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16 Sad Songs to Listen to When You Need a Good Cry

16 Sad Songs to Listen to When You Need a Good Cry

A sad song has a way of digging down into your soul. The tears that emerge release the baggage you’ve been holding on to. Without a little help from music, we may not dig down deep enough. Most sad songs help us understand our own problems in a greater context and can be the perfect companion on a rainy Friday night when you’re left to yourself. Here are the best ones to get you started:

Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper

This is one of Cyndi Lauper’s biggest hits. When you hear it, you think of all those missed moments you could have said what you wanted, but didn’t. You wonder: What if?

Your Song by Elton John

This sad song is so simple that it touches on anyone you ever loved that didn’t love you back or you haven’t met yet.

True Colors by Cyndi Lauper

If you’re hiding something or want to be accepted for who you are, grab the napkins.

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True by Spandau Ballet

No one ever really got what this sad song meant. The verses are quite cryptic but can mean anything. It has a nostalgic feel of better times of innocence and coming of age.

I Can’t Tell You Why by The Eagles

If you had a relationship that you tried over and over again to fix, and you both gave it a good go, but still nothing, these lyrics will speak to you. We really do “make it harder than it has to be.” It’s all about loyalty, and sometimes, loyalty does not always mean happiness.

Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross

Rarely do we hear songs about parents. Pull up to this and think about the ones who made you. They feel pain too.

Against All Odds by Phil Collins

A moving sad song about what could have been, and what it feels like to experience loss…and waiting.

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Old Lang Syne

This classic New Year’s Eve tune never fails. Another nostalgia piece, it takes you back to every loved one who passed away. It’s like seeing their faces on a slide.

Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

http://youtu.be/TO9Qa7MpAvw

There are times where we want to give up and disappear. No frills, no expensive ticket to travel the world, we just want to go–anywhere. Ms. Chapman tapped into a deep sense of freedom we all wish to experience: to be who we are with who we want.

All of Me by John Legend

This is a good play when you’ve messed up. Think about the unconditional love you share, or used to share.

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They’ll Be Sad Songs by Billy Ocean

This is a sad song about sad songs. A must-listen in between boxes of tissues.

Someone Like You by Adele

Yup, most of us are with second best. The guy or girl who wasn’t our top pick. This song is for those times you think about #1.

When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars

If you missed an opportunity to get it right, Bruno reminds you that you’re not alone!

Stay by Rihanna

Ever felt completely vulnerable and exposed in a relationship? This song hits on all the points of why some people choose to never leave.

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Youth by Daughter

The words alone without the music will bring tears to your eyes. Definitely reserved for the “ugly cry” moments. A haunting, beautiful song.

Wakeup Alone by Amy Winehouse

The lyrics to this are dark and passionate. The title itself says it all when it comes to the pain of loneliness.

A sad song is nothing without a few crunchy or salty snacks, and plenty of napkins on hand. If you’re going to go there, go all the way in and let it out. Now you know you’re not the only one in the world with problems even when it feels like it.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashleyrosex/3183219381 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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