angel.  I do sin, but I’m not the devil.”)

So songs on this playlist reflect that range of experiences.  Our joy and revelries, and our sadness, regret, anger, revenge fantasies (hey, it’s better to sing about it than do it, right?!), dancing with our shadows, transformation and healing.

So how “ultimate” is this playlist?  Well as of this writing, 369 songs and counting.  (Literally, thanks to researching for this article series I have a song for every day of the year and then some – and I’m always on the hunt for new music).  Which is why these articles will be released in a series of volumes, mixed tape style.

[Previous Volumes: Volume I]

[Stella-Tip:  If you’re playing the home game and want this playlist on your phone, computer,  or wi-fi enabled iPod/mp3 player, I suggest a subscription to Apple Music or Amazon Music Unlimited.  I’ve used both services and have been pretty happy with each platform.  I currently use Apple Music simply because it syncs better with my other devices.  Spotify is also an option, but I’ve never had a subscription with Spotify so I cannot speak from any personal experiences about their platform.]

So grab those headphones or earbuds and let’s get you tuned in to Volume 2!

 

The Ultimate Girl Power Playlist: Volume II

 

  1. “Born this Way” – Lady Gaga (2011)

Lady Gaga’s 2011 anthem celebrates the radical self-love, the beauty of accepting yourself and shining like the diamond you are.

Lady Gaga

Power Lyrics:
I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way

 

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “Sorry” – Beyoncé (2016)

When walking away from a relationship feels so right.  #sorrynotsorry

Beyonce Power Lyrics:
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
Middle fingers up, put them hands high
Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye
Tell him, boy, bye, boy, bye
Middle fingers up, I ain’t thinking ’bout you

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “Rhiannon” – Fleetwood Mac (1977)

Possibly my favorite Fleetwood Mac song, “Rhiannon” is a dreamy ode to the mystery and magic of women, the witch in us all.

Fleetwood MacPower Lyrics:
She is like a cat in the dark
And then she is the darkness
She rules her life like a fine skylark
And when the sky is starless
All your life you’ve never seen a woman
Taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you Heaven?
Will you ever win? Will you ever win?
Rhiannon

 

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “You Learn” – Alanis Morissette (1995)

A song to that reminds us that every life experience, good, bad, or neutral, is a lesson.

Alanis MorisettePower Lyrics:
You live you learn, you love you learn
You cry you learn, you lose you learn
You bleed you learn, you scream you learn
You grieve you learn, you choke you learn
You laugh you learn, you choose you learn
You pray you learn, you ask you learn
You live you learn

 

 

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “Catch My Breath” – Kelly Clarkson (2012)

This is the musical personification of the Lalah Deliah quote, “She remembered who she was and then the game changed.”  When you know your worth, you start directing your life instead of merely reacting to it.

Kelly ClarksonPower Lyrics:
I’ve spent most of my life
Riding waves, playing acrobat
Shadowboxing the other half
Learning how to react
I’ve spent most of my time
Catching my breath, letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of this show
Now that you know, this is my life
I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right
Catch my breath, no one can hold me back, I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath, won’t let them get me down, it’s all so so simple now

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “Bad Girls” – M.I.A. (2010)

An electronic ode to all the badass women who live the fast life.

MIAPower Lyrics:
Going nought to bitch, I’ll see four million
Accelerating fast I can do this in a second
Lookin’ in the rear view, swaggin’ goin’ swell
Leavin’ boys behind ’cause it’s legal just to kill
Shift gear, automatic, damned if I do
Who’s gonna stop me when I’m coming through?
What we got left is just me and you
But if I go to bed, baby, can I take you?
Get back, get down, Pull me closer if you think you can hang
Hands up, hands tied, Don’t go screaming if I blow you with a bang
Live fast, die young, Bad girls do it well
Live fast, die young, Bad girls do it well

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “Crucify” – Tori Amos (1992)

“Crucify” delves into the hardship and guilt of caring for those we can never please instead of nurturing ourselves.  In the end, we need to stop looking for other people to be our savior and save ourselves.

Tori Amos Power Lyrics:
He says will you ever learn
You’re just an empty cage girl
If you kill the bird
I’ve been looking for a savior in these dirty streets
Looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets
I’ve been raising up my hands drive another nail in
Got enough guilt to start my own religion
Why do we crucify ourselves
Every day I crucify myself
Nothing I do is good enough for you
Crucify myself every day
And my heart is sick of being in chains

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “That’s My Girl” – Fifth Harmony (2016)

This poppy dance single from girl group Fifth Harmony celebrates independent women and even name drops some Destiny’s Child.

