Pandemic Playlist: Our Top 5 tracks to make you feel good about yourself in these trying times

It's hard to care about much when the world is on edge, but don't forget to spend some quality time loving yourself

                            Pandemic Playlist: Our Top 5 tracks to make you feel good about yourself in these trying times
Nina Simone (Getty Images)

Time for some self-love!

It's something most of us forget to do when things get tough, usually because we switch off and just try to get through the day without thinking too much about everything we still have left to do. However, taking care of yourself and giving yourself the love you need is just as important as getting through that to-do list.

So put down that piece of paper, and turn on this playlist of five tracks designed to remind you just how worthy of love you truly are!

Nina Simone — 'Feeling Good'

This version of 'Feeling Good' has been sampled, covered, remixed, and reused so many times it's easy to lose count. And it's for a very good reason — Simone's powerful yet smooth vocals take you through this song so very beautifully. Her vocal runs and adlibs are and will probably always remain unmatched. Many have created some stunning versions of this song, including Michael Buble, but Simone's version remains one of the most iconic.

In addition to lyrics like "It's a new dawn / It's a new day / It's a new life for me, ooh / And I'm feeling good" that really bring a sense of optimism to some really trying times, Simone's amazingly soulful vocals also convey a message of overcoming adversity and finding peace.


Zedd & Kehlani — 'Good Thing'

This song combines some really beautiful R&B soul with some sultry music and vocals and is already worthy of being on multiple playlists with that alone.

But on top of just being a good song, it's also a stunning reminder that you are complete all on your own. You can eat at fancy restaurants on your own if you want to, you can take pictures of yourself if you want to, and you can stay single or be in a relationship if you want to - because you already have the best thing going with yourself, and no one can treat you better than you can treat yourself.


Solange Knowles — 'Borderline (An Ode to Self Care)'

On 'Borderline', Solange sings about balancing engaging with the world and all its struggles with the need for self-preservation and caring for yourself. It's the most perfect track for what most of us are feeling right now as we try to navigate this new reality we find ourselves in.

About the song, the singer has herself said, "even in the midst of this last week with the multiple murders of young black men that occurred, I chose this time not to watch. Just for the sake of being able to exist in that day, to exist without rage, and exist without heartbreak. To be able to get up and tell my child to have a wonderful day and know that he’ll be protected and nurtured and loved and treated like an equal contributor to society, I sometimes have to choose to not look. My husband and I share a lot in common in our yearning to see equality in this country. Sometimes throughout that, [self-care] becomes a mission within itself. That song was an ode to how our home becomes a safe space, where we can just love and not deal with some of the intensities that go along with existing in these spaces. That means so much to me."

And as we all spend time at home hearing of the constant horrors that plague the world, maybe sometimes, it's okay to just turn it off, look away, and nurture ourselves for a little while.


Mac Miller — 'Self Care'

Miller's 'Self Care' is all about overcoming hardships and learning how to handle oneself. And that can often be the hardest lesson to learn, especially at a time when most of us are too exhausted to put that much thought into doing what's best for us.

But when we have nothing but time on our sides, it's okay to revisit the idea now and then that we need to break free from our own patterns, dust off the judgments from all those who were till very recently around us, and move past the obstacles that keep us from becoming the best version of ourselves. The video also sees Miller battling himself, refusing to lose to his own demons.

And while it is a devastating one to watch in hindsight, it does show us he fought for himself — and that we should too.


Jin (BTS) — 'Epiphany'

An epiphany is a feeling of sudden or powerful realization. And on 'Epiphany', we get just that — the sudden realization that you are, in fact, perfect as you are and worthy of self-love. A part of the 'Love Yourself' series, this song was sung by BTS member Jin and carries an extremely important message that not only are we each worthy of love, we are also capable of unconditional self-love.

The music video also depicts Jin seemingly in a grey and loveless world, but gradually with tiny steps he finds his way to a more positive space, filled with color and joy. The journey he goes on and invites us to go on with him is one that encourages us to love ourselves despite how difficult and even lonely the act can seem because there is no greater undertaking in the world than the realization that we are worth the effort.