In my therapy practice, one of the things I always keep my eyes and ears open for is empowerment and where my clients are in that ongoing journey. As women-identified folk, a lack of empowerment can coincide with voices of internalized sexism (or just your run-of-the-mill nasty inner critic), where a figure inside of us tries to put us “in our place” by stifling our power, voice, agency, or our good feeling about ourselves. The result may be feelings of low self-worth, low confidence, or self-doubt. Or we might act in ways that undermine our ability to follow our intuition, needs and desires, and move forward in life in the ways we would like. There are countless ways to work on internalized sexism, inner criticism, and lack of empowerment, but today, I want to talk about music.
Sometimes a song is just the medicine we need to pick up our spirits and remind us of our empowered selves in a world that too often dismisses or attempts to dismantle our innate power and strength (I’m speaking directly to those who identify as women, but this is true for any of us who feel at times like the outer world or our internal atmosphere is against us being in our power). Of course, there are hundreds of songs that we each love—they make us feel really good and put a groove in our step. But, I’m talking about those few songs that make us feel like we’re a kick-ass, incredible, amazing, indomitable human being: those songs that make us believe in ourselves in a way we might not normally feel; those songs that, when we hear them, we can’t help but lift up our chin, stand tall and proud; those songs that make us want to sing our praises to the world and that bring a few sweet tears to our eyes—’cause we know it’s true. We know, deep down, we are that incredible and that powerful.
As I write this, I’m listening to my current favorite empowerment song, Katy Perry’s “Roar.” My favorite lyrics in the song are, “’Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar!” There’s something about the music and the words of an especially powerful song that can sink into us, get through our defenses in a way that nothing else does. Our body starts to move and we feel inside ourselves the empowered being we really are. We move and dance—rather than think—our way into that truth.
Here are some of my favorite empowerment songs:
“Roar” – Katy Perry
“Fight Song” – Rachel Platten
“Brave” – Sara Bareilles
“Girl on Fire” – Alicia Keys featuring Nicki Minaj
“Firework” – Katy Perry
What are your go-to empowerment songs?
Let’s stand proud! Let’s stand tall! Let’s remember who we really are. Who’s with me?