Month: January 2018 (page 1 of 2)

How To Face The Mirror: Overcoming Body Image Issues And Developing Self-Love

A while back, I shared a bit about my inner struggles with insecurity in relation to my appearance. The way we view ourselves, particularly our bodies, can have a tremendous impact on the way we interact with the world. When you’re not comfortable in your own skin, it’s easy to cut yourself off from joy. You shield yourself. You act from a sense of fear and self-preservation. You fill yourself with doubt.

In short, it’s not a good place to be.

The root of these insecurities is a lack of confidence, a feeling of not being good enough as is. Of course, this can come from many places. From the cruel words of others, from the unrealistic expectations set by the media, from the way we talk about beauty as a culture.  Regardless of how you came to have this struggle, I want you to know you are not alone. You are not shallow. You are a human having a human experience.

It has taken me a long time and an incredible amount of work to get to a place where I feel good about myself. A lot of the techniques I’ve used, such as implementing a solid self-care routine, have already been shared on this blog. Today, I would like to share some of the exercises I have found most helpful in dealing with body image specifically.

The Lotion Ritual.

This is the single most helpful trick I’ve ever learned. After reading countless articles suggesting that you spend time in the mirror looking for things you like and even more articles focusing on saying loving things to yourself, I developed my own little routine that I built into my day.

Every morning, before you get dressed, whether it’s a shower day or not, stand naked in front of your mirror. Look at yourself, tell yourself you’re beautiful, even if you don’t feel that way at the moment. Grab your lotion, I don’t care if it’s something fancy and scented or plain old Lubriderm, and slowly apply it, starting with your legs and working your way up.  Massage it in and tell each part of your body that you love it and thank it for what it does for you. Thank your legs for carrying you around. Thank your butt for giving you a place to sit. Thank your tummy for holding in your guts or for carrying children. You get the idea. As you notice things you find beautiful, make note of it.

Once you get to your face, grab a suitable moisturizer and do the same. Focus on sending thoughts of love and beauty to yourself. It will feel silly at first, but I guarantee that over time it will become a powerful tool. You’ll start to appreciate the things that make you, you. You’ll find more things to love about your form. Those negative judgements will start to decline. You’ll stop thinking of yourself in parts and begin to see yourself as one cohesive being that is worthy of love. As an added bonus, you get super soft skin, and who doesn’t love that?

Focus on health rather than size or shape.

Too often I hear the criticism that body positivity and the act of accepting your body as is means throwing in the towel and “letting yourself go”. First of all, I hate that phrase “letting yourself go”. I also hate the idea of women being cruel to themselves because they don’t look exactly like someone else. The problem is, when you’re focusing so hard on what you don’t like about yourself, you take away your will-power to change the things that you can control. When you don’t love yourself, you don’t have the inclination to take care of your body. You treat yourself the way you feel you deserve to be treated.

 

body positivity body image,

 

Instead of striving for a perfect body, strive to treat yourself well. Drink more water. Eat better food, without denying yourself the pleasure of indulgent treats from time to time. Work out because you want to keep your body strong, not to fit into some narrow definition of the perfect body. Love your body as it is at each step of the journey. Remember that even if you were the fittest you could possibly be, there are somethings that cannot be changed without drastic surgery. It’s just genetics. Those differences are what make us uniquely beautiful.

Challenge your perceptions by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Instead of focusing on something you hate (say, your thighs), focus on something you love (perhaps your shapely hips). Try to reframe the way you view your “flaws”. Those stretch marks are physical markers of your strength and resilience.  Your thick thighs prevent your lover from developing bruises during intimacy. If you stop to think about it, you can find something good about anything.

Whenever you catch yourself thinking one of the myriad of negative thoughts that can sneak up on us, immediately say to yourself, “that’s not very kind, I’m sorry” and then replace it with a positive. It takes time but you can retrain your brain to focus on healthier self-talk.

Appreciate beauty in other women.

This one can be especially difficult. Forget what you’ve been told is beautiful and really look at people. Whether they are on TV or in a magazine, or a person standing right in front of you, take them in. What do you think is beautiful about them? What makes them unique? Maybe you’ll find something in them that is similar to yourself and gain a greater appreciation for what you have. Maybe you’ll simply broaden your sense of how diverse people really are and challenge the narrow conception of beauty we have all been programmed with.

