This is an amazing time of year. The world is full of natural beauty and it’s time to make the most of it. When you’re inside, it’s easy to lose touch with nature and get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. There are so many options, it can be hard to choose what you want to do. Why not take a break from the stresses of everyday life and spend some time with yourself.
Love is a journey. It’s a destination, but also a path to get there. And it’s not a destination that you’ll reach and be done with. It’s something that you will always be working on. Here are 10 songs that will help you on your self love journey.
As a yoga teacher, I have had the opportunity to not only help clients find their voice and purpose, but also to help them discover the power of self love. For me, this life-altering practice is about self-awareness and the true understanding that we are all divine beings, and we are worthy of love.
People come to yoga for different reasons: a desire to improve their fitness, a way to relieve stress or a way to discover themselves. For many, the initial push to start practicing yoga is just the tip of the iceberg, and as the practice of yoga begins to grow, they find many more opportunities.
We all have insecurities and negative feelings about our bodies or our abilities. These limiting thoughts can prevent us from seeing and feeling the full potential that is within us. This lack of love can be very damaging to our own mental state, and also to our ability to connect with and give space to others.
One of the amazing gifts yoga has given me, and one of the things I really want to give my students, is the ability to cultivate self-love. Self-love can be cultivated in many ways. I always start my yoga classes with a short meditation to calm everyone down. Meditation is a gift you can give yourself. You’ve never meditated before? I recommend the free 30-day meditation. This helps you ground yourself before you start moving to the music!
When I design a course on self-love, I put together a reading list that promotes a sense of acceptance, vulnerability and, of course, love. Here are 10 of my favorite songs to inspire you on your journey to self-love.
1. Let it go James Bay
If you’ve taken yoga classes in the last few years, you’ve probably heard this song on the playlist. As yoga teachers, we constantly tell our students to get rid of what no longer serves them. A very important step in loving ourselves is to let go of the stories we tell ourselves that make us feel inferior. So with the help of this beautiful song: Why don’t you be you and I’ll be me.
2. Love is everything The Greatest Man in the World
When I’m feeling down, I need one or two things. I must first accept and release these feelings through writing, crying and meditation. This song is very emotional, but it makes you feel like you are not alone in your grief, and that is often the first step to healing.
3. I Love Meghan Trainor
The second thing I need when I doubt myself is support for my confidence. That’s when this absolute boss comes to the rescue. I love Megan’s self-love and confidence, and this song makes me feel it. It reminds me that I am here, that I am strong and that I love myself!
4. A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay
So be warned: The next three songs are by Coldplay, but for a very good reason. At my lowest point, the point that led me to yoga, the music that pulled me out of the pit of depression, lack of self-confidence and despair was exclusively Coldplay.
This song is so uplifting and uplifting. It’s a reminder that you are full of beautiful, achievable and grounded dreams, and that you have the knowledge, power and ability to make them happen. Combine this song with a run and let the endorphins take over.
5. Up & Up by Coldplay
There are good days and bad days when it comes to loving yourself. Some days I feel very secure in myself and on my path, other days I feel completely lost and unworthy of success. Then I put on this song and remind myself that there is light, even on the darkest days. Some days it will feel like we are climbing mountains, but we have to keep climbing. This song will help you feel more accessible.
6. A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay
When we feel inadequate, we often look to others for answers. We look at social media and compare our lives to those little square pictures of perfection. Not only are they an inaccurate representation of life, but they create in us an even deeper sense of imperfection. Here’s what you need to remember: Nobody’s life is perfect.
Even the people we envy have doubts, insecurities and fears, just like you. And despite these shortcomings, we are all already whole and sufficient. Each of us is a sky full of stars, with bright lights to share (right, Coldplay?!).
7. That Alabama Shakes feeling
Asking others for inspiration is not always counterproductive. I actually love the new trend on social media – showing my flaws and showing what everyday life is like with all its messy, unpolished moments. Sometimes we need the stories of others to remind us that we are not alone.
I love the vulnerability of this song and the message that no matter how many times you get knocked down, you can get back up and everything will be okay.
8. The Man Who Wanders by Laura Marling
In that sense, it’s also a song about staying true to yourself. It’s easy to get lost on the road to self-acceptance. We can be distracted by shiny things, things that bring short-term gratification. But when these things force us to compromise our values, our deepest understanding of who we are, we lose a part of ourselves.
Staying true to yourself, listening to the inner voice that knows what is right, is the only way to fully accept yourself.
9. Shake It Off Taylor Swift
Say what you want about Taylor Swift, but that girl got me through a rough time. Sometimes you need to physically get rid of what’s bothering you, and this song is clearly the best for that part of the self-love journey.
10. Higher love James Vincent McMorrow
I’m trying to understand that the idea of self-love goes much deeper than the outward projection of happiness. As those of us who practice yoga know, happiness is rooted in a deep sense of self-acceptance.
It is difficult to love others, to bring love to our work, our family, and any other situation, if we do not first find that love for ourselves. This higher love is the result of much work and the desire to understand and accept oneself. When I hear this song, I feel a deep connection.
This playlist is completely chaotic in terms of genres, but that’s exactly what the journey to self-love can be. There are ups and downs, times when you just need to stay with your feelings, and times when you want to move, run and shake your body to feel something deeper.
Music has an amazing ability to bring us together, make us feel connected and empowered, and even heal us. I encourage you to find music that helps you feel supported and inspired, like this playlist does for me.
Summer is fast approaching and being in the outdoors with the sun beating down on your face can be both a blessing and a curse: the good part is being able to get outside and enjoy nature, the bad part is being exposed to the harmful UV rays that can potentially harm our skin and eyes. The good news is that there are quite a few things that you can do to ease the damage that the sun can do to your skin and your mind.