I often preach the power of a good rap song to soothe you when you're feeling low. During the last two years, I've worked my way through a hefty dose of trauma and grief. I've cried a lot.
I've also rapped a lot. Because I discovered something amazing: It is absolutely impossible to feel sorry for oneself while rapping along to Ludacris. If everyone entered a room the way Ludacris enters a song - by yelling out one's own name like LUDA! - I bet they'd feel better, too.
I have a Sorry for Myself playlist on my iPod. It includes Joni Mitchell, Beck, Citizen Cope, and Duncan Sheik. It's a cry-yourself-to-sleep mix. I use it to wallow. Sometimes that's necessary.
But I also have a Back the F Off playlist and I use it to make myself feel better and more powerful. I listen to it in the car. I curse loudly. I adore Ludacris. He got me through a tough time. He gave me an outlet for my anger (which, while a necessary and important part of grieving, may be the most disturbing stage).
The playlist also includes Notorious B.I.G. and Jay Z. One of the songs is the same one that soothes this sweet baby when she's crying. Baby Rachel is a girl after my own heart.
Next time you're feeling down, take my advice: Listen to Luda. Listen to Biggie. Self-pity won't stand a chance.