It feels harder to be the eternal optimist, especially when your friends and family are so worried and increasingly pessimistic about ‘everything’.
Trump, Brexit, Putin, Big Data, Climate Change - it all feels like it’s going tits up.
Frankly, some of it is. But hasn’t that always been the case? Won’t it always? With context and some escape from the every faster changing pressures upon us, we can look at life differently?
We run on concepts like hope, optimism, love, kindness, community, knowledge, trust and gratitude. Let’s grab some through inspirational music.
I’ve decided to put a musical track to each idea. Music brims with emotion and concentrates the mind. Your legal high. Here goes…
Infinite Trees - Nick Mulvey
Infinitely beautiful, romantic and escapist track. Get in your car, on your bike or onto a train now. Leave. Find the green and blue.
The World is beautiful. It is there for you. Feel yourself dwindling into it’s scale and beauty. Sometimes it’s nice not to be important. To be irrelevant in the immensity of nature.
Find your escape. Get away from the house, phone, car, ads, lists, worries, this website, that website. It’s all bollocks compared to nature.
Heart to Break - Kim Petras.
A fun saccharine pop blast, that reminds us it’s better to have loved and lost then never loved at all. Don't watch the video though, it's shite.
Avoiding been hurt hurts the most. Running from the chance of failure, of losing something that means so much, of being humiliated; these are strong emotions that push us to avoid failure or regret.
But they’re bullshit.
Life your live open heartedly. Fill it with trying. No regrets.
Persona - Rival Consoles.
Driving, yet intelligent electronica that has been the soundtrack to every gasping gym or bike smashup of 2018.
I’m an atheist, yet still believe my body is a gift. An extraordinary, beautiful, statistical coincidence.
I think. I move. I AM ALIVE.
I’ve realised that I love exercise because it reminds me what I am and what I have. My legs and lungs burning remind me I live. My face freezing in the snow puts me in the here and now. Present.
The harder I work, the more alive I am. Then, my body becomes more efficient. I feel better about myself, not just physically, but emotionally. I don’t seek those little ‘pick me ups’ that put me down. Booze, crappy food, late night crap on telly. I want to look after this body.
I have NEVER felt bad after exercise. It is the pill. Take the pill. MOVE.
NEVER GIVE UP
Keep Walking - Kelly Lee Owens
This introspect dance ballad (of sorts) has got me through much of the last year.
Don’t stop. Don’t let them win. Don’t let the doubt creep in, or the pain of loss overcome you. DO something about it. Anything.
One step. Another. Keep walking. One day, you’ll be there, and you won’t believe it.
All the stuff I value, the things I'm proud of, seemed insurmountable at one or many points in my life. Succeed simply by carrying on when others stop.
There is ALWAYS a way. Always a solution. It may be painful, hard, scary. But you can make it.
Just don’t stop. DO. NOT. STOP.
Jacuzzi Rollercoaster - Roisin Murphy
Justin Trousersnake has been juking it out with Janelle Monae for ownership of Prince’s legacy. Murphy sneaked in when they weren't looking. This is a damned saucy electrofunk broadside.
If you can, do. Why deny yourself those escapist moments of ecstasy, love and intimacy because you’re too busy, tired or embarrassed about your saggy arse. Because it probably isn’t, and if it is, who cares? Just you. So get it on.
Three - Lily Allen
A tear inducer for any parent feeling guilty for ‘abandoning’ their kids to work. Made for a sneaky Dad Cry.
Little kids are wonderful because they remind us what we were. What we had.
You don't have to have kids to feel this.
Arse about. Dance. Play. Ask silly questions. BE silly. Let go of your cynicism.
You never stopped being a kid. You just hid it well.
Like Sugar - Chaka Chan
Don’t dance to this. Try. We dare you. DOUBLE DARE YOU.
Dancing is a great combination of loads of the above. Vulnerability. Moving. Sex. Innocence. Whatever.
Men don't dance enough. I don't. Most of us stop dancing. or never started. Why deny yourself.
Sit in a chair and throw shapes. Breakdance badly at weddings. Make the kids laugh at you over breakfast. Laugh, gurn and be free.
The Mark (Interlude) - Moderat
Scary as hell key track from sci-fi jaw dropper Annilhilation. A bit of fear reminds us of the things we forget.
You’re not in a war. The Earth, despite all that you see, spins in times of unprecedented peace.
That's pretty amazing. For most of human history men have been killing each other, getting conscripted, fighting just and unjust wars, pretty much non-stop. It's very unlikely you are.
That's amazing. Let's enjoy that.
Territory - The Blaze
Pro-immigration propaganda - that's a good thing.A brilliant, passionate, kinetic voyage into other lives and loves. WATCH IT! Life affirming.
I fundamentally believe all humans are good.
Trusting feels good. Hating does not. This video, the best of 2017, challenges us to distrust burly North African young men. One of the most distrusted groups (apparently), the ones we are supposed to most fear, according to you know.... that media.
The men shown are full of emotion, family, friendship, sadness and passion. They are relatable, despite the tracksuits, smoke and buzzcuts.
Let's trust the people it's easy to fear, or to hate, because they think differently from us. It feels good.
We're all just as confused as each other, trying to make it work.
DON’T BE A DICK
Get Your Shirt - Underworld featuring Iggy Pop
If I could choose anyone to grab me by the shoulders and tell me not to be a dick, 2 inches from my nose, it’d be Iggy Pop. This is like a thumping electronic version of that. Lush.
No more preaching.
Some little reminders, via some inspiring songs. Enjoy 2019, it's not as bad as it looks. Honest.
For World Mental Health Day 2019, FRAHM founder Nick Hussey talks about his journey from despair to recovery in a way (we hope!) men can relate to.
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