Valentine’s Day might have a nasty commercial underside, but it’s a pretty sweet occasion. There’s something beautiful about the idea of couples all over the world refocusing their affections on the same day. It’s also a good time to reaffirm your self-love.
All this showy romance can negatively affect anyone spending Valentine’s Day alone. And besides, despite the widespread celebration of monogamous (and polyamorous) love, it’s important to remember you’re your own greatest ally.
Here are five spectacular songs endorsing self-love and the merits of solitude.
Angel Olsen – Hi Five
“I feel so lonesome I could cry” isn’t the most reassuring lyric to begin a song with. But the overarching theme of Angel Olsen’s ‘Hi Five’ is that you’re never alone in your loneliness. It’s a country-tinged indie rock tune with a whole lot of swagger. “Are you lonely too?” goes the chorus. “High five! So am I.”
Tame Impala – Solitude is Bliss
Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker chose this Valentine’s Day as the release date for his fourth album. However, the lead single from the project’s 2010 debut was an overt advertisement for solitude.
“You will never come close to how I feel,” Parker sings over a circulating chord progression and phasing drums. The song’s psychedelic feel points towards the wondrousness of journeying through your own mind.
Fuck FOMO, suggests Parker, ‘cos “Company’s ok, solitude is bliss.”
Jamila Woods – Eartha
Every song on Jamila Woods’ 2019 album LEGACY! LEGACY! is named in honour of a noteworthy individual from the African diaspora. This itself is a form of self-love and affirmation from the African-American musician and poet.
Eartha is a nod to Eartha Kitt, an African-American singer who came to prominence in the 1950s and 60s. Woods was inspired by Kitt’s confidence, describing her as “my guardian angel.” The lyrics talk of tiring of a partner’s bullshit and knowing that you deserve better.
Woods ends the song by repeating the line “Who gonna share my love for me with me?”
Elton John – I’m Still Standing
There’s a lot of bravado in Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing’, but you get the feeling it’s a fake ‘til you make it scenario. He might’ve been through hell and back, but he’s determined to not let it bring him down.
Sir Elton expresses plenty of bitterness towards an ex with lines like “while I’m still standing you just fade away.” But the song’s attestations of resilience resonate the clearest. “I’m still standing after all this time/Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind.”
Lizzo – Juice
Self-love anthems don’t come much louder and clearer than this one. There can be a fine line between self-love and vanity, but the empowering quality of Lizzo’s ‘Juice’ is undeniable. Plus, she’s not pitting herself against the world: “If I’m shinin’, everybody gonna shine/I was born like this, don’t even gotta try.”