 

body positivity love yourself, stop comparing

 

Of course, there will be times when jealousy arises. When this happens, notice the feeling and then tell it to get lost. Remind yourself that a sunset and a flower are both beautiful, and they look nothing alike. Take a minute to think about your own body and what you like about it. Although I hate to give advice that furthers comparative thinking, it can be helpful to find a way to compare yourself favorably. Maybe you wish you had her breasts, but she may wish she had your eyes. Remember it’s all about perspective!

Focus on being present and truly experiencing life.

Slow down and really taste your food. Light some candles and inhale the scents deeply. Really feel the textures in everything that comes into contact with your skin. Indulge your senses! Notice what things make you feel good and what don’t, and strive to bring more of those good feelings into your life. Do the things that fill you with joy and confidence…and share them with others! The more you allow yourself to be present in your body and allow your body to serve you as an instrument of experience, the more you begin to appreciate all that it is capable of. This in turn helps you feel more comfortable in your skin, which then helps you feel more confident. And confidence is the sexiest thing a person can wear.

Learning to love your body won’t happen overnight. You will face setbacks. You just have to keep your eye on the prize, be gentle with yourself, and get yourself right back on the horse. Be intentional with your practice and celebrate your growth. Encourage the women around you to overcome their insecurities as well. Give them sincere compliments. Share the tips and tricks that have helped you. And most of all, enjoy the process.

 

The Right Amount Of Stuff: A Guide To Half-Assed Minimalism

It seems like we are all obsessed with the amount of stuff we have in our homes. We all spend way too much time fretting over not having enough stuff, wishing we had better stuff, or trying to rid our homes of unwanted stuff. Friends and family will gladly comment on our stuff, and there’s no shortage of articles to help us manage our stuff.

To be honest, I find it all a bit exhausting.

Depending on who you ask, I either have practically no stuff or I’m a borderline hoarder. I find this funny, as it perfectly highlights the differences of opinion when it comes to the right amount of objects a person should own.  Personally, I feel like I’ve more or less landed on the perfect amount of stuff, for me anyway.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve found myself reading up on minimalism and considering downsizing even more. While the idea of simplifying and living without clutter is wonderful, dare I say inspiring,  it’s definitely not something I can fully commit to. As a creative person, I always have totes upon totes of materials for various projects. My office is filled stacks of paper containing bits and pieces of stories and articles. I’ve got boxes of things that could possibly be repurposed. In short, my hobbies come with a lot of stuff.

 

decluttering, minimalism, half-assed

I don’t know about you, but his is WAY too sterile for me!

 

I am also a collector and a more than a little sentimental, which again means that even pairing down to the “essentials” just isn’t going to work for me. In fact, I’d argue that having tangible items that bring back certain memories or that simply make me smile is essential.

It is for these reasons that I have had to strike some sort of balance and develop my own sense of half-assed minimalism. Below are 4 essential lessons that have helped me keep the clutter to a minimum and create more space for the stuff that matters.

Ask yourself, does this get used?

I know, I know. This is like decluttering 101. Trust me, there’s a twist on this.

I want you to consider what that question means to you. For some people, random knick-knacks on a shelf may not be “getting used” and can be easily discarded, where as someone else may look at these items every day and smile. You probably have things you only use occasionally, like a specialized tool or holiday decor, that can be stored out of the way rather than tossed. On the flipside, you may have something that you use so infrequently that you’d rather ditch it and just borrow one from a friend as needed.

There are also the items that you have too many of, even if they all get used. Take dishes for example. At one point, we had so many plates that we could go weeks without doing dishes…and we often did. Of course, this meant when we finally ran out of clean plates we had a larger load to wash. It ate into our time, and it certainly didn’t make the kitchen look good. The were being used, but they weren’t particularly useful. Now, we can’t go more than two days without running out of plates, bowls, cups, or silverware. On top of keeping the cabinets clutter free, it forces us to stay on top of the dishes, which results in a cleaner kitchen and less stress.

Pay attention to what you actually use and how your possessions affect your life. Once you have an idea of what you truly want or need in your life you can start weeding out the things that aren’t a good fit.

Hold onto the right stuff.

So, now you’ve taken stock of your possessions and pinpointed some items that can be removed from your life. Good for you! Now, before you go all willy-nilly and just start pitching things, I want you to take a harder look at some of the stuff you may not “use” all the time but might want to keep.

