Counselor’s Choices For Female Singers Whose Songs Can Move You

My daughter had a mini project at her high school in which they had to know what was in the playlist of a professional who would deal with a lot of stress every day. She told me about it over dinner, saying that she was aware that pressure came with my job description as a psychologist and counselor.

I laughed in amusement in response. I did not know that my daughter understood what my job entailed. After all, my clinic was not the kind of workplace where I could bring a kid at all. They could pick me up with their dad sometimes, but they had not seen me in action. If they did, well… that would be crazy.

“So, Mom,” she said, “If I open your Spotify account right now, what will I see?”

Raising an eyebrow at my daughter playfully, I asked, “What would you like to see?”

“My teacher was mostly interested in the names of the artists that you listen to, to be honest. Then, you will pick three that you like best, and you need to tell me what made you like them. Can we do it?”

“Yes, of course. Here are my choices.”

Kelly Clarkson

I had been listening to Clarkson songs ever since she won the first season of American Idol. Back then, her music videos were not as fancy as they are now, but the way she sang every lyric remained to hit you when you least expected it. That’s especially important because she has many songs that many people may not be able to relate to. But once you hear them, you may feel like you’ve experienced what she did. The best example of that is her song called Sober.

When you listen to the song for the first time, it would be easy to assume that it was about people who were battling substance abuse. As far as I could tell, though, Kelly Clarkson did not have that issue.

The song was also applicable if you have been surrounded by toxic people for a long time and only managed to get away from them. So, Kelly being sober and able to pick the weeds while keeping the flowers meant that she got to get rid of those bad influences in her life and kept her real friends.

P!nk

P!nk was among the most underrated pop stars of all time. She had never reached the heights of Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Christina Aguilera, and other artists – that’s a fact. But it would not be an exaggeration to claim that she was better than most of them.

The primary reason was that P!nk wrote most of her songs. It was that personal touch that made everything so much better. Every piece was also unique, and each chronicled all the ups and downs that she experienced throughout her life.

Saying that music was P!nk’s therapy would be an understatement. She was very vocal about going to marriage counseling with her husband, and it seemed like she was taking everyone along for the ride with her songs.

My favorite album of P!nk was Funhouse, which was released in 2008. If Kelly Clarkson could make you want to cry, P!nk could make you feel like an absolute badass – like the type of person who would smash things after breaking up with someone. But what I genuinely liked about the Funhouse songs was that they could inspire you to be vulnerable. After all, the lyrics showed many emotions – anger, denial, bargaining, blaming, and everything else that a person would feel after splitting with the love of their life.

I used to tell my clients, “If you can be as vulnerable as P!nk when she sings, your treatment will not take too long.”

Beyoncé

Beyoncé’s songs are different in the sense that most of them are about female empowerment. They are the best songs to play after an entire day of exhausting work, and you need a little pick-me-up to recharge yourself. Whether you are in love, have fallen out of love, want to be in love, or need to love yourself – Queen Bey got you covered.

The best Beyoncé song for me was Love On Top. Many people would ask, “Is it because of the crazy vocals?” The answer was yes, but that was not the only reason. I saw the ascending range as a perfect representation of how someone could feel whenever they see the person they’re mooning over. It’s fast, desperate, and incredibly high. And once the song is over, you could be like, “Wow, what a rush!”

Final Thoughts

My daughter told me she got an A+ for that particular project, and I was happy for her. However, I got more excited when she said that her teacher read her paper for 15 whole minutes and said she would be taking a leaf out of my book and listening to Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, and Beyoncé. I would never know what the teacher was going through unless she would get an appointment with me, but knowing my singer choices could possibly change someone’s life was more than enough for me.

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Counselor Says: You Only Need One Song To Improve Your Day

Given my history with depression, I noticed how easy it had become for me to get depressed over a few things.

For example, when I was in the queue at the grocery store, the cashier prioritized a sexy model behind me. A regular person would have spoken up and called the manager, but I felt so discouraged that I left my cart in the middle of the aisle and did not buy anything. I held on to that feeling for an entire day, causing my reaction time to slow down and annoy other people.

There were also days when I would open my eyes, look outside, and see the gloomy skies. I would only need to stare at it for two minutes before feeling too exhausted to go to work. I would bail on all my appointments that day and stay in bed for as long as possible. Sometimes, I would turn on the TV, even though I was not actually watching whatever was on it.

Whenever I would get these depressing moments, my loved ones had gotten quite good at tolerating me. If I backed out of an occasion at the last minute, they never got mad in front of my face. If I did not feel like going Anywhere, they would not push it. However, I could not get the same treatment at work.

A Change Of Tunes

One day, I got called to my boss’s office. She said, “I will go straight to the point. I know about your depression and the fact that it has never genuinely fully gone away. I also know that some things or events can trigger it, but you need to find a way to work around it because it is currently affecting your job.”

All I could do was nod before excusing myself and leaving the room. The last thing I wanted to do was lie, and I would be lying if I promised that I could fulfill my boss’s instruction.

I was so preoccupied with that thought that I bumped into our resident counselor in the hallway. I always guarded my emotions around her in fear of seeing through me and deeming me unfit to work in the company. However, this time, when the counselor asked if I was okay, I blurted out, “I’m too far from being okay.”

“Let’s go to my office and talk about it,” she offered.

I agreed to do it because I felt like I had no other options. I knew I needed help, and only a counselor might be able to help me at this point. There was also a nagging thought that I was already helpless, but I pushed that at the back of my head.

When I stepped into the counselor’s office, an unfamiliar song was blasting through her speakers. It did not sound like a Beyoncé or Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, but I instantly loved how upbeat it was. As I listened more carefully, I realized that a woman was singing about her inner thoughts regarding a man she liked first but had to let go because her sweet sister fell in love with him.

“What song is this?” I asked.

“Oh, sorry, I’ll turn it off,” the counselor said.

“No, please don’t. I like it. What song is it?” I repeated.

The counselor blushed. “I am what some people call a Broadway musical junkie. This song is called Satisfied from the Hamilton musical. I listen to it on repeat when I need to motivate myself to move or think,” she revealed.

“Wow,” I uttered in awe. “I have been dealing with depressive episodes recently, and they have been affecting my work. Do you think it will help me?”

“I would say yes. You can find plenty of songs on Spotify or iTunes, but you technically only need a single song to get you moving. In truth, that’s how I manage to absorb all my clients’ issues and ensure that I would not carry them into my house,” the counselor said.

Listening To Feel

On that same day, I listened to Satisfied again until it was time to go home. I repeated the process from the moment I woke up, and I did not feel my mood dip in those 36 glorious hours. At that point, I had already memorized the lyrics and could sing along with Angelica Schuyler – the Hamilton character. I thought that it would diminish the song’s effect on me, but it didn’t.

The first time I changed my go-to song was when my boyfriend split up with me. But then, I learned that Hamilton had a perfect theme for that: Burn. The more I listened to it, the lesser pain I felt due to the breakup.

I might have changed my go-to songs over the years depending on my situation, but I was always one song at a time. If that is not proof that you only need one to feel better, I no longer know what is.

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