This blogpost was originally published as a guest post about the second volume of my 365 Days of Gratitude Journal for Andi from Uplifting Reads.
My top 5 songs to listen to while practising gratitude
When writing fiction, I always create playlists to really get into my characters and setting, but I never once considered making one for my non-fiction books. That is, until Andi asked me what songs I’d recommend to listen to while writing in the 365 Days of Gratitude Journal.
Over the past decade, which is when I started my yoga/meditation/gratitude journey, I’ve encountered lots of music that ground and centre me, no matter what’s going on in my life. For today’s post, I picked my five favourite songs and created a ‘365 Days of Gratitude Playlist’ on Spotify you can listen to before or as you sit down with your journal.
I’ll be adding more songs as I go, so be sure to follow it!
Alexia Chun – The power is here now
I happened upon this song after one of my home yoga sessions. I hadn’t stopped the playlist I’d been listening to at the end of my session so Spotify started playing songs that, algorithmically, worked well with that list.
I can’t remember what I was in the middle of doing when this song came along, but I remember my heart skipping a beat and my breath stalling, which still happens whenever I listen to it. I just love how it centres me and overrides my senses in such a way I can’t be but in the moment.
Sacred Earth – Breathing space
One of my former yoga teachers often played ‘Ancient Mother’ by Sacred Earth at the end of class, which made me look up the album and play it in background whenever I practised yoga at home. However, I didn’t know about this song for the longest time, because it’s the last song on the album and I’ve never had the discipline to make my home yoga sessions last as long as a regular class.
Once I finally heard it, it became an instant favourite. I understand entirely why they called it ‘Breathing space’ because that’s exactly what it felt like when I first heard it, like I could breathe again and better than ever before.
Snatam Kaur – Ong namo
This is another song that was played a lot during savasana, the final pose of a yoga class. It’s been almost a decade, but I can still remember the first time I heard it. Over the years, it has become one of my go-to songs when I need to snap myself out of spiralling thoughts or feelings of overwhelm and return to centre.
Snatam Kaur has many other songs that are perfect for meditation and to listen to during your daily gratitude practice, but this is definitely my favourite.
Amrit Kirtan – Way yantee
This song was introduced to me by one of my all-time favourite yoga teachers and was another love at first listen. It’s also the perfect length for me, since I take about ten minutes to fill in my daily gratitude entries.
I’ve yet to find out what the song is actually about, but it somehow grounds and uplifts me at the same time, and reminds me that I’m safe and worthy and that all will be well in the end.
Kathryn McCusker – Ek ong kar sat gur prasad
I came across this mantra while reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back the summer of 2018. I’d just told my partner I wanted a divorce and needed all help I could get to make it from one hour to the next. During that period, I used the Insight Timer meditation app multiple times a day to keep sane, and it’s on that app I stumbled across Kathryn McCusker’s version of the mantra.
Again, the love was instant (I’m guessing the pan flute really does it for me?) and I listened to it over and over during the next couple of months. It really helped me focus on the future I wanted and not the past I would’ve wanted but had failed to create. Whenever I get stuck in my head replaying the past instead of focusing on the future, I give it another listen.