Recently I tweeted that part of my preparation for a job interview included listening to Demi Lovato’s Confident during my workout. And I wasn’t kidding! Music has a big psychological impact on me and I’ve found that when I’m in a bad mood or feeling insecure it can help me feel empowered.
Today was one of those days, where something happened, I started to doubt myself, and lost my confidence. Women in general struggle more with confidence and it can be especially hard in the sciences where there is so much competition and rejection. I had to workout anyway, so I took my own advice and listened to my confidence-building playlist. And it worked. So by request, I am sharing my playlist with you:
- Formation by Beyoncé. This is a requirement. If you can only listen to one song, listen to this. I actually listen to the Formation (Beyoncé Extended Fitness Version) by Dance Guru vol 1 on Spotify because it is more upbeat than the original (better for workouts). Here are my favorite lyrics: Get what’s mine, take what’s mine, I’m a star, I’m a star ‘Cause I slay, slay (sing along while you work out); I just might be a black Bill Gates in-the-making. (I am obviously not black, but the latter applies. Oozes confidence.)
- Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato. This is a more recent addition, but I love it because Demi is not apologizing for who she is. Favorite lyric: Feeling inspired ’cause the tables have urned, yeah, I’m on fire and I know that it burns.
- So What by P!nk. While this song is about a relationship, it is a good song to listen to if things aren’t going your way (e.g. after a rejection, a failed experiment, etc.). Favorite lyrics: So what, I’m still a rockstar, (Obviously) I got my rock moves.
- All of the Lights by Kanye West. Kanye is the king when it comes to confidence. This song does have some good confidence-building lyrics, but it is more about the overall drama of the song. It feels empowering. Turn up the lights in here baby, Extra bright, I want y’all to see this
- Woman by Kesha. If you thought Kesha was all about partying and auto-tuning, then you are wrong. Kesha’s latest album Rainbow is all about women empowerment in light of her #metoo struggle with her former manager. Woman makes you feel like you can do anything.
- I Wanna Get Better by The Bleachers. I love this song. This is a great song to listen to if you’re not quite ready to call yourself a “Bill Gates in-the-making.” It puts some baby steps in between so that maybe one day you can think that way about yourself.
- Feeling Myself by Nicki Minaj featuring Beyonce. Nicki basically raps for four minutes about why she is awesome. You can learn from her.
- Confident by Demi Lovato. The name says it all. What’s wrong with being onfident? This song is the opposite of Wanna Get Better. It’s when you are feeling good (or need to feel good about something like a job interview) and gives you the boss attitude you need: It’s time for me to take it, I’m the boss right now
- Let ‘Em Talk by Kesha. I told you her new album was good! Once you have your new found confidence, this is great to listen to as you continue to pave your own way. Empowering lyrics: Do your worst, ’cause nothing’s gonna stop me now, Don’t let those losers take your magic, baby, yeah
- Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. This song for me is about the drama of the music more than the lyrics, but there are definitely some good lines. And he references sharks:
Y’all can’t stop me, Go hard like I got an 808 in my heart beat, And I’m eating at the beat like you gave a little speed to a great white shark on shark week…
Those are my favorite confidence building songs. What are yours?
Stephanie Schuttler is a wildlife biologist with 17 years of experience in mammal ecology and conservation, education, and outreach. Read her inspirational story, “My Unexpected Journey Into Science” to find out how she went from the daughter of a jeweler to a Ph.D. in wildlife biology. Feel free to contact Stephanie here.