( ENSPIRE Music) It’s Time to Combat the Dreaded Seasonal Blues with these Unique Song Picks
ENSPIRE Contributor: Kaitlyn Cruz
Tis’ the season…of seasonal depression. According to aafp.org, about 4-6% of people may experience a seasonal affective disorder or “winter depression”. How can you combat the dreaded ‘seasonal blues’? While lack of sunlight and vitamin D are the main culprits to seasonal depression, listening to music can be a great way to lift your spirits and make you feel good.
One study shows that music therapy can reduce patients’ psychological distress, improving feelings of inner peace and life satisfaction. Listening to and/or making music has positive impacts on our brains and can ease stress. Additionally, one article suggests that listening to uplifting music is one of the simplest ways to combat seasonal depression. Below is a list of positive and uplifting songs to get you out of a rut and help you feel better.
On My Mama by Victoria Monét
This catchy, upbeat single will make you want to dance. It was trending on TikTok and for good reason, with thousands recreating the popular dance challenge. The music video is dance-heavy, emits all the 90’s and 2000’s vibes, and is an ode to Black American culture, hip-hop, and R&B. This is Monet’s first song to reach number one on Billboard and has been nominated to receive two Grammys in 2024. This song is full of positive affirmations, as she sings, “On my mama, on my hood, I look fly, I look good”. Put on a nice outfit, do your hair, and your skincare, sing these lyrics, and remind yourself that you look good!
Pretty Day by Limobaze and Madison Ryann Ward
This catchy number is a mixture of R&B/Soul and Afro-beats. It paints a picture of a beautiful, carefree day filled with joy and gratitude. The lyrics repeat, “Won’t let the negativity control me, I’m making my attitude a choice now, today I choose joy…it’s gonna be a pretty day for me”. This song reminds you to be grateful for the little things, the blessings, and just for another day. It’s a reminder to not stress the small things and to shift your focus from negativity to gratitude.
Good Day by Nappy Roots
This classic throwback will inspire you to have a good day, just as the title states. This track will give you an extra pep to your step, making you bop your head as you get dressed, make breakfast, or get started on your day. Play this song in the morning, starting your day off on the right foot. The lyrics involve looking good, feeling good, and not worrying about what anybody else says. This song evokes a positive, carefree attitude that will hopefully carry through the rest of your day.
Intentional by Travis Greene
This uplifting gospel track is about serving an intentional God, who uses the good, the bad, and the ugly for your good. The lyrics repeat, “All things are working for my good…cause He’s intentional”. This is a positive message that you don’t have to stress because everything you experience in life is used for a greater purpose.
Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
You can’t go wrong with this classic reggae piece by Bob Marley. This track will make your head bop and your body sway to the lyrics, “Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing, gonna be alright”. This song inspires you to stride through life with a carefree, laid-back, positive attitude.
I Am Not My Hair by India Arie
This song explores the journey of loving and accepting oneself. Specifically, India sings about her journey of learning to love her natural hair, her skin, and the things that make her Black, despite the criticism. She reminds us that beauty radiates from within, from our souls, and that we are more than our outward appearance. Play this vibey song when you want to feel good and need that reminder that you are beautiful, no matter what others may say or think.
Thanks in Advance by Evan Ford & Evan and Eris
The whole essence of this R&B song is about trusting God and trusting the process. You may not see the results you want at the moment, but this song is a reminder to stay expectant and hopeful, knowing that you will see the blessings. This song encourages you to be grateful in advance, despite not seeing outcomes yet. The lyrics repeat, “I got thanks that I’m giving in advance, don’t gotta wait till I see it in my hands, don’t see it now but I learn to trust”. When you know you’re in good hands, you don’t have to worry.
Just A Cloud Away by Pharell Williams
This popular, TikTok trending track is filled with positive mantras. Not only does the melody evoke positive vibes, but the lyrics remind you that “rainy days” or disappointments are temporary and that better days are just a cloud away. This song encourages you to shake off the disappointments, all while making you want to sway and snap your fingers.
Be Alright by Evan and Eris & Steven Malcolm
This RnB song has encouraging lyrics that inspire hope and promote a positive outlook on life and towards the future. It reminds you to focus on being grateful for the positives. The lyrics, “Don’t believe in failures in my life, it’s only lessons’’ encourage you to grow from your experiences and focus on the blessings.
4am (Instrumental) by WHATUPRG
Listening to relaxing music is known to reduce stress. This instrumental piece is one of those songs. It is calm and soothing, with rhythmic beats that will make your head bop. It is an instrumental version of a lyrical song by WHATUPRG. Add this to your favorite Lofi or instrumentals list. It is one you can listen to while you study or just vibe. A good playlist is guaranteed to inspire you to get your work done and relieve any stress while doing so.
Music is a universal language. Whether it’s seasonal depression or just a little funk, music has the power to impact your mood and outlook on life. Along with just listening to your favorite songs, and choosing to listen to uplifting and feel-good music, you can feel better in an instant. We hope this list will be effective at this and expand your music palate. These unique song choices can make a well-rounded playlist to lift your mood.