Fifth HarmonyPower Lyrics:
Good girls better get bad
You’ve been down before
You’ve been hurt before
You got up before
You’ll be good to go, good to go
Destiny said it, you got to get up and get it
Get mad independent and don’t you ever forget it
Got some dirt on your shoulder, then let me brush it off for ya
If you’re feeling me, put your five high
That’s my girl

 

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “XXXs and OOOs (An American Girl)” -Trisha Yearwood (1995)

This country hit nails perfectly the balancing act American (and many Western) women play juggling work, housework, family, love, and time for themselves.

Trisha YearwoodPower Lyrics:
Well she’s got her God and she’s got good wine
Aretha Franklin and Patsy Cline
She used to tie her hair up in ribbons and bows
Sign her letters with X’s and O’s
Got a picture of her Momma in heels and pearls
She’s gonna make it in her Daddy’s world
An American girl

 

 

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “Proud” – Heather Small (2001)

“Proud” speaks to the empowerment and satisfaction of breaking free of your fears, becoming the person you want to be, and making a difference in the world.

Heather SmallPower Lyrics:
I step out of the ordinary
I can feel my soul ascending
I am on my way
Can’t stop me now
And you can do the same
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel proud?

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “Masterpiece” – Jessie J (2014)

This catchy hit revels in the messy beauty of being a work-in-progress and creating yourself as your own masterpiece.

Jessie JPower Lyrics:
Go with the punches, and take the hits
Sometimes I mess up, I eff up, I swing and miss
But it’s okay, I’m cool with this
I still fall on my face sometimes and I
Can’t color inside the lines ’cause
I’m perfectly incomplete
I’m still working on my masterpiece and I
I wanna hang with the greatest gotta
Way to go, but it’s worth the wait, no
You haven’t seen the best of me
I’m still working on my masterpiece

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “True Colors” – Cyndi Lauper (1986)

Take it from one of the most colorful people in the music industry, let your true colors show and find happiness there.

Cyndi LauperPower Lyrics:
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “Silent All These Years” – Tori Amos (1992)

Tori opens up in this autobiographical song about surviving sexual assault, her years of silence, and finally finding her voice.

Power Lyrics:
My scream got lost in a paper cup
You think there’s a heaven where some screams have gone
—-
Cause what if I’m a mermaid, in these jeans of his with her name still on it
Hey, but I don’t care ’cause sometimes, I said sometimes I hear my voice
And it’s been here silent all these
Years go by, will I still be waiting for somebody else to understand
Years go by, if I’m stripped of my beauty and the orange clouds raining in my head
Years go by, will I choke on my tears ’til, finally there is nothing left
One more casualty, you know we’re too easy, easy, easy

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “Anonymous” – Sleater-Kinney (1996)

Riot Grrrl scene staple, Sleater-Kinney rebels against the pressure to keep women in line, quiet, and anonymous.

Sleater-KinneyPower Lyrics:
Feel safe, inside, inside those well drawn lines
Boyfriend, a car, a job, my white girl life
She swallowed the spider to catch, to catch that fly
But I don’t know why, why she swallowed that lie
She wants to be, to be anonymous
I sign, I sign, I sign anonymous
She wants to be, to be like everybody else
I sign, I sign, I sign anonymous

 

 

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “Wild Things” – Alessia Cara (2015)

I will simply quote the artist herself on this song: “To me, where the wild things are is a place that exists in our mind.  It’s a place of liberty and shamelessness.  It can take a split second or lifetime to find it, but once you do, you’ll be free. There’s a wild thing that exists in all of us.  It lives in our passions and the people we love, in our subconscious thoughts, our beliefs.   It’s even made a home in the darkest parts of us.  But we can’t be scared of it.  We have to become it.”

Alessia CaraPower Lyrics:
So gather all the rebels now, we’ll rebel-rouse and sing aloud
We don’t care what they say no way, no way
And we will leave the empty chairs to those who say we can’t sit there
We’re fine all by ourselves
So hey, we brought our drum and this is how we dance
No mistakin’, we make our breaks, if you don’t like our 808s
Then leave us alone, ’cause we don’t need your policies
We have no apologies for being
Find me where the wild things are (oh my, we’ll be alright, don’t mind us)
Find me where the wild things are (oh my, we’ll be just fine, don’t mind us, yeah)
Find me where the wild things are

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “Ain’t Your Mama” – Jennifer Lopez (2016)

Ladies, it’s time to tell those boys that play at men to grow the hell up.

Jennifer LopezPower Lyrics:
When did you get too comfortable?
‘Cause I’m too good for that, I’m too good for that
Just remember that, hey
I ain’t gon’ be cooking all day, I ain’t your mama
I ain’t gon’ do your laundry, I ain’t your mama
I ain’t your mama, boy, I ain’t your mama
When you’re gon’ get your act together?
I ain’t your mama
No, I ain’t your mama
No, I ain’t your mama, no

 

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “In My Daughter’s Eyes” – Martina McBride (2003)

Martina lays out the simple truth in this country ballad: the values we pass onto our children reveal the best in us.

