Pick Me Up Playlist
I was tagged by the gorgeous Uncustomary Housewife to do the Pick-Me Up Playlist Challenge. Now, I love me a good challenge tag. Not just for the ease of not having to actually think about what to write (sue me, I’m lazy), but because they’re a good way to get to know people in the community that little bit more. Your music taste does reveal a lot about you, and honestly if anyone still reads my blog after seeing the sort of shit I listen to, I would be very very surprised.
Pick Me Up Playlist Challenge Information
Rules for the Pick Me Up Playlist Challenge:
Mention how music helps your Mental Health
List 10 songs that you would consider to be a part of your ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ (optional: mention a little bit why each song is on your list)
Tag the blogger who nominated you
Link back to ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ creator – Laura Spoonie
Tag 10 other bloggers to join in with the ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ Challenge
Music and my mental health
I have always been a musical person. And yes, that is the wankiest sentence I have ever written. But coming from a childhood filled with ballet and flute and orchestra, most of my days were filled with some kind of music. I wouldn’t call my music taste good, or ‘normal’, but not a day goes by where I don’t listen to something. Music, more than anything else, has the ability to instantly change my mood, or distract me from my thoughts, or help lessen intense anxiety - particularly if it’s a song I’ve listened to many times before and know intimately. The familiarity and knowing what happens helps just as much as the actual tune and lyrics.
There is nothing better than a good musical theatre playlist to set me up for the day, I love a punchy song to walk home to down the catwalk of life (the very long road to my house that has been the set for many an imaginary performance), and sometimes I just need to stick on a sad song and cry. The Little Women soundtrack is a personal favourite for those moments. And of course, a drag show wouldn’t be a drag show without the music and songs. And we all know how I feel about a good drag show - even if I don’t know most of the songs. I’m not good with popular music.
What is a ‘pick-me up playlist’ to me?
To me, the songs that I think of when I think of pick-me up songs are not necessarily what everyone else would think of. She’s different. Yes, I will stop being a complete wanker now. These are the songs that I reach for without even thinking, whether that be because the lyrics resonate with me or because I’ve been listening to the song for so long that it’s now like a comfort blanket that will distract me from everything going on in the outside world. Headphones on, crank it up high, nothing else matters.
Let’s get on with it.
Schindler’s List theme tune - John Williams
You might be thinking at this point ‘does she actually know the meaning of pick-me up?’. The answer is: no, not really. Joking. I know Schindler’s List is not the happiest of movies (but it is a very good one), but I just love the theme tune. It’s one of the most beautiful, most moving pieces of music out there and I’ve been listening to it for years and years. It’s my comfort blanket in a song, and listening to it envelops me in the stunning strings and nothing else really matters.
Once I listened to it five times in a row on the tube and started crying.
Barbies - P!nk
I first heard this song because Meth the drag queen does a stunning number mixing it with quotes from Peter Pan, and it genuinely made me cry a little bit. I wiped the tears away quickly so I wouldn’t get laughed at by the darling queens there, but she was emotional. Barbies is a gorgeous song about growing up and growing old - a subject close to my own heart because it’s something I struggle with. Which is an odd sentence, I grant you but I just love this song. The lyrics resonate with me, P!nks voice is just stunning, and I love the guitar in the background. Stunning. Utterly stunning. (To be honest, I could have picked any song off of the Beautiful Trauma album. It’s the best.)
SIX - SIX: The Musical
I am cheating here. But I’ve been going back and forth trying to choose my favourite song from the SIX soundtrack and I just can’t do it, because every single song is one I would class as a pick-me up. It’s just incredible. Yes, I overuse that adjective. But I am a giant Tudor history nerd, and there is genuinely nothing better than six ladies singing songs about the wives of old Henners. They’re so catchy, I always find myself bopping along, and I frequently stage full productions in my bedroom/in the shower/on the catwalk of life. If I had to pick one, it would be Katherine Howard’s song All You Wanna Do. But I love them all.
Touch The Sky - Julie Fowlis (Brave)
I have such an obsession with Brave. Merida is one of my favourite princesses, I have an unhealthy fixation with her hair considering it doesn’t even exist, and this song is just so freeing to me. It reminds me of growing up in the relative freedom of Devon, running across Dartmoor, swimming in cold lakes, and spending hours and hours on the beach in the winter. It’s just gorgeous, and never fails to make me smile. I will fly.
And You Don’t Even Know It - John McCrea (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie)
ETAJ is the musical I go to if I need a pick-me up. With the feel good message of embracing who you are, celebrating the people around you, and not caring what people think it always does me good to watch clips of it on YouTube - but the opening number is one that never fails to make me feel better about who I am, and set me back on course to just be me, everyone be damned.
Good Morning Baltimore - Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray)
Again, another musical that never fails to cheer me up and make me feel instantly 1000 times happier. I bloody love me a good musical. Good Morning Baltimore is a personal favourite to listen to of a morning on the way to work. There is nothing else that sets me up quite so well, especially if I’m wearing my favourite pink circle skirt and petticoats. Full 50’s fantasy, it’s just so much fun.
A Million Dreams - P!nk (The Greatest Showman Reimagined)
1000 times better than the movie version, P!nk singing A Million Dreams just gets me right in the heart. It’s such a poignant song, and the lyrics really just resonate with me in a way I didn’t expect. It’s a song that makes me hopeful for the future, no matter what’s going on in the present. So stunning, and P!nk’s vocals are just gorgeous. I don’t care much for the movie (although it did make me sob), but this song and Never Enough are two of my favourites, ever. Special mention also to Tightrope.
At this point, I will admit I am really struggling to think of 3 more songs because so many of the songs I listen to are more on the sad side - which, I mean, I did put in Schindler’s List. So if they seem like odd choices, remember I am an odd person. And I listen to the same 3 albums over and over again, honestly.
Almost There - Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog)
I love listening to this song when I’m feeling slightly discouraged about my path in life, and feeling like I’m not achieving what I should be compared to my peers. I am almost there, fairytales can come true and I can make it happen. It’s the perfect song for setting me straight again, and getting me prepared to do the hard work - and reminding me that one day it’ll all be worth it, despite the trials and tribulations.
Waterloo - Cher
I dare you to listen to Cher’s version of Waterloo and not bop along. Spoiler alert: you won’t.
Purple Rain - Prince, as sung by Ophelia Love
Bit of an odd one, technically not a song that I can actually listen to, but hearing Phi sing Purple Rain will never not make me smile. She does it so well, it’s such a good song, and I’m usually at a really good show. Actual happy place, tbh.
I don’t know who to tag because I think the usual suspects are in on it - so if you see this and want to join in, go ahead! It’s good fun.