Memories and collections:

Undoubtedly, there are items that you are holding onto just because they evoke strong memories. Lots of people are of the mind that the memories are in your head, so you don’t need most of it. I, however, disagree wholeheartedly. If you are someone who gets pleasure out of holding a treasured item from your past and reminiscing, embrace the fact that it’s part of who you are and keep what you need to keep. That said, see if you can pare it down a bit. Try some of these strategies:

  • Take pictures of items you don’t have space for, but don’t want to give up entirely. This is something I have done quite a bit. Whether it’s outfits I used to love but no longer wear, or giant stuffed animals I just don’t have room for, having those pictures in my scrapbook gives me something to look at and smile.
  • Hand items down to your kids. The borderline hoarder in me kept a ton of toys from my childhood. Like, several giant tubs full of old toys. Eventually I realized they weren’t doing much good sitting in storage, so I went through them and gave most of them to my daughter. Of course, I put a few things back that I didn’t want totally destroyed, and I finally parted with a lot of them, but seeing my child get enjoyment out of something I loved as a kid is pretty special.
  • See if you can repurpose some of your memorabilia. If you can’t find a way to display it as is and don’t want it rotting away in a box somewhere, why not find a new use for it? Old t-shirts can be made into quilts, handbags, and more. CDs and record albums that are no longer playable can be made into all sorts of cool things, including clocks or pieces of wall art. Get on Pinterest and see if you can breathe some new life into your old stuff!

Stuff for projects:

Remember those totes upon totes of project materials I mentioned? These get weeded out fairly regularly, and yet I manage to hold onto most of it, just in case. If you really think you may use it some day, keep it, but maybe give yourself a deadline to finish that project. Be honest with yourself about whether or not you’ll ever realistically do whatever you planned to do with each and every item.

This is especially important when it comes to broken things you plan on repairing. Consider the cost, not just financially but emotionally. Is it worth the time and effort? Will you use it once it’s fixed?

Stuff you know you’ll need later:

I got a lot of flack for holding onto all my daughter’s baby things. From bouncy chairs and toys, to bibs and clothes, I kept anything that wasn’t completely destroyed as she outgrew it all. I knew we wanted more kids, and I  knew that purchasing  all new stuff for future children would be expensive as hell. Of course, I also knew that if we were to have a boy next, I would have to replace a lot of clothing, but I decided to err on the side of caution. This worked out in my favor, as 5 years later I found myself pregnant with another girl. There is virtually nothing we have to buy for this child, and I have to tell you the feeling is amazing!

Clothes are another great example. I think the old “6 month” rule is obnoxious. I have a tasteful black skirt I only wear to funerals, but I don’t have a funeral to attend every 6 months (knock on wood). It makes no sense to get rid of it and have to buy a new one every time someone dies. I also have some nice  dresses that I maybe wear once a year, but I’m not about to toss them and buy a new dress every time I need one. There are also things of various sizes, as my weight tends to fluctuate.

It’s all about knowing yourself. If you know for a fact something will come in handy down the line and the thought of having to buy new stuff at some point makes you queasy, go ahead and stick it back. Again, use your judgement. Only you know how practical it is to keep onto things you use infrequently. The goal is to keep your home from looking like this:

 

half-assed minimalism

 

Schedule quarterly eliminations.

Those first two decluttering tips? Put them to use at the end of every season Stick it right in your planner or set a reminder in your phone. Go through everything you own and do a purge.

I know, this sounds like a daunting task, but hear me out.

This is something I have been doing for YEARS and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself creating mental lists of things you know you want to ship out with the next batch in between rounds.  This is made even easier by keeping an ongoing donation box, which I’ll discuss more in the next section.

This doesn’t have to be an obnoxiously time consuming task, because you know that anything that you didn’t catch this round will be picked up the next time. Just take a Saturday afternoon and glance through your drawers, shelves, and closets. Toss food and medicines that are expired, socks with no mates, anything that is broken beyond repair, and any other random junk you’ve accumulated. Pull out clothes you don’t wear, books you won’t reread and don’t care to display, and anything else that doesn’t currently fit your definition of the “right” stuff. If you’re switching out holiday decorations, weed through them as you go.  Chances are you’ll find things you fail to put out year after year, but hold on to just in case. Go ahead and let it go.

If you’re on the fence about something, wait until the next round. That’s the beauty of this system, it’s half-assed.

When you’re done, take all the unneeded junk and get it somewhere where it can help someone else. I don’t care if you do this by selling it, giving it to friends, or donating it to charity, just get it out of your house!

Get organized….and keep it that way.

Pictures go in frames, albums, or scrapbooks. Clothes go in the closet or dresser. Sounds simple right?  I mean, haven’t our mothers always gone on about having a place for everything and everything in it’s place? Turns out, she was onto something.  If you can’t find a place for it, you may need to reconsider its usefulness.

