Music Mood Board: When You Need to Be Reminded of Your Worth

Getty | Kevin Mazur / Jason Mendez

Welcome to the first installment of Music Mood Board! I'll be sharing weekly roundups of tunes that perfectly align with my current mood. That means I'm trusting y'all with my (*gulps*) feelings in hopes that we can all connect through mutual emotions and universal experiences.

This week, I've been focusing heavily on inspiring tracks with messages of self-love. Full disclosure, I recently went through something that spurred me into a pit of loneliness and self-doubt. Of course, social distancing and staying in my apartment as much as possible only intensified those feelings, as I was forced to ruminate on my negative thoughts. But each day has been getting better, and it feels like I've hit a turning point. In addition to meditating, I've been extracting my self-destructive contemplations with songs that affirm my worth and value. (I also FaceTimed one of my best friends, who helped me curate a very empowering playlist.) So, yes, there's been a lot of Beyoncé in the musical mix, as well as Chika and Jessie Reyez. Because those singers thrive off a no-f*cks-given attitude, and that's the energy I need. Keep reading to see all the songs I've had on repeat!

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"Black Parade" by Beyoncé

What better way for a Black woman to feel empowered than by listening to another Black woman sing about our glory? Answer: there is no better way. When Beyoncé says, "Now here we come on our thrones, sitting high" and "Hold my hands, we gon' pray together," honey, I feel that in every part of my soul. Every. Single. Part. And don't even get me started on that bass. Chile.

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"Crown" by Chika

I can't help but tear up whenever I listen to Chika's music. I can hear the grind and passion in her voice, and her burning desire to uplift others is something that I recognize in myself. Her music has continuously inspired me to find ways to make a positive impact on people's lives, but I know that I can't accomplish everything that I want unless I stand firm in my faith and my confidence. That's why I've kept "Crown" on repeat this week; it highlights the significance of embracing your inherent power and validating your existence.

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"Shameika" by Fiona Apple

I was immediately interested in this song's backstory when I first listened to it. Who is Shameika? Why did she tell Apple that she had potential? Where can I find a Shameika of my own? So many questions. Turns out, Shameika was one of Apple's middle school classmates. "I just remember being in the cafeteria, a bunch of girls at one end of the table," Apple told Vulture. "I came over to sit with them, and they started laughing at me. So I sat one seat away but still tried to be close to them. Shameika came up, and she was like, 'Why are you trying to sit with those girls? You have potential.' That was all she said to me."

What I love most about the hook "Shameika said I had potential" is how personal yet universal it is. Someone saw something in Apple at an early age and that stuck with the New York-born singer. Because of that, Apple's sense of belonging has a name, her hope has a name, and her affirmation of worth has a name: Shameika. All of those abstract concepts centered around finding value in life became a bit more tangible thanks to Shameika's simple edict, "You have potential." It's a reminder that we could all use every now and then.

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"Bank" by EarthGang

I can't tell if this song pulls me away from a mental funk because the beat literally jolts me out of it or because the message is so uplifting. I'm going to say it's both. The rap duo encouraging me to "keep getting momentum" while telling others to "get the f*ck out the way" is all the motivation I need to stay focused on my ambitions.

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"Deaf (Who Are You)" by Jessie Reyez

It never fails — every time I play this song, I get my stank face on and suddenly feel like the baddest woman in the game. Reyez spends two minutes and 54 seconds telling anyone who's slighted her that their actions and opinions are so irrelevant, they don't even bother her. She further minimizes their influence, cheekily asking, "Who are you, anyway?" It's a question we should all ask when mediocre people or frustrating experiences begin to make us feel less-than. Who or what is this person or situation to me? Why am I letting this bother me? Is it worth my time and energy? Most of the time, the answer to the last question is no, so the best thing to do is be about your business and steer clear of other people's mess.