by Catharine Hannay
Here's the latest in the popular series of song playlists for teachers. This time the focus is on breath-based meditation, breathing through strong emotions, and 'the moments that take your breath away'.
I've included a description or a snippet of the lyrics to help you decide what might be appropriate for your class. Scroll to the bottom of the list for questions to prompt reflection and discussion.
All About the Breath, Mind with Heart (parody of 'All About That Bass' by Meghan Trainor)
This is a cute youtube video explaining the benefits of mindfulness meditation. (It might not be appropriate for more conservative contexts due to one potentially-offensive word, and due to the clothing of many of the teen participants.)
Belly Breathe, Common and Colbie Caillat
A very agitated Elmo learns how to calm himself down when he's upset.
Breath, Hiromi Motomiya
No vocals; instrumental flute music.
Breath Control, MC Yogi
"Breathe in. Breathe out. Release the stress. Just let it all out," as traditional Indian music fuzes with hip-hop.
The Breath You Take, George Strait
"He looks up from second base. Dad's up in the stands. He saw the hit, the run, the slide. There ain't no bigger fan... Life's not the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away."
