Our thoughts feel impossible to control sometimes. The state of mind you're in today may change tomorrow (mine changes by the minute), and that's 100% okay. How we think about our bodies and our lives fluctuates frequently. However, the beauty of life is to feel all of these feelings, accept that they are valid, and lean on positive forces to help you along the way, like music.
The mood-boosting powers of music are truly magical. You feel a type of way, and then you vibe out to one of your favorite songs and allow the beat and the lyrics to take you to a different place. This is why music is linked to so of your many memories. No matter what point you're at in your mind at this very moment, remember the power of a good melody, which will always be there. Below, nine women share the songs they turn to to unleash their self-confidence and bring on the fun times. Hopefully, your headphones are nearby.
Kat, Editor in Chief at Who What Wear
Song: "Sex With Me" by Rihanna
"I'm sure a lot of people will say this, but Rihanna's 'Sex With Me' works like a charm. She is the epitome of confidence. I have a merch hat from her concert that says, 'Least Likely to Give a F*ck.' I am actually the most likely to give a f*ck, so it helps me remember to be bold and self-assured."
Jasmine, Community Manager at Clique Brands
Song: "Cranes in the Sky" by Solange
"Solange as an artist brings such a clairvoyant perspective to the African American experience, but her music, and this song specifically, is really for any person who's ever felt unsatisfied in any facet of their life and finds themselves trying to heal that wound. I slept on the album for a minute (which I say regrettably), but when I finally did take the time to give Solange her due, this is the song that gave me the confidence and the permission to take time to heal myself. This song guided me through a breakup and through learning to love and accept my natural hair texture. It's a melody that taught me that we all share some form of trauma or anxiety and no matter how we choose to avoid it, we will always end up running into it if we choose to not face it. Solange gives us the permission and the strength to really look at what's really happening beyond the surface level, to be vulnerable, and to get to the root of our pain so that we can heal in a real way."
Song: "Everything Is Everything" by Lauryn Hill
"When I think of this song, I think of my own journey of learning to love and accept my body and exactly where I was in my life through tears and a plethora of yoga classes. Two of my favorite verses from this song are, 'Develop a negative into a positive picture,' and 'After winter, must come spring.' What these two verses mean to me is that we can't control what happened in our lives, or even necessarily what's currently happening, but we can choose how we see our lives and how we choose to feel about them. You can obsess and tell yourself your hair isn't beautiful, or that you'll never find a loving relationship, or you can flip the script, say fuck it, and choose to believe and see the very best in your body, your life, and your potential. Ultimately, like Lauryn says, nothing lasts forever. Spring is coming, and it's up to you to decide if you're going to stay in hibernation or if you're going to bloom."
Song: "Alive" by Sia
"We so often get caught up in the little things, and when that happens or when I'm feeling great doubts about the state of my life and of the world, I turn this song on. It's a reminder that, despite it all, you're still alive. If you've made it to this point, you can make it further. Through the trauma, through the plaguing self-doubt, through it all, somehow you're still here, still breathing. Each breath, each moment, each day is the best confidence reminder; it's a reminder of not only our resilience but our inherent worthiness of being alive."
Song: "Don't Hurt Yourself" by Beyoncé
"Lemonade came into my life at the perfect time. I was in and out of a turbulent relationship, and I remember the first time I listened to 'Don't Hurt Yourself.' It was transformative. Rarely do we get to see Beyoncé in a state of anger, much less any woman of color in the artistic space, without it being passed over or disqualified as valid. To have this artist have the courage to put all her business out in the world and really demand she be loved the way she deserved to be loved is empowering. We all need reminders of who we really are and that we are all worthy of love. Also, the song just makes you feel like a badass queen who has the strength of a fire-breathing dragon."
Song: "God's Plan" by Drake
"Let's be real here: No playlist is complete without Drake. But when I'm in my head about where my life is going, my relationships, and the other stories of self-doubt that I tell myself about my life, 'God's Plan' gets turned on. This song, to me, is a reminder that no matter what's happening in our lives, whether your face is breaking out, you just lost a loved one, or a job, everything is happening for us, not to us. When I feel like everything isn't right, I'm reminded that of everything that is going right and that this tough time, this tough day, isn't my whole story; it's just a page in the grander plan."
Song: "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
"Yes, this is a country song but don't judge it before you listen. One reason I love this song, other than because Oprah loves it and because it reminds me of my grandmother, is that the whole premise of the song is to be present within our lives and our bodies. It's encouraging you to take risks, believe in love, and shake that booty of yours no matter what you feel or what others think, because life is so precious and short, and what's the point of sitting out of life when you can dance?"
