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20 songs to sing in the shower when you want to feel all the feelings

liz lamoreux

I often say that I turn to poetry when I need to feel all the feelings because the words of others help me find my own words when I'm neck deep in being human.

Music so often does the same thing for me.

Over the weekend, I found myself singing a medley of songs to just get myself out of a shame spiral that came up totally unexpectedly. When I was suddenly grooving to Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" while in the shower and feeling all that cheesy goodness of remembering that "my people" really do just want me to be me, I knew I wanted to make a list of the songs I turn to when I want to just be in the feelings, whatever they are. 

This is just part of that list, and is mostly full of songs that I pretty much know all the words to so I can sing them (or at least the chorus) in the shower or while pulling weeds (or just looking at the weeds) or cleaning the kitchen etc. Basically songs I don't need to also be listening to in order to sing. As I started pulling these songs together, I realized I could probably list about 50 or more but 20 is more the length of a mixed tape and oh how I miss mixed tapes.

Because of course music taste varies, if you have your own "feeling all the feelings" songs you like to sing or listen to, I hope you'll share them in the comments.


When you want to feel empowered for setting a boundary or two: Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone"

When you need to remind yourself that you're going to get through: fun.'s "Carry On"

When you need to remember that it's okay to still be really really mad (at least until it starts to distract your from actually living): Dixie Chick's "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice"

When you need to remember that you aren't alone over there: Carol King's "You've Got a Friend"

When you want to remind yourself that you have all the wisdom inside you to take the next step: Stephanie Dosen's "Brave"

When you want to step deep into vulnerability while also feeling the empowerment of singing one of the greatest songs of all time: Dolly Parton's "Jolene" (you knew it was going to make the list)

When the spark of something wondrous feels within your grasp: Joshua Radin's "Brand New Day"

When you need to remember that it doesn't matter what "they" say: Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" (obviously)

When you're shaking off the shackles of who you're supposed to be: Queen's "I Want to Break Free"

When you're kind of hoping to get your sexy on: Jonatha Brooke's (featuring Keb' Mo') "All You Gotta Do Is Touch Me"

When you need the reminder that you aren't too much and you really can show up as you: Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" (I can't help myself. It's back in my life and I can't stop. Won't stop.)

When you just want to be in the sadness (or perhaps the miracle) of it all: Any version of "Hallelujah" from k.d. lang to Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris to (of course) Leonard

When you just want to give into the missing of that someone who isn't in your life anymore: Jim Croce's "Photographs and Memories" (I'll pass the tissues)

When you know it's time: Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror"

When you're fresh in the OMG how did this happen to me: Cee Lo Green's "Forget You"

When you want to bring on the joy: the Glee version of "Don't Stop Believing"

When nostalgia and what used to be or might have been is tugging on you: Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

When you're deep in the grief and know it's okay to be there: Kenny Roger's "You Were a Good Friend"

When you're trusting the decision you're about to make: Rosie Thomas' "Wedding Day"

When you're letting in light and know things are getting better: Paul Simon's "Gone at Last" (This one is on just about every music list I have - dance it out, sing it out, get connected to who you want to be, dance with ellie, put on in the studio and shake it out, and how the list goes on.) 

And because oh my gosh I miss the days of mixed tapes, I made this list into a YouTube playlist here

What are you listening to over there when you want to feel all the feelings? Share in the comments. I'd love to know!


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