Martina McBridePower Lyrics:
In my daughter’s eyes,
I am a hero,
I am strong and wise,
And I know no fear,
But the truth is plain to see,
She was sent to rescue me,
I see who I want to be,
In my daughter’s eyes

 

 

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “Bad Example” – Pistol Annies (2011)

A fun country ode to the wanders and ramblers among us, and the freedom that comes when you don’t color in the lines.

Pistol AnniesPower Lyrics:
I live in a trailer but I drive a Cadillac
I ain’t never tried to impress nobody
With my “Honk if you’re horny” sticker on the back
Somebody had to set a bad example
Teach all the prim and propers what not to do
Nobody around here wants to ramble
What the hell, that’s what I was born to do

 

 

 

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “Defying Gravity” – Idina Menzel (2003)

This pop hit from the award-winning Broadway musical Wicked encapsulates the moment you decide to trust your intuition and won’t accept limits placed on you by others.

Idina MenzelPower Lyrics:
I’m through accepting limits ’cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change, but ’til I try, I’ll never know
Too long I’ve been afraid of losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well if that’s love, it comes at much too high a cost
I’d sooner buy defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye, I’m defying gravity
I think I’ll try defying gravity
You can’t bring me down

 

 

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “Video” – India.Arie (2001)

India.Arie kindly tells society’s beauty standards to eff off!

India.AriePower Lyrics:
I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen
I not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
India.Arie

 

 

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “People Like Us” – Kelly Clarkson (2003)

This power pop hit talks about the power of perseverance and banding together with those who love and support you.

Kelly ClarksonPower Lyrics:
Hey, this is not a funeral
It’s a revolution, after all your tears have turned to rage
Just wait, everything will be okay
Even when you’re feeling like it’s going down in flames
Oh, people like us we’ve gotta stick together
Keep your head up nothing lasts forever
Here’s to the damned, to the lost and forgotten
It’s hard to get high when you’re living on the bottom
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
We are all misfits living in a world on fire
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “Break the Chain” – One Billion Rising/Tena Clark (2012)

This 2013 V-Day and One Billion Rising Revolution anthem praises multidimensional women coming together to rise above oppression and violence, and inspired hundreds of choreographed flashmob dances around the world.

Tena ClarkPower Lyrics:
You’ve never owned me, don’t even know me
I’m not invisible, I’m simply wonderful
I feel my heart for the first time racing
I feel alive, I feel so amazing
I dance cause I love, Dance cause I dream
Dance cause I’ve had enough, Dance to stop the screams
Dance to break the rules, Dance to stop the pain
Dance to turn it upside down
Its time to break the chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain

 

 

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” – Eurythmics (1985)

This classic 80’s hit revels in the rise of women in the workplace and political scene.

EurythmicsPower Lyrics:
We got doctors, lawyers, politicians too.
Everybody, take a look around.
Can you see, can you see, can you see
There’s a woman right next to you.
Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.
Standin’ on their own two feet.
And ringin’ on their own bells.
Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.

 

 

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

  1. “HerJazz” – Huggy Bear (1993)

Another Riot Grrrl classic, “Her Jazz” makes no bones that a revolution is coming.

Power Lyrics:
Lying, lying, lying, lying
Prettier dead or just more effective
We’re hunting you
We’re not being selective
Its about time you showed some respect
Gotta smack the square world
Corporate collective
Boredom! Rage! Fierce intention!
This is the sound of a revolution
Post-tension realization
This is happening without your permission
The arrival of a new renegade
Girl/boy hyper nation!

available at AmazonGet It on iTunes

 

 

 

  1. “Joyful Girl” – Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco sings of the small pleasures of doing things because they make you happy, even if the rest of the world doesn’t understand.

Ani DiFrancoPower Lyrics:
I do it for the joy it brings
‘Cause I’m a joyful girl
‘Cause the world owes me nothing
And we owe each other the world
I do it ’cause it’s the least I can do
I do it ’cause I learned it from you
And I do it just because I want to
‘Cause I want to

 

 

 

Get It on iTunesavailable at Amazon

 

 

 

Stay tuned for Volume III of The Ultimate Girl Power Playlist series!

Have a favorite on this list?  Tell me about it! Have other favorite songs you want to see on The Ultimate Girl Power Playlist?  Let me know! Comment below or on the SoulFire Tribe – Light It Up Facebook Group!  Share your knowledge and engage with other women!  Share this article with a friend and continue the conversation!

 

Xoxo,

 

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Stella Autumn

Founder, Women's Empowerment Coach, + Writer/Blogger at SoulFire Tribe
* Queen * Rebel * Unicorn * Coach * Writer * Lawyer * Witch * Geek * Goth/Alt Chick * Poetess * Explorer * Artist * Hippie * Book Dragon * Ladyboss * Quirky, Curious, + Creative * // I empower women invested in personal and professional growth to discover the courage and creativity within themselves to lead happy, balanced, and successful lives defined by their own terms!
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