I'm sure many of us thought 2017 would bring more good than 2016. Despite a few changes, sexism, racism and rampant misogynoir I face daily as a black woman have encouraged me to cling to my first love for self-care – music. 

Listening to music is one of the most popular activities of all ages. It is also a form of self-care, used for expression and healing. Black music, in particular, is a special kind of self-care because it articulates our collective and personal experiences. Black music, past and present, serves as an audio yearbook, recording the effects of institutionalized oppression and channeling it all into art. From activists to America’s favorite celebrity couple, music is our entertainment and therapy to navigate through life’s uncomfortable circumstances.

Studies suggest music can be used to increase self-awareness, social relatedness, and mood regulation by helping listeners convey feelings, temporarily forget about reality, cope with worries and add more meaning to life. Additionally, music is a connector and provides people with a sense of community. Music can be used to express the experiences of communities and empower.

Don't wait until the New Year to get your mind right. Here are a few #BlackGirlMagic anthems and affirmations to ground you, connect you with others and help you reclaim your time today: 

Borderline (An Ode to Self-Care)” – Solange

Line of affirmation: “Know when to let go…baby, I know you’re tired; know I’m tired”

La Brea” – Alex Isley

Line of affirmation: “Look how far you’ve come from where you came from; look at where you’re going”

  1.  “Golden” – Jill Scott

Line of affirmation: “I’m taking my freedom…”

  1. Blk Girl Soldier” – Jamila Woods

Line of affirmation: “Yeah she scares the government, deja vu of Tubman…but what they don’t understand…she don’t give up” 

Black Gold” – Esperanza Spalding & Algebra Blessett

Line of affirmation: “There will be folks hell-bent on putting you down, don’t get burned. Not necessarily everyone will know your worth”

Q.U.E.E.N.” – Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu

Line of affirmation: “Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I wanna love who I am”

Reality Check” – NONAME feat. Akenya & Eryn Allen Kane

Line of affirmation: “You are powerful beyond what you imagined.”

Masterpiece (Mona Lisa)” – Jazmine Sullivan

Line of affirmation: “Every part of me is beautiful and I finally see I’m a work of art, a masterpiece”

I Say So – Chloe x Halle

Line of affirmation: “There’s no need to worry ‘cause we’re gonna be just fine. Grab my hand and join me, darling, let’s forget the time”

Check out more from the woman + black + carefree Playlist