180 Days of Musical Encouragement 

“Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:20-21‬ ‭MSG‬‬ http://bible.com/97/pro.18.20-21.msg

I love music. Music connects with the very essence of my soul. Music makes me feel happy and confident. It makes me cry, smile and angry. I find meaning in songs and attach them to memorable moments in my life.

When my husband and I were dating, I once asked him to write a list of ten songs he would put on the soundtrack of his life. I’ve done this with my students as well. It gives me a bit of insight into who they are.

Now, I plan to use music to extend my reach and plant positive seeds. I don’t work in the worst of the worst areas with the toughest of the toughest kids. However, I do work with kids who do not always hear positive words from the ones who love them most. Some say there’s nothing you can do about that. I say, “I’ll do what I’ve been asked to do then allow God to do the rest”.

Over the past three days, I’ve spent moments with God searching for 180 songs to play for my students when they enter my room each morning. These songs hold power; they speak of love, motivation, self-worth, goodness, happiness, hope and possibilities.  It a nice mix of genres, old and new, popular and rare, mature and youthful. But the things they all have in common are the ability to satisfy the mind, give life and produce fruit. I’m so excited to see what God will do with this. 😊

  1. One Love– Bob Marley
  2. Through Your Eyes– Britt Nicole
  3. Future – Musiq Soulchild
  4. There’s Hope– India Arie
  5. Once a Day– Michael Franti
  6. Dreams– Ashanti
  7. I Can Do Anything– Fresh Beat Band
  8. Dare You to Move– Switchfoot
  9. Count on Me– Bruno Mars
  10. Try Everything– Shakira
  11. Eyes Wide Open– Sabrina Carpenter
  12. Go Get It– Mary Mary
  13. Don’t Stop Believing– Glee
  14. i– Kendrick Lamar
  15. Can’t Stop the Feeling– Justin Timberlake
  16. I Got Sunshine– Avery Sunshine
  17. I Lived– One Republic
  18. Rise Up– Andra Day
  19. Tomorrow– Annie
  20. Lean On Me– Bill Withers
  21. Never Settle– Goldford
  22. Upside Down– Jack Johnson
  23. Better Together- Jack Johnson
  24. Strength Courage and Wisdom– India Arie
  25. Sure Looks Good to Me– Alicia Keys
  26. Surprise Yourself– Fresh Beat Band
  27. Wake– Hillsong Young and Free
  28. Golden– Jill Scott
  29. We Are Family– Sister Sledge
  30. Remedy– Adele
  31. All You Need is Love– Beatles
  32. What a Wonderful World– Louis Armstrong
  33. Somewhere Over the Rainbow– Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  34. Heroes– David Bowie
  35. Don’t Worry Be Happy– Bob Marley
  36. It’s My Life– Jon Bon Jovi
  37. Fireworks– Katy Perry
  38. Unwritten– Natasha Bedingfield
  39. True Colors– Cyndi Lauper
  40. Lovely Day– Bill Withers
  41. Stand By Me– Ben E. King
  42. Follow the Sun– Xavier Rudd
  43. Pieces– Bethel Music
  44. A Beautiful Day– India Arie
  45. Everybody– Ingrid Michaelson
  46. Grateful: A Love Song to the World– Nimo Patel
  47. Three Little Birds– Bob Marley
  48. We Are Here– Alicia Keys
  49. What I Am Is– Seasame Street and Will i. Am
  50. Free– Michael Medall
  51. Greatest Love of All- Whitney Houston
  52. Man in the Mirror- Michael Jackson
  53. Beautiful Day– U2
  54. Keep Your Head Up– Andy Grammar
  55. I Can See Clearly– Jimmy Cliff
  56. Take Me the Way I Am– Ingrid Michaelson
  57. Hey, Hey, Hey– Michael Franti & Spearhead
  58. Wake Up Everybody – John Legend
  59. Move– MercyMe
  60. The Sound of Sunshine– Michael Franti & Spearhead
  61. Life is Wonderful– Jason Mraz
  62. Shiny Happy People– REM
  63. So Happy Together– The Turtles
  64. Smile– V. Bozman
  65. Brand New Day– The Wiz
  66. We Are the World
  67. On Top of the World- Imagine Dragons
  68. Roll with the Punches– Lenka
  69. Ok It’s Alright with Me– Eric Hutchinson
  70. Fireflies– Owl City
  71. Live Like You’re Dying– Kris Allen
  72. Roar– Katy Perry
  73. Brave– Sara Bareilles
  74. Wavin’ Flag– K’Naan and Will i. am
  75. Girl in the Mirror– Sophia Grace
  76. Best Day of My Life-American Authors
  77. Wouldn’t It Be Nice– Beach Boys
  78. Good Vibrations– Beach Boys
  79. Sunny Day- Joy Williams
  80. Good Morning- Mandisa
  81. I Can– Nas
  82. Keep Tryin‘ – Groove Theory
  83. Shed a Little Light– Goldford
  84. Lovin Me– Jonathan McReynolds
  85. Meant to Live- Switchfoot
  86. Wake Me Up– Aviici
  87. The Man– Aloe Blacc
  88. Hello World– Aloe Blacc
  89. Live Your Life- TI
  90. Alright– Kendrick Lamar
  91. Lighters– Eminem
  92. One Call Away- Charlie Pugh
  93. Don’t You Worry Child– Swedish House Mafia
