Be Your Own Lloyd Dobler -A Playlist Recipe for Self-Love


To me, there are few deeper displays of love than offering someone a personalized playlist authored with full adoration and attention.

People don’t really make mixes like that anymore. And I miss it.

I love making mix CDs and will still will buy an actual CD (I know…I know…I am definitely not cool) if the mood strikes. I make mixes for friends and dinner parties (when I’m not being lazy and letting Spotify do all the work…)

I love a good playlist. what can I say?

I consider this playlist recipe a digital manifestation of John Cusack circa Say Anything, dedicating his arm muscle strength and a song to the girl of his dreams (sans the creepy/stalker intonations).

Here is my recipe for creating that perfect, self-loving playlist:

Track #1

The Alter Ego Song

The song that best expresses your own Ziggy Stardust/Sasha Fierce. What is that side of you hardly shown to the world? What does she listen to? Is she a spy or a princess? Pick a song for her.

Brand New Life – Young Marble Giants

Track #2

If You’re Angry and You Know It, Stomp Your Feet

We all get angry and it’s associated aspects of frustrated, annoyed, or full rage. What song helps to release this energy? Is it a righteous political anthem that gives you fuck-the-man vibes? A rousing beat that makes you want to mosh against a crowd of other energized bodies?

Tubthumping – Chumbawumba

Track #3

Your Theme Song

What song would play during the opening credits of your TV show? For me, it’s the 2:21-2:52 portion of Ladies Night. I see myself walzing down some city avenue, ending with me throwing my red hat into the air in the manner of Mary Tyler Moore of Blessed Memory.

Ladie’s Night – Kool and the Gang

Track #4

And Gosh Darn It, I Like Me!

This is the track that puts a little strut in your step. Maybe it’s hip hop self-celebration. Or some rousing Disney song about overcoming great odds sung alongside a talking animal. Do you. Celebrate yourself!

Just Fine – Mary J. Blige

Track #5

Dance (Naked) Like No One’s Watching

The jam that makes you want to recreate your own bra-and-panties or boxers interpretation. The song that you would dance to at a wedding where you knew no one.

Cheap Thrills – Sia

Track #6

The Song of Happiness

We all have those songs that make us grin without even trying. Even if we hear it in cheesy car commercials, it just makes our hearts sing with uncontained joy. Different strokes for different folks? Why can’t we just get that?

Everyday People – Sly and the Family Stone

Track #7

I’m Sexy and I Know It

A song that makes you think about all the good, silly, sensual fun of sex. I think every first-generation Nigerian child had the experience of hearing their parents hum Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye. And now that I’m a grown woman, I can definitely see the appeal

Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye

Track # 8

An All-Time Favorite

Number ones come and go, but some of songs stay in our hearts forevermore. What song will you love forever?

Ghosts – The Jam

Track # 9

Song that You Wish Was Written About You

You ever listen to a song and you’re like damn–I wish I was the muse to that? The pained longing, the sexual desire, the heartbreak! Well, when I was a junior high school girl, I always wanted a boyfriend to adore me and secretly believe he was not good enough for me. LOL little Hannah, LOL.

She’s So High – Tal Bachman

Track # 10

Good Times

There are those songs that bring back delicious memories like nothing else. Songs that perfectly encapsulate an era of beauty. My choice as cheesy as fuck, but every time I listen to it, I am reminded of my crush on Terrance Johnson, pizza Fridays, and lip sync battles.

Summer Girls – LFO

Track #11

I Want to Eat Your Sadness

The track that you can get weepy eyed over in no time at all. The song that lets you know that someone out there knows exactly how you feel and that it’s all okay. This is one of my (literal) favorite sad songs of all time.

Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) – Otis Redding

So…what’s your playlist looking like? Share in the comments or on Facebook what your John Cusack playlist looks like. I’d love to know.



Soul Sister by gkaiou

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Afrosyntrik by Eric Dixon