Music has an undeniable power over our lives. A great beat can get our bodies moving, a lyric can inspire action and a whole playlist can change our current perspectives of life.
Eleanor Angelli-Neff knows this very well and wants to share her Happy Playlist. Eleanor was our 2019 Teen Voice Award Recipient at our Annual Teen Line Brunch and as a graduated Teen Line Listener she is leaving Teen Line to pursue her next adventure.
- I Laugh When I’m With Friends But I’m Sad When I’m Alone by 070 Shake
070 Shake is one of my favorite artists. This is off of her first EP, Glitter – it’s the first of 6 songs that have helped me find strength in myself as I’m growing up. As a young woman, to hear someone speak so openly about sadness, and about feeling afraid and overwhelmed and not capable – and then about rising above all that fear – is extremely empowering to me.
2. Who Knows Where The Time Goes? by Fairport Convention
This song speaks to growing up. When I have really special experiences, whether it be a fun night with my friends or, for example, the entirety of working at teen line, it’s hard to grapple with it coming to an end. This song speaks about the beauty of life – the beauty of experiencing it all and it also helps me feel like endings aren’t so bad, they’re just a part of life. This has especially helped for processing the end of high school and my life in the place I’ve grown up.
3. Cactus Tree by Joni Mitchell
I have grown up listening to Joni Mitchell thanks to my moms, but I also discovered most of her albums for myself in the first half of my high school years, and it put me in touch with my most pure emotions, as well as my deepest dreams. She makes music about everything – this song is about a woman and the men she’s loved. I am so grateful that her music has accompanied me in life so far and I know it will be there for me forever, like a good friend you’ve grown up with.
4. Female Energy by Willow
A big part of my highschool years has been spent processing love, and boy stuff in general – this song, written and performed by a Willow Smith, who’s almost exactly the same age as me, encompasses a lot of familiar feelings. It captures very specific moments with one’s significant other and feelings as well. It’s about how it feels to struggle to comprehend and cope with the confusing, messy, but also beautiful moments in love. It’s accompanied me throughout that mess and helped me feel less afraid of it.
5. Clair de Lune
I have never met anyone who didn’t feel like there was something special about this piece. I was in love with it in my freshman year of high school – along with Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, and Angel Olsen, it accompanied me at school every day that year. I am so grateful to have found it, for its beauty.
6. Maldicion by Rosalia
This song is about wanting to escape the crushing challenge of heartbreak – trying to figure it out and wishing that you had never even loved in the first place. But in the lyrics, Rosalia also acknowledges that only if she were insane could she live without love – it’s natural and a beautiful, important part of life, even if it hurts.
7. Countin Up by Rico Nasty
This is one of my favorite songs and I think every girl should listen to Rico Nasty. She is a really great role model and I also always recommend that people watch interviews with her because she is really well-spoken and driven. Her music is extremely empowering and encourages girls to be themselves in a way that is not exactly mainstream, which makes it so much more valuable.
8. The Way Life Goes by Lil Uzi
For some reason this song perfectly captures heartbreak to me. It’s a song that I could have on repeat, similar to ‘Female Energy,’ I think it captures something very familiar for many young people and probably adults as well. It is a really comforting song, too.
9. Water by Kanye West
I think this song will be important to me for my entire life. It can speak to just being human and it talks about love which is a huge part of my life. It is sort of religious, and although I’m not religious, I still appreciate it as a spiritual song and I hope everyone can get something out of it. I love the line “the storm may come, but we’ll get through it, because of your love.” It was intended to be religious but I like to think we can interpret it to make it mean whatever we want to us: it makes me think about the love and support I get from my family that gives me confidence to face all of the messy, scary parts of growing up. This is a song that, when I listen to it, I want to show it to anyone and everyone i can.
10. Selfish by Scoop & Digital Nas
This is a song that me and my friends love – Digital Nas is one of my favorite artists, he’s incredibly talented and makes a lot of music that my friends and I listen to probably every day. This is just a song that we love and will always end up playing when we’re all together. I know it like the back of my hand – I know every sound, every line, before it plays.
11. Ghost Town by Kanye West
This is another song that me and my friends love. I’ll never forget the first time one of my best friends showed me it. It captures so much about life and the intense feelings that almost all teenagers experience. Similar to Clair de Lune almost, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think it’s beautiful.
“I know that the thing I’ll miss most about Teen Line is also the thing that makes it mean so much to me: the people. Every night I work with dedicated, loving teens, and not only do we form really special connections but I also am inspired by how hard they are able to work to be there for the callers. Hand in hand with that is also the connections that I form with every teen who calls or texts in. The teens I have spoken to and attempted to help have stayed with me and I wouldn’t trade the time I have spent talking to them for anything.” Eleanor Angelli-Neff