Lauren, Fashion Editor at Who What Wear
Song: "Privacy" by Chris Brown
"Whenever I want to feel like my absolute best self, I put on 'Privacy' by Chris Brown. The song is definitely in-your-face sensual, but that's not the only reason I like it. My best friend and I used to listen to this song all throughout college and of course after. We would play it while we were getting ready for a fun event, in the car when we wanted to let loose, and if it ever came on in the club, you know we danced our hearts out. It's those memories plus the addictive melody that make me feel like my most confident self. When it comes to music, for me it's all about the nostalgia a song can bring that makes me identify so closely with it."
Lindsey, Managing Editor at Byrdie
Song: "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé
"The entire Beyoncé discography is my power anthem, but if I had to narrow it down, the song that makes me feel like I just grew a few inches and won the Powerball is 'Crazy in Love.' Whenever that song comes on at a wedding or a bar, I part the dance floor like the Red Sea and march through in jean shorts and a white tank top while I take the clip out of a half-ponytail. (Realistically, there's no such mass parting but instead a lot of whispering, confused faces, and people asking me to please get a hold of myself, but just wait for those three minutes and 56 seconds to be over, and I'll return to a normal state of being.)"
Anna, Assistant Editor at Who What Wear
Song: "New Rules" by Dua Lipa
"Everything about Dua is badass, from her DGAF attitude to her next-level outfit game, so when I listen to this song of hers, I instantly channel that confidence and energy."
Amanda, Features Editor at Byrdie
Song: "Hang With Me" by Robyn
"This Swedish badass's electropop tunes put me in a fierce mood like Pavlov's dog. I hear a Robyn beat and I instantly feel strong and cool and excited about life. Her tunes give me such a pep in my step, in fact, that the only time in my life I've ever run for exercise, her Body Talk album was the only thing that kept my feet hitting the pavement. 'Hang With Me' is especially great not only because the beat and melody are freakin' infectious, but also because I love that it's about casual low-stakes romance, which is also a concept I find empowering. 'Just dooooon't faaaaaall recklessly headlessly in love with meeeeeeee.' Ugh. Love it."
Gina, Senior Editor at Who What Wear
Song: "Work" by Rihanna
"Wow. There are so many songs to choose from, and, frankly, most of them are Rihanna. I'm going to go with 'Work' because as with pretty much any song that makes me feel confident, it's all about how the rhythm makes me want to move my body and dance freely without judgment. All I need is to hear the first few bars, and I'm instantly in that zone."
Kelly, Social Media Editor at Byrdie
Songs: "Ring the Alarm" by Beyoncé and "I Do" by Cardi B and SZA
"'Ring the Alarm' has been a favorite song of mine for so long. I listen to it whenever I need a little pump up or need to remind myself that I can be a badass too. Queen B has so many songs that inspire confidence, but this one is a little bit angrier than most, and sometimes you just need that kind of energy. SZA and Cardi B are two of my favorite artists individually, so pair them up and the result is pure gold. I strongly suggest listening to this while you get ready for a night out with the girls."
"Icy Grl" by Saweetie
Female rappers are the coolest chicks on the planet to me. To come in and drop a fire song in a male-dominated field is an empowering move in itself, so whenever I turn on their music, I feel like I'm the shit. Saweetie is a newcomer to the scene and the motivational lyrics in this song speak to me the most: "Never living comfortably, got a lot of goals to meet," "Charging by the minute 'cause my time is very pricey," and "Obstacles be slowing me, but that buffer moldin' me, so I take my time 'cause I'm always where I'm supposed to be." Yaaaaas!
"Where the Bag At" by City Girls
This female rap duo's song and I have a very special connection. For my birthday a few weeks ago, my best friends surprised me with the most lit party bus. As soon as I took my blindfold off, this song played, everyone on the bus screamed "Surprise!" and I immediately started twerking. It was one of the most epic experiences of my life, and I'll never forget this moment. I felt so confident, independent, and grown.
"Diva" by Beyoncé
I've had the distinct honor of seeing Bey perform live twice, and each time has been a spiritual experience. When this song comes on, I picture a runway in front of me and I stomp down that thing like my life depends on it. Whenever I'm feeling stressed about work or in a mood, this song reminds me I'm a hustler at heart. These infectious lyrics remind me that nothing in life worth fighting for ever comes easy.
"Nice for What" by Drake
Watching this music video, full of Hollywood's hottest female change agents, makes me feel so damn proud to be a woman. The beat makes my girls and I go crazy every time it comes on. It's such an anthem to live drama-free and to speak your mind. Funny story: I was dating a guy who I really liked but didn't know if he was into me or not. It phased out after a while, but we still have remained very good friends and have an undeniable connection. The night this song dropped, he texted me and said, "You should be in the 'Nice for What' video." Sure, it might've been a power move on his part, but the satisfaction it gave me to know he thinks so highly of me felt so good.