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International Women's Day

Women from across Solent Mind share the music that has helped them through times of low mental wellbeing

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. These songs, chosen by women and performed by women, are a celebration of female empowerment in music. 

They are songs that have been there for us when we have been low, and brought us joy and hope too. 

Music has always been the secret ally of women all over the world. Strength, independence and confidence in who you are: it's the ultimate source of empowerment. We can start to push away those negative thoughts and feel more positive about ourselves as we listen to these songs. Our society is constantly poking and prodding at our bodies with expectations to look and feel a certain way. Music is a way to rebuild the shattered pieces left by the unrelenting beauty standards. 

Our minds can be fragile and it is incredibly important we have that support from something that is all around us, even if it’s just a line in a song that makes us smile on a bad day. 

Music is a celebration of colour, heritage, sexuality and gives women an opportunity to reclaim ownership of how we want to define ourselves, as well as complex relationships and mental health, these are just a few of the themes that female artists are making accessible to their listeners. Some of the most powerful songs or rebellious anthems have come from women. These anthems inspire us to celebrate our womanhood. The songs we have chosen have helped us through some of our most painful moments, bereavements, break ups and trauma. 

It gives us a safe space to sit with those difficult emotions and feel we are not alone. They have also created joy and laughter, dancing drink in hand in kitchens and naked in bathrooms. We have given birth to our babies and watched them grow all while Lizzo reminded us that our bodies are beautiful and a gift. Being a woman in 2021 is challenging to say the least but while we have these positive female artists sharing songs about real life relatable topics, we can feel that at least someone understands. We feel that someone is there for us, a light in the darkness. We all have that one thing in common: we are women. 

Written by Kirsty Hill.


Kirsty H: Positive Minds Senior Veterans advisor.

Artist: Jess Glynne

Song: Don’t be so hard on yourself

This song reminds me of how far I have come and how I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself. I’m enough as I am.

Claudia W.H: PSR Admin Lead.

Title: Soar

Artist: Christina Aguilera

The album Stripped helped me through bereavement when I was a teenager. This song particularly spoke to me as it told me that all people go through low points, but you can pick yourself up and enjoy life if you just believe in yourself.

Gabriela Sanchez: Positive Minds wellbeing lead.

Artist: Beyonce (feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

Song: Flawless

This song makes me feel empowered, motivated and eager to help shatter the glass ceiling women, in particular, Latin women face.

Shannon Copeland: Solent Recovery College Administrator.

Artist: Chvrches

Song: Death Stranding

 I like this song because it makes me look ahead; the upbeat nature evokes visions of the future -- what could be -- potential, and it makes me feel motivated in wanting to take opportunities - in spite of the self-doubt/anxiety that is perpetually within me.

Rachel Scott: Community Peer support worker.

Artist: Rachel Platten

Song: Fight song

This song reminds me of when I found real inner strength and reminds me of how far I've come.

Amy Hedley: Employment adviser.

Artist: Ministers De La Funk featuring Jocelyn Brown

Song: Believe

It's about finding inner strength and independence, it's my go to song to lift my spirits and makes me feel ready for anything. Plus its awesome to dance to!

Elena Prieto-Ruiz: CST Facilitator/Activity Group Co-ordinator Remind Dementia Service

Artist: Annie Lennox

Song: There must be an angel playing with my heart.

An amazing strong woman who has never been constrained by society and what you should or shouldn't be!

Claudia Stibbs: Positive Minds Wellbeing Advisor

Artist: Taylor Swift

Song: Shake it off

This song is really upbeat and fun, with a really strong underlying message, basically saying, let others think whatever they want – but it doesn’t have to affect you.

Lucy Irvine: Serving Personnel Family Liaison Practitioner

Artist: Taylor Swift

Song: ME!

I went with one of my favourite artists. As I once got called ‘idiosyncratic’ in a school report…..I had to look it up to find out what it meant and wasn’t sure whether to feel insulted or proud! I think it’s important to embrace uniqueness and shine as you are, never try to hide your quirks to please others, real friends love the real you. This song helps me to remember this.

Ingrid Scammell: Interim Research and Engagement Officer

Artist: Anna Meredith

Song: Nautilus

This song doesn't really empower me, but it does make me forget whatever else is on my mind at the time.

Listen to the playlist here:

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