Keep an ongoing donation box for times when you run across something you spontaneously realize you don’t need.  For example, you’re getting ready for a night out and try on 5 shirts before deciding on an outfit. Chances are, at least one of those shirts has been tried on and discarded nearly every time you’ve pulled it out of the closet. You can probably go ahead and pitch it.

Need another example? How many times have you gone to open a drawer and gotten mad when it was jammed due to too much stuff? Dig through it and find the stuff that is doing nothing but taking up space and stick those right in the donation box. Do you really need 8 big plastic spoons?

Think before you shop.

Inevitably, you are going to find yourself in a situation where you need to acquire an item. Maybe your vacuum stopped working, or you ripped out your last good pair of pants. Maybe you went to hang up a picture and realized you don’t own a hammer.  Maybe you’ve been longing for a particular kitchen appliance and they’ve gone on sale. Whatever the reason, you are faced with the task of bringing something new into your home.

 

The best way to fight clutter is to prevent bringing it into your home in the first place.

 

Before you rush out and buy something, consider whether or not you really need it. Is it something you can borrow from someone else when needed? How long is this thing going to serve a purpose in your life? How much enjoyment are you going to get out of it? How often will it get used?

Next, consider whether or not it’s something you can buy used. There’s a ton of perfectly good stuff out there that’s going to waste, why not save some of it from a landfill? Plus, there are times when the quality of a used item is better than a new one. Which brings us to the next thing to consider: quality. Do your research and make sure you are getting something that will last. Why spend money on something you’ll have to replace later?

Finally, if possible look for multifunctional items. If you need a new bed, why not get one with built in drawers? Maybe the only other function of an item is looking good. Again, the idea of “usefulness” is in the eye of the beholder.

Keeping the clutter down doesn’t have to be a challenge. What it can be, however, is a great way to keep your stress-level down (a little self-care, anyone?) and an opportunity to take stock of the material things you are grateful for. It  can also be a worthwhile exercise in mindfulness.

I hope these tips make it a little easier for you to find the right amount of stuff for you. I would love to hear any tips you might have for keeping your stuff in check! Drop a line in the comments below and let us all know what works for you!

 

 

 

 

 

A Word On Thyroid Disease

January is Thyroid Awareness Month, and as someone who has dealt with thyroid issues, I would like to share a post I wrote back in January of 2015 for my first blog. If you find yourself with any of these symptoms, please, get yourself checked out as soon as you can. Early detection is key!

 

As you may or may not know, January is Thyroid Awareness Month. As someone who has dealt with thyroid disease, and ultimately, thyroid cancer, I feel it is my duty to share my story as well as some information on the tiny butterfly shaped gland that controls so much of our overall health.

First, some quick information on the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in your neck, just below the adam’s apple. It releases hormones that control nearly every cell in your body. It is also highly responsible for your metabolism and sleep patterns. Too many of these hormones cause your body to speed up, while too little causes it to slow down. Thyroid disease affects as many as 200 million people worldwide and if left untreated can cause a whole host of problems, including infertility, Alzheimer’s, strokes, and death.

Here’s a nifty infographic that highlights some of the common symptoms of thyroid disease. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, these are some of the most common complaints.

Like many others, it took a long time before I realized what was wrong with me.

I’ll start off by saying I’ve never been the healthiest of people. My immune system has never been the greatest and I’ve dealt with everything from asthma to GERD to kidney stones on top of my mental health issues. When I was about 20, I went into my OBGYN for my yearly exam. During the visit, they felt my neck and noticed a lump in my throat. Combined with changes in my menstrual cycle and sudden weight loss, they referred me to an endocrinologist.

After running through my symptoms, they ordered some blood tests and found that my thyroid was slightly overactive. They also did an ultrasound of my neck, which revealed nodules on my thyroid gland.

They scheduled me for a biopsy, which basically meant they stuck hollow needles into my neck to pull out samples of tissue from the growths. These came back benign, but they ordered me to come in every 6 months to recheck them. I also had to get more blood tests to keep an eye on my hormone levels. They weren’t high enough to be of concern at that point, but they were certainly high enough to cause some issues.

Around the time I was 22, I started losing even more weight at an alarming rate. I chalked it up to spending long hours on my feet and not eating well. Food seemed to run right through me, which I assumed was due to my many digestional issues.My hair began to thin and I became more “manic” and much more easily agitated than normal. I didn’t sleep well, which wasn’t all too unusual for me. I was always restless…even more so than normal. I also began to develop some weird tics, most notably a twitch in my eyebrows.

