When I think about connection, it’s all about the mind, body and spirit.
During the pandemic, I have been reminded of the many small things I once took for granted.
Because what was once a typical “Miami greeting” (a simple kiss on the cheek) is now a potentially life-threatening gesture. And it’s not even okay to hug family members you haven’t seen in a long time anymore…
Hugs and cuddles relieve stress and nurture feelings of safety, trust and bonding by release of “happy” hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. These make us crave them like we would our favorite ice cream.
But now, all forms of physical intimacy between people suddenly carry more risks than ever before.
In honor of the era of social distancing, here’s a list of songs that capture one of life’s simplest pleasures: touch.
There are a variety of bops on here to move and groove to, no matter who you are.
The intention behind this array of songs is love (of self and others), fun, exploration, and freedom.
So many people feel trapped in their own homes right now, but one thing that has not been taken away from us is music, which is so liberating!
To kick things off, we hop into doc’s DeLorean and time travel to the ’80s, where rock n’ roll queen Joan Jett belts out in her trademark confident and confrontational style.
I know that’s most of her discography, but this one fits the theme. Then, while still in this decade, I dip into a genre I personally love; contemporary musical theatre.
Heathers: The Musical is based off the dark and comedic ’80s cult classic film of the same name, starring Winona Ryder and former teen-heartthrob, Christian Slater.
This is followed by a song from another dark cult classic, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a sensually-charged, zany midnight feature. Which leads us to our pop segue – Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.”
Not only was her VMA performance of this hit iconic but the actual music video was shot at the Vatican. Only the Queen of Pop could do that.
The next part of this playlist is the dance like no one’s watching portion…
While I feel like this entire playlist is totally groove-able, these are high energy techno songs that’ll really make you want to bust a move.
The Veronicas‘ “Untouched” finds new meaning as a quarantine anthem, with its uninhibited craving of physical affection – while Cascada reminds you of what it’s like to be touched by that special someone.
But I believe the most important message of any song in this list lies in Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself,” which is all about committing to loving and understanding yourself first and foremost.
Through and through, you will always have YOU.
So, love yourself deeply, trustingly, knowingly, playfully, and every other loving “-ly” adverbial way you can think of!
For the next part, I included soul and R&B, genres which both carry such visceral emotions. Here, you’ll find some Ariana, a little Mariah, and a touch of Ms. Lauryn Hill (pun intended).
Through my lens, Lauryn’s version of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” can be applicable to all kinds of interpersonal relationships. So long as they are tender and warm.
Which leads us to “Softly” by Clairo, a touching song that requires you to leave those outdated heteronormative norms at the door. Love is love.
Finally, to wrap up this love fest is a bittersweet version of the classic Beatles tune “I Want to Hold Your Hand” from the Across the Universe soundtrack.
Hand holding can do so much – from sparking a surge of electricity to bringing comfort to those we love during tough times – by exchanging spiritual and emotional energy between two bodies.
All in all, when done with love, touch can be really sweet.
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