I’m always on the lookout for new, positive pop songs that can be used therapeutically in my sessions with school-age kiddos and teens.

Honestly, most times it feels like slim pickings.

Many have inappropriate language that can’t be used in the facilities where I work, or the content of the songs has little therapeutic value.

But I recently heard two gems and wanted to share them with you today, in hopes that they’ll inspire your session planning or simply inspire you.

The first is “Better Days” by Ant Clemons, featuring Justin Timberlake.

This song brought me to tears the first time I heard it.

There are some super inspiring and encouraging lyrics here. And I love the laid back feel of the song, as well as the repetition.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,
Keep your eyes on the road ahead.
But if you’re feeling lost in the night,
It’s okay to cry,
Just as long as you hold your head.

‘Cause we’re on our way to better,
Better’s ahead, better’s ahead.
It get’s worse ‘fore it gets better,
But better’s ahead, better’s ahead,
Better days are comin’.

I think we all could use a song like this given what we’re going through now.

I can’t wait to share this song with my students and clients, and use it in an upcoming session.

The second song is “Sunday Best” by Surfaces.

This one appears a little more light hearted.

However, one of the group members said it’s about going through the darkest times in your life and coming out on the other side.

It’s about seeing the light of day, accepting the situation, and saying “I’m just going to breathe this air and have a good day.”

Ay, everyday can be a better day despite the challenge,
All you gotta do is leave it better than you found it.
It’s gonna get difficult to stand but hold your balance,
I just say whatever ’cause there is no way around it.
E-e-everyone falls down sometimes,
But you just gotta know it’ll all be fine.
I can see this song being used in a dance or movement experience, an instrument playing experience, or for lyric analysis and discussion.

Or, simply for a song share! (I like to share with my students and clients when I find gems like these that might be of interest to them. And, to hear what songs they’re into as well).

If you’ve discovered any gems that can be used therapeutically during music therapy, especially with school-age and teens clients, please share in the comments below!