At the time, I remember family members questioning me about drug use. This was humiliating and infuriating to me. I was drinking more than I probably should have been (I was a college kid, after all), but I wasn’t doing the type of things I was being accused of. I had no explanation for what was happening to me and I didn’t like it one bit. No one understood. I felt like I was going crazy as I waited for the doctors to figure out what was wrong with me.

At my next appointment, they found that my levels were much higher than they had been previously and that I had more nodules forming on my thyroid. This of course, meant more biopsies.

I went to my follow up appointment alone, despite offers from my mother and Almost-Husband to come with me. I figured it would be no big deal. They’d tell me my thyroid was over-active (which I knew) and I’d be given some medication and be on my way. I drove the hour and a half to the hospital where my specialist was located, jamming out to my music and feeling an immense sense of pride at the fact that I was doing this alone, like a real adult.

I’ll never forget the panic I felt when the doctor told me the news. There were cancer cells present in the samples they had taken. I listened in stunned silence as the doctor told me that thyroid cancer was treatable. She told me it was a very small amount of cancer and that we caught it early enough that I would make a full recovery. She described the options I had. I could take a radioactive pill that would kill my thyroid, or we could do surgery to remove the side that was effected. I told her that I needed time to think about it and to talk to my family and she was very understanding. She referred me to a radiologist and I was on my way.

I held it together until I reached the parking garage. It was a beautiful day outside and I was parked on the very top. I remember finding a small amount of comfort in that as I stood looking over the surrounding area. I took a deep breath and got into my car. I called my mother and immediately broke into tears. I had cancer. Cancer. I was terrified. I was devastated. I was lost. After telling her what the doctor had said and taking a few minutes to calm down, I called Almost-Husband. Like my mother, he apologized for not having been with me. I told him it was okay and repeated the one thing that made it seem okay: it’s treatable. Once I was calmed down again, I drove home, crying in spurts as I made the long journey.

At the appointment with the radiologist, I decided that I couldn’t go through with it. The idea of swallowing radioactive material just didn’t sit well with me, nor did the thought that I’d have to be on medication my whole life. This was especially concerning to me as I was concerned about how that would affect my future fertility. With the surgery, there was a possibility that my levels would even out on their own.

I’ll never forget the doctor laughing at me when I told him I wanted to do the surgery instead. It made me angry. I felt humiliated. I remember thinking that it was entirely disrespectful and that it was my body, so I should be able to make the decision on my own. After the consultation I went back to my specialist and told them I wanted the surgery. The risks were minimal, the most concerning for me being the possibility of paralyzing my vocal chords. However, it had to be done.

I was 23 when I had the left side and isthmus of my thyroid removed, leaving me with a nifty scar on my neck. Everything went off without a hitch and soon I was at home, with my mattress on the living room floor in my own little healing haven. The first week or so went by in a medicated haze. I slept, watched TV, had food brought to me, and spent time writing and drawing in comfort. At the time we had two little kittens who never left my side.

When I returned to work with a ten-pound weight restriction, they refused to honor it. My normal job never required me to lift anywhere near ten pounds, so I figured I’d be okay. For some reason, they chose the day I returned (note in hand) to move me to a job lifting 30 pound boxes. When I complained, I was told that I had to choose between my health and my job. Guess which one I chose?

To this day, I don’t bring up my bout with cancer. When it comes up in my medical history and someone calls me a “survivor” I feel like a fraud. It doesn’t feel “real”. I didn’t have to go through chemo. I didn’t have to go through radiation. They simply cut it out and I moved on. In fact, my thyroid levels evened themselves out and I haven’t even needed medication, although I do still have to have my blood drawn regularly to make sure it stays that way. I was indeed very lucky.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, bring them up to your doctor right away. You don’t want to let a thyroid disorder go untreated and cause damage to your body.

I encourage all of you to do regular checks of your neck to ensure the health of this vital gland. A great tutorial for self-examination can be found here. Please, take care of yourself!

I also want to remind you to be understanding of people in your life who are dealing with this or other “invisible” illnesses. It’s not easy living with any illness and no one needs the extra stress of Judgey McJudgertons or feeling the need to constantly explain themselves. Be gentle with yourselves and each other. Remember, we’re all in this together.

