5 Modern Daily Mantras I Learned From Spotify


Relationships are great for lots of reasons.

Not the least of which is access to your partner’s online entertainment accounts (Netflix, HBOGO, etc.).

Thus, as I pilfered music from Spotify (aided and abetted by her account), I made an interesting discovery. Prominent amongst her various song collections was a playlist named “Confidence Boost.” The songs are strong, inspiring, and powerful; and all by female artists.

Men do not have this list.

Yes, we have the Rocky-inspired gym list. But that is in furtherance of muscle pumping vanity exercises. It is not a periodic psychological jumpstart.

I want to understand this phenomenon. What are the needs that warrant this life jolt?  To find the answers, I simply listened to the lyrics of the songs.

“I love myself / No, I don’t need anybody else.”

Hailee Steinfeld (“Love Myself”) 

This is an intriguing theme in the Confidence Boost playlist. The notion of self-security appears more aspirational than a reality. Maybe it stems from the idea that if one is secure on their own, then they are untouchable and cannot be hurt. Free, even. This might be innate for men (or at least faked well)—a default position of sorts or something ingrained in youth. I wonder which is healthier: to strive for independence daily or to believe you have had it all your life. Pros and cons to both are likely, but I see the need to be reminded that it is a goal.

“All we need is somebody to lean on”

– Major Lazer (“Lean On”)

This is the converse to the above notion of independence. This is more real and, although easy for women to understand, impossible for men. Acceptance of the concept of strength through support is incredibly important. It is vital for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is true. Support makes you stronger, smarter, and more courageous. But why the inclusion in the Confidence Boost mix? Because it is natural. It feels comfortable. It is good to feel like you are not alone. It makes sense. It’s empowering.   

“This is my fight song / Take back my life song / Prove I’m alright song.”

Rachel Platten (“Fight Song”) 

This is the most reoccurring theme of the Confidence Boost mix. It hints at a constant struggle in life. Working to keep your head above water. The most insightful aspect of this theme is that women acknowledge the struggle and men do not. In the AA 12-steps fashion, men need to admit that life is tough and it beats you down. Listening to a song that pushes you to keep fighting and reinforcing that you are doing fine is probably a pretty good idea. 

“And we'll discuss our big dreams / How we plan to take over the planet”

– Alessia Cara (“Here”)

This song is difficult to capture in a few lines. Basically, the idea is that Alessia is not interested in being distracted by the typical social aspects of life (“I don't dance, don't ask, I don't need a boyfriend, so you can go back, please enjoy your party”) but would rather be simply hanging out with her friends, listing to music and talking about bigger life goals. This theme resonated with me. I’m past the bullshit. I want real in my life. And maybe I need that daily reminder.   

“Say what you wanna say / And let the words fall out / Honestly, I wanna see you be brave”

Sara Bareilles (“Brave”) 

This is a good theme to end on. It is encapsulating as it seems to be what we have been striving to be able to do since birth. Speak your mind. Be courageous. Live authentically. Carpe diem. Fuck it. I need to think this every day. Everyone needs to think this every day. Be brave.

Daily melodic reminders are a good thing.

Men and women are different. Never have I considered a collection of songs to constantly remind me to stay on the right course, to pick me up, and to stay true to myself.

It is a good idea. And if you find the right person, it is free.