Affirmations, Poems, and Songs To Get You Through The Rough Times

Posted on November 14, 2017


In the last few weeks, I have constantly been overwhelmed by things I can’t control. This constant overwhelming feeling can eventually lead to feeling powerless.

When this feeling of powerlessness comes, I turn to affirmations. Affirmations are really important otherwise you could go mad. Literally! You have to somehow believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Rather than wallowing in self-pity which can be very attractive, you have to find a way to trick yourself into believing that there is a way you could perceive the situation differently.

In the last three weeks, I’ve had an unexpected breakup, the intensity that comes with starting a new job, and news that I won’t be able to attend the opening of a show I spent the past 12 months working on because of some visa red tape bullshit.

Some days I don’t want to get out of bed, some days I can’t fall asleep. On others, I’m too tired to exercise or do things that are a part of my regular routine– like hanging out with friends or laundry or house-cleaning.

Having friends or people you can talk to is probably the most affirming thing a person could ask for. On the weekend of my breakup, I went over to my friends and they looked after me– hugged me and held me. One of them even stroked my hair intermittently through the night; when I was in too much shock to either sleep or cry.

Experiencing that outpour of love and compassion at such a dark point in time cloaked me. It protected me from feelings of bitterness that are typical of such situations. I thought if these people could offer me all this love and care so unreservedly, then there was still good in the world. Surely, there is room for forgiveness. Of myself and of those who hurt me.

Beautiful words of poetry are another fantastic form of affirmation. Platforms like Instagram allow you to follow amazing writers like nayyirah waheed, Yrsa Daley-Ward, rupi kaur and alex elle.

My favourite thing about following these women is that there are always words that miraculously pop up to let you know that you are not alone in your struggle feelings. And when it gets really hard, there is Audre Lorde’s “Who Said It Was Simple?” A reminder that it’s important not to stress too much when things are changing fast. Firstly, you will never get through life staying the same, secondly, you will never get out alive!

Then there are some songs. All kinds of music work for calming my mind. But, there are particular songs that you run into on Apple Music or Soundcloud or Spotify or that get sent to you by a friend that has just the right message in them for that day or that week or that moment.

My go-to last week was “I Know Better” by John Legend. This week it’s “Sweet” by Dave Matthews Band.