  94. Save the World– Swedish House Mafia
  95. Superheroes– The Script
  96. Keep Ya Head Up– Tupac
  97. Walking on Sunshine– Katrina & the Wave
  98. The Climb– Miley Cyrus
  99. Get Up, Stand Up– Bob Marley
  100. Story of Your Life– Matthew West
  101. Mean– Taylor Swift
  102. Speak Life– Toby Mac
  103. How Far I’ll Go– Alessia Cara
  104. You Lift Me Up– The Afters
  105. Hurricane– Natalie Grant
  106. Happiness– Needtobreathe
  107. Every Good Thing– The Afters
  108. Not For a Moment– Meredith Andrews
  109. Blink– Revive
  110. Good to Be Alive– Jason Gray
  111. Pocket Full of Sunshine– Natasha Bedingfield
  112. Gold– Britt Nicole
  113. You Are Loved– Josh Groban
  114. Get Back Up– Toby Mac
  115. Free to Be Me- Francesca Battistelli
  116. Watch Me Shine– Joanna Pacitti
  117. Beautiful, Beautiful – Francesca Battistelli
  118. I’m Letting Go– Francesca Battistelli
  119. Put a Little Love in Your Heart– Anne Lennox and Al Green
  120. Victory – Kim Burrell
  121. Reach for the Stars– S Club 7
  122. Soar– Christina Aguilera
  123. Larger than Life– Pinkzebra
  124. Turn! Turn! Turn!– The Byrds
  125. A Change Gonna Come– Sam Cooke
  126. Overcomer– Mandisa
  127. Confident– Kidz Bop
  128. What Makes You Beautiful– Kidz Bop
  129. Sky’s the Limit– Biggie
  130. Am I Wrong– Nico and Vinz
  131. I Am Light– India Arie
  132. Brave– Moriah Peters
  133. One Life- Hedley
  134. You’re Not Alone– Marie Miller
  135. Titanium– David Guetta & Sia
  136. The Greatest -Sia
  137. Nothing’s Real But Love– Rebecca Ferguson
  138. People Help the People- Birdy
  139. Kill’em With Kindness– Selena Gomez
  140. The Same– Matthew & Marisa
  141. When Love Takes Over– Kelly Rowland
  142. People Get Ready– The Impressions
  143. Where is the Love?– The Black Eyed Peas
  144. Glory– Common and John Legend
  145. Better When I’m Dancin– Meghan Trainor
  146. Stronger– Kelly Clarkson
  147. Who Says– Selena Gomez
  148. Hero– Mariah Carey
  149. I Wish You Well– Elizabeth Mitchell
  150. Peace Like a River– Elizabeth Mitchell
  151. You Are My Sunshine– Elizabeth Mitchell
  152. This Little Light of Mine– Elizabeth Mitchell
  153. Sesame Street Song– Jimmy Fallon and The Roots
  154. Don’t Give Up– Bruno Mars
  155. Believe in Yourself– Michael Buble
  156. Can’t Hold Us– Macklemore
  157. Take On the World– Rowan
  158. On Top of the World– Dove Cameron
  159. Everything is Sound– Jason Mraz
  160. Living in the Moment– Jason Mraz
  161. The World is Watching– Two Door Cinema Club
  162. Happy– Pharrell
  163. Hall of Fame– The Script
  164. Brighter Than the Sun- Colbie Caillat
  165. I‘m the World’s Greatest– R. Kelly
  166. Who I Am– Natasha Bedingfield
  167. Believe in Yourself
  168. Just Stand Up
  169. All- Star- Smash Mouth
  170. Good Feeling– Flo Rida
  171. Happy– Natasha Bedingfield
  172. Hakuna Matata– The Lion King
  173. I’m a Believer– Smash Mouth
  174. Boomerang– Jojo Siwa
  175. Crazy– Gnarls Barkley
  176. Haven’t Met You Yet- Michael Buble
  177. Waka Waka– Shakira
  178. Try– Colbie Caillat
  179. Power Within Me– Junga World
  180. Feel the Rush– Shaggy


  1. Hi,

    I just wanted to say these songs are great. I like to play music in my classroom but hate that playing the radio is not always the best music to play for students. I will be entering a new era, teaching 7th graders for the first time after teaching high school for the last 15 years. Can you please share how you will play these songs? Just through your computer speakers?


    • Hello Shaunte,

      Welcome to middle school 😊! My plan is to play them through the speakers of my projector system so the sound fills the room. I’ll start it when the students are entering for home room and replay until it is time for the announcements. I’ve considered having a discussion about it. I really want the students to begin to inquire about the songs and make connections.

  2. Once again…you rock!!! Are you coaching again this year?

    On Jul 25, 2016 11:01 PM, “Elementary Teacher in Middle School” wrote:

    > jenisesexton posted: ““Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the > stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. Words kill, words > give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ > ‭18:20-21‬ ‭MSG‬‬ http://bible.com/97/pro.18.20-21.msg I love m” >

    • Thanks Pam. You’re always so encouraging.
      Yes, I’m coaching again this year. I’ll teach one segment of Intro to Algebra in the mornings and coach the rest of the day. I’m extremely excited about what this year will hold. 😊

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