 

Playlist Therapy: Using Music To Boost Your Mood

Seeing as how my novels revolve around the music industry, it should come as no surprise that music is one of my go-to picker-uppers. I never cease to be amazed at how much power a song can contain.  One simple melody can lift a bad mood or heighten one that is already good.  A great lyric can become a rallying cry when you’re in need of motivation. A familiar tune can spark a million memories, bringing you in touch with parts of yourself you normally close off. There’s no limit to what music can do.

Of course, as someone who loves music, I’m constantly coming up with playlists. Sometimes they revolve around a theme, like songs that mention the word “sunshine”,  and sometimes it’s all about a certain vibe. Regardless of the common thread, I always put a lot of thought into these lists.

Awhile back, I was in a bit of a funk and decided to put together a playlist comprised of songs that made me feel like I could take on the world. I burned a CD (yes, I still play CDs!) and put it on while I was cleaning the house, driving in my car, or preparing to get down to some writing. The results were fantastic, and I began creating new lists of songs for different mindsets I wanted to achieve.

In the course of putting together these lists, I would find myself searching for songs that other people associate with whatever theme I was working with. Time and again, I was let down by the lack of rock and roll on these lists. Nothing against the current pop favorites, but sometimes you need something with a little more bite.

Today, I would like to share 10 songs that are instant mood-boosters for me. These are the songs that I know put a smile on my face, no matter what.

I Love Myself Today-Bif Naked

I’m not sure how I came across this song but I’m so glad I did! Although it’s a break-up song, I feel like it can apply to breaking free from any situation that isn’t working out for you. The chorus is insanely catchy and singing along definitely brings a sense of empowerment. Who doesn’t need to affirm their love for themselves from time to time?

 

 

I Wanna Be Somebody-W.A.S.P.

This song…you guys, I don’t know if I can accurately express how much I love this one. In fact, it’s one of those songs that I’ve played so much that my husband and our daughter both roll their eyes whenever they hear it starting. I play it when I’m feeling a bit down and need a pick-me-up, I play it when I’m frustrated that things aren’t progressing in the manner I’d envisioned, I play it when I need an extra boost of confidence, I play it when I’m already feeling confident. Not only is the driving beat motivating in and of itself, but the lyrics definitely give a dose of motivation as well! Who says metal can’t be positive?

 

 

Stick To Your Guns-Motley Crue

This is one of those tunes that gets overlooked way too often! Honestly, I could have put just about any Crue song in here. Their music sparks something in me that nothing else can replicate, and they generally dominate my feel-good lists. This one,  however, is something special. When the going get’s rough, the reminder that “what’s right for you ain’t right for everyone” can be just the thing to put things into perspective.

 

Let There Be Rock-AC/DC

Is it just me, or is any AC/DC song generally good for getting you pumped up? They tend to show up on a lot of my playlists, from work-out songs to preparing for a night out, their upbeat style is always a good choice! This one is a particularly good mood-booster for me. You just can’t go wrong with a light-hearted celebration of the simple joy of rock and roll!

 

 

We’re Not Gonna Take It-Twisted Sister

There’s always something in life that you’re not gonna take anymore, and belting it out definitely gives you a feeling of control over those situations!

 

 

Do You Love Me-The Contours

This list isn’t all hard-rock! And, it’s not all about the lyrics themselves, but the vibe. I can’t imagine how a person could not want to dance around to this song. This one is definitely an instant mood-booster for me!

 

Twist and Shout-The Beatles

I could have chosen at least 12 other Beatles songs to go in this spot, but this one always puts a smile on my face. Like the song above, I find it hard to sit still and can’t help but to sing along!

 

 

Bad Reputation-Joan Jett

Who better to make you feel like an unstoppable force than Joan Jett? She is the epitome of female power, in my book, and this song captures that perfectly. We all need to reaffirm our bad-assery from time to time!

 

 

Stand Tall-Killer Dwarfs

This song is another one that should get way more love. Have you figured out that I have a soft-spot for songs about staying true to yourself and not letting anyone or anything get in your way? It’s kind of my thing. This song is another great example of that inner drive that we all strive to maintain.

 

 

Push Comes To Shove-Jackyl

Sometimes you need a cathartic outlet for pent-up frustration to turn your mood around, and this song always seems to do that for me! Plus, that guitar riff just does something that makes me smile!

 

 

Do you know how hard it was to narrow this down to 10 songs? I easily could have done another 140, easy! In fact this may be something I do from time to time on this blog from now on!

What are some of your go-to pick-me-up tracks? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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