My Drug of Choice: Take a (Lyrical) Hit

 “Music is a safe kind of high.”
 — Jimi Hendrix

As a semi-retired DJ, I’ve always known the high that comes from the right music at the right time. Music really is like a powerful drug. It can take you back in time where a particular song anchors memories from the past. It has the power to transform ordinary moments into special events. And this affective influence can touch the heart, the mind as well as the body.

Some of my favorite songs not only make you feel good, they’re good for you. More than words, there is harmony between [lyrics with substance] and [melody that moves].

Here are some samples. No prescription needed.

Antidepressant or Stress Relief

“I, recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone, yeah
I, recommend walking around naked in your living room, yeah

Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles

You live you learn, you love you learn
You cry you learn, you lose you learn
You bleed you learn, you scream you learn

I, recommend biting off more than you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I, recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Feel free”

Alanis Morissette, You Learn (2015 Remastered)


“I’ve been waiting on the sunset
Bills on my mindset
I can get deny they’re getting high
Higher than my income
Income’s breadcrumbs
I’ve been trying to survive

The glow that the sun gives
Right around sunset
Helps me realize
This is just a journey
Drop your worries
You are gonna turn out fine
Oh, you’ll turn out fine
Fine, oh, you’ll turn out fine

But you gotta keep your head up, oh
And you can let your hair down, eh
You gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh

I know it’s hard, know its hard
To remember sometimes,
But you gotta keep your head up, oh
And you can let your hair down, eh”

Andy Grammer, Keep Your Head Up

When You’re Not Feeling Like Your Self

“So basically all I need
Is to be everything but me
Colored contacts
Liposuction
And some implants
Somehow that don’t make much sense
I must be out of my head
If I think, that I am governed by material things.

So I decided I’m
The definition of fly
And if you want to know why
I know what money can’t buy
Don’t go believing the hype
There’s no runway in the sky
And no way you could be fly
Not if it costs you a dime.”

 — Elle Varner, So Fly

For Acute Laryngitis from Introversion

“You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave”

Sara Bareilles, Brave

Cure for Creative Blocks

“Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten”

Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten

Love Potion

“Now better men, than me have failed
Drinking from that unholy grail
(Now check it out)
I’ve got her, and she got me
And you’ve got that butt, but I kindly gotta be like
Oh baby, no baby, you got me all wrong baby
My baby’s already got all of my love

So nah nah Honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably should not
I’ve got somebody at home, and if I stay I might not leave alone
No, honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably should not
I’ve got to bid you adieu
To another I will stay true
(oo oo I will stay true)
(who who I will stay true)

Oh, I’m sure ya, sure ya will make somebody’s night
But oh, I assure ya assure ya, it sure as hell’s not mine”

Andy Grammer, Honey, I’m Good.

Remedy for Homesickness

“Young mom on her own
She needs a little help got nowhere to go
She’s lookin’ for a job, lookin’ for a way out
’Cause a half-way house will never be a home
At night she whispers to her baby girl
Someday we’ll find a place here in this world

This is our temporary home
It’s not where we belong
Windows in rooms that we’re passin’ through
This is just a stop, on the way to where we’re going
I’m not afraid because I know this is our
Temporary Home.”

Carrie Underwood, Temporary Home


“I know sometimes you’re feeling lost
It’s hard to find your place in it all
But you don’t have to fear
Even when you mess up
You always got my love
I’m always right here
Oh, cause

Anything
Come what may
Don’t look back forget yesterday
Forget yesterday

It’s not where you come from
It’s where you belong
Nothin’ I would trade
I wouldn’t have it any other way
You’re surrounded
By love and you’re wanted
So never feel alone
You are home with me
Right where you belong

Don’t matter where you’ve been
You’re here for a reason”

— Kari Kimmel, Where You Belong


“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”
— Billy Joel

Mixing and Sharing Medication

Even if you’re already feeling pretty good, music can amplify that. When I DJ, the desired effect is to mix music that lifts your spirits and makes you move. When I’m in the zone, I can alter your frame of mind, enhance your mood and get you dancing instinctively. The right songs act as a catalyst. As everything comes together just right, we share the high. The act of sharing the experience — grooving and dancing together — can bridge differences between time and space, language and culture.

JT sums up the feeling quite nicely…

“I got this feeling, inside my bones
It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We’re flying up, no ceiling, when we in our zone

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops, ooh
I can’t take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally
Room on lock the way we rock it, so don’t stop…

I can’t stop the feeling
So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feeling
So just dance, dance, dance, come on

Ooh, it’s something magical
It’s in the air, it’s in my blood, it’s rushing on
Don’t need no reason, don’t need control
I fly so high, no ceiling, when I’m in my zone”

 — Justin Timberlake, Can’t Stop the Feeling!

Now that you’ve had some samples, here’s your prescription:

Assess your mood, pick a theme and create a soundtrack. You may even share your playlist on Spotify. (There are links to my playlists at the end.) For whatever ails you…cue up your playlist. Plug in. Take a lyrical hit (or two). And call me in the morning.


Overdose

Playlists:

DJ ReCreator Mixes — Friday Flashback Series

What’s your lyric?

You have undoubtedly been inspired by a piece of music either because of the lyrics or the melodic composition. I’m always looking to take another hit and add it to my playlist. Please share in the comments section.

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