I know that many of you are feeling more than a little bit drained. We do not live in the easiest times and the KeDezemba-rists are definitely keeping a low profile these days. When you step outside your place of residence (that’s if you can) you are likely to encounter more frowns and scowls than smiles.  Never fear because I’m here to serve up a playlist that can chase the blues away. Music does have a scientifically proven impact on your mood so here are the tracks that help to keep me upbeat.

Note: They are not, by anyone’s musical standards, party tracks but what they lack in sonic manipulation, they make up for in soulfulness and lyrical quality

1) Feel Good by Lira

I decided to start off this list with the aptly titled 2006 song Feel Good by the South African songstress Lira because, well, everybody wants to feel good. This song was a massive hit back in the day and managed to cross the Atlantic Ocean and land in the United States where it was featured on the Girlfriends series soundtrack. Feel Good reminds me that how we choose to see ourselves and our lives is (singing), “a choice that we all make.”

2) A cry, a smile, a dance by Judith Sephuma

She is arguably South Africa’s Afro-Jazz queen. Judith Sephuma gave us a memorable experience, not song, experience by telling us to cry, smile and dance in the midst of life’s challenges. This song reminds me that joy will always follow tears.

3) BP by Prudence Katomeni

This is an infectious earworm of a song and I say that in an extremely positive way. I heard it for the first time at the age of 11 and since then it has come back to me in the different seasons of my life. Prudence Katomeni’s vocals are exceptional, and the jazzy beats will keep swaying you as you release your worries

4) Golden by Jill Scott

This song is SUPER repetitive and that’s what makes it catchy. Ms. Scott wants us to know that she is, “living (her) life like its golden,” and expects us to live ours like their golden too. So go ahead, take your freedom and live you life like it’s the best life.

5) Video by India Arie

Video is for the non-conformists who choose to be themselves in spite of what society or the media says. The core message here is to love yourself unconditionally because you are royalty. Do I need any more reasons to like this song?

6) Closer to my dreams – Goapele

This is Goapele career-defining song. Closer to my dreams is for those who feel stuck and are not yet where they want or hope to be in their lives. It’s a reminder that as long as you are moving you are always one step closer to your dreams.

7) Sing to the Moon – Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula has a number of songs with positive messages, and they all need their own article, but I chose Sing to the Moon regardless of it being the most somber song on the list. It is as relatable as it is strangely comforting. It shows that no matter how bad life gets, the stars will shine on you.

Well, that’s it for my Feel Good Musik list. I hope you will be able to pick out your own gems from here and shake your stress away.

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