Headphones In, Negativity Out: HCRU's Self-Love Playlist

Rocking out to some good music can be a great way to unwind or even hype yourself up after a long, stressful day. Sometimes on these days, a person may want to listen to uplifting and fierce songs that could instantly help put them in a better mood. On the other hand, a deeply emotional track with insightful lyrics could be just what a person needs to relate to after a difficult day. From catchy empowering pop songs to ballads emphasizing the importance of self-love and everything in between, a few of us here at Her Campus Rutgers have compiled some of our favorite confidence-boosting songs together. Take a listen and show yourself some love!

"Tubthumping" - Chumbawamba

Chumbawamba is a British band whose style changed several times while they were together. "Tubthumping" is one of their most well-known songs and was nominated for MTV’s Best New Artist Award and for Brit Award for British Single of the Year. The song is off their 8th album Tubthumper from 1997. It is a great song to listen to when you need a pick me up. To its core, it's about falling down and having a rough time, but being able to get back. Nothing can keep you down!

"Good as Hell" - Lizzo

Lizzo’s "Good as Hell" from 2016 is a song just brimming with self-love. Not only will it have you thinking about how great you are but also have you dancing along.  It's also a great reminder that standing up for yourself and what you want is super important! It's not only important in relationships but also in life in general!

"Thank U" - Alanis Morissette

I think Alanis said it best herself, in an interview with MTV, when it comes to "Thank U": “Basically, I had never stopped in my whole life, hadn't taken a long breath, and I took a year and a half off and basically learned how to do that. When I did stop and I was silent and I breathed... I was just left with an immense amount of gratitude, and inspiration, and love, and bliss, and that's where the song came from, you know.” Part of self-love is taking time not only to think about yourself but also all the people and experiences that influenced and shaped your life in some way. The music video reflects how she accepts herself and has come to embrace the vulnerability and rawness she feels.

"Carry On" - fun.

This song is all about persistence and perseverance. Sometimes you get dealt a bad hand of cards, and you can’t imagine how you can come back. This song says it's ok but you gotta keep going. When you’ve hit rock bottom you can only go up. It reminds you that you are not perfect, and you’re not meant to be. Flaws are human and are very much a part of who you are, which can be hard to accept. When you need a relatable song about the difficulties of life and self-love this is a great go to.

"BO$$" - Fifth Harmony

Obviously, this one was gonna be on the playlist! Not much needs to be said about "BO$$". It's a great song about the power of women, reminding you just what you're capable of! Deep down everyone has the potential and power to be a boss just like Oprah and Michelle Obama. This song will also definitely get you on your feet feeling good in no time!

"Strong Enough" - Cher

If there's anyone strong enough it's Cher! "Strong Enough" is all about realizing you deserve better. While leaving people and relationships is hard, sometimes it's the best form of self-love. This song is all about figuring out that you will survive AND thrive in your future endeavors after leaving an unhappy or unhealthy relationship. It's also a great reminder that you can make it through hard times no matter what they may be!

"***Flawless" - Beyoncé ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Does the inclusion of this hit from 2014 on our self-love playlist really need much of an explanation? Queen B serves up some major self-love vibes in this anthem that also features an excerpt from a feminist speech by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from her TED Talk that later became an eBook. Beyoncé throws it back to her roots in this song by praising her hometown and successful career before sharing her knowledge on being confident in oneself. Listening to this song each morning can be a great way to start feeling empowered before the day even begins. As Beyoncé sings, we flawless ladies.

"Scars To Your Beautiful" - Alessia Cara

This is one of those songs that should definitely be watched along with the music video. Alessia Cara’s video includes interviews with a diverse array of individuals discussing their differences from traditionally limited standards of beauty and how they make them uniquely beautiful and strong. Alessia Cara even won an MTV Video Music Award for this video in 2017 in the Best Fight Against The System category, where she also delivered a passionate performance of this song. If the lyrics about rising above societal expectations of beauty aren’t powerful enough, those who watch the video along with it may very well be in tears by the end (but the good kind). The video for "Scars To Your Beautiful" as well as the song itself completely radiates confidence and acceptance.

"Shake It Out" - Florence + The Machine

The indie songstress uses her hauntingly captivating voice to transform a song about reminiscing about one’s past into a celebration of letting go. Released back in 2011 on the band’s second album Ceremonials, the significance of this song has lasted well over the years and the message is still just as influential today. The overall triumphant feeling of overcoming obstacles reflected in "Shake It Out" helps make the song the best to listen to when one is dancing around their room in the middle of the night. This song can help listeners learn to embrace and move on from all of the trials and tribulations that have impacted their life.

"Little Bit of Lovin’" - Elle King

Elle King’s powerful and soulful voice emphasizes her emotional connection to the lyrics of this recently released single off her upcoming album, Shake the Spirit. This song exemplifies the entire concept of self-love from start to finish, including a near minute-long spoken-verse halfway through the track of Elle King reflecting on her own relatable journey towards self-acceptance. King described this song in an interview with The Recording Academy as one of her favorite songs from her new album and a universal self-love anthem. Listening to this song can not only help you realize that sometimes loving yourself is enough, but that it is one of the most important loves a person can develop.

"Weaker Girl" - Banks

The underrated alternative singer-songwriter Banks has written several empowering songs between her first two albums, but this track off of 2016’s The Altar is one of her more carefree releases. This song prioritizes looking after oneself in regards to relationships and realizing that sometimes all someone needs in their life is themselves. "Weaker Girl" is a particularly good listen for anyone who has recently been through a breakup or simply just needs a musical dose of not caring about what others think.

"Free" - Rudimental ft. Emeli Sandé

The British instrumental band may now be more known for their recent 2018 hit "These Days", but this track from their debut 2013 album featuring vocals from singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé definitely deserves a listen. Filled with lyrics about not finding one’s place among different groups of people and searching for the right path in life, "Free" takes listeners on a journey towards self-acceptance. This is the type of song that can stick with those who listen to it well after they first hear the track, due to it’s simple yet prevalent message of accepting that parts of oneself that sets them apart from others and ultimately can be freeing.

"On Top Of The World" - Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons has been all over the radio lately thanks to the massive success of several singles from their latest album Evolve, and this song from back in 2012 helps show why the alternative band is still a musical powerhouse today. The uplifting lyrics to this track tell the story of persisting through obstacles in order to reach a goal and never giving up. Listening to this song can help serve as a reminder to appreciate every moment along the way and love your journey. "On Top Of The World" is also filled with catchy musical elements and is sure to brighten up anyone’s day with its positive message.

"This Is Me" - Keala Settle

This song from 2017’s movie musical The Greatest Showman received much acclaim last winter including an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, and for good reason. "This Is Me" is the ultimate self-love anthem for anyone who feels as though they are tired of following others’ opinions of themselves and are ready to fully love all of their perceived flaws by showing the world their true selves. In the video above, singer and actress Keala Settle described the emotionality of the song. “There was a moment in the song that I actually was so scared that I had to actually grab Hugh’s [Jackman] hand so that I had somebody to hold on to. And then we got to the end of the number, and all I remember is just deafening, deafening applause. It was a sort of other-worldly experience,” she stated. The powerful lyrics in this song are sure to elicit feelings of hope and unapologetic acceptance in anyone who listens to it.

"Remember This"- NF

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNhOgS3BHjw align:center]

"Remember This" emphasizes the power of self-trust and living your own life on your terms. It discusses how people should not define what you do or who you are. A favorite line “These people gon' tell you that you will never make it. Then when you do, they gon' say they knew you were goin' places.” This proposition reigns true; people will continue to break you down and challenge you; but, they will always be your biggest fans once you become successful. It is a matter of ignoring those opinions before and after your success because, at the end of the day, all that matters is your power and living your own life. "Remember This" emphasizes the importance of trusting yourself, your instincts, and your ability to do whatever you put your mind to and, to me, that is self-love.

"Born This Way"- Lady Gaga

"Born This Way" quickly became a personal anthem for self-love; it teaches you to love every part of yourself and to embrace it. Gaga emphasizes how great you are, regardless of how society chooses to define you. Loving yourself and embracing your natural beauty is crucial, because, as Gaga has exhibited on numerous occasions, people will always try to tear you down when you express yourself. This song enforces the notion that you should avert all of the of the negative comments and embrace your true, natural, most genuine self.

"Love Myself"- Blake McGrath

"Love Myself" depicts Blake McGrath’s journey in the music and dance industry and how they tried to alter who he is to make him sell better. Through the progression of the song, his perspective on on life is revealed; “I don’t want to be perfect… I know that I’m worth it.” He talks about shining as his natural self and thriving because of it. Finding who you are on the inside is the key to self-love. As McGrath reveals, trying to find your key to success is within you and it is not worth your time trying to find it outside of yourself.

"Don’t Stop Me Now"- Queen

"Don’t Stop Me Now" is a Queen masterpiece and a true hype anthem. It is about ‘you doing you’ and not letting the world around you stop that process. It is about embracing your gifts and not letting anyone or anything hold you down. True self-expression includes enjoyment and this award-winning song fully enforces that.

"DNA"- Kendrick Lamar

"DNA" is all about loving where you came from and embracing your culture. In a country where there are multiple cultures amalgamated into one pot, it is often difficult to remember your heritage. Your heritage often shapes who you become and embracing your roots is imperative on your journey to genuine self-love.

"10 Feet Down"- NF (featuring Ruelle)

In this song, NF opens up by discussing how he knows that he is not perfect. But, he continues by saying that he will keep working hard to get to where he wants to be while also remembering to stay grounded in the hustle-bustle world around him. NF shows how he finds motivation in the negative and how he finds the best in all that is around him: a sentiment we can all benefit from. The hype song for the 2017-2018 NBA season emphasizes the importance of rising up from faults, even if it seems impossible. It explains how, even when all odds and people are against you, to keep fighting and never give up.

"The Messenger" - Linkin Park

This song, although melancholic in nature, holds an important message; “When life leaves us blind, love keeps us kind.” Loving yourself gives you hope to keep going; once you learn to love yourself, the negative actions of others will not affect you as much. It provides a glimmer of hope when the world leaves you with nothing left. Yes, it is dark, however, at the same time, it is an exceptionally beautiful song that exhibits the importance of self-reliance and self-love. The acoustic music behind Chester Bennington’s powerful and emotional voice emphasizes that if you have love, you will get through any tribulations; and self-love is a guaranteed love that will not go away.

"Girl on Fire" - Alicia Keys

The R&B ballad was inspired when the singer, Alicia Keys, gave birth to her son. In the lyrics, Keys sings “She’s just a girl and she’s on fire” sending the message of empowerment to all females out there. Throughout the song, the singer congratulates women on all of their accomplishments and continues to encourage females to do what they want and to never let anyone tell them they can’t. Her powerful vocals give the listeners a sense of freedom and courage to stand up for what they believe in and try to achieve their goals no matter how big or small.

Each of these songs showcases different and essential aspects of the concept of self-love that can help teach a person the importance of caring for and treating themselves with kindness. There is such a wide variety of empowering music out there and while this playlist in no way attempts to cover it all, the few songs highlighted could hopefully help put some listeners in a happier mood. Check out the full playlist on Spotify to listen to it on the go!

*This article was not a sponsored feature. All the opinions reflected are our own, and we do not own any rights to the songs; all the credit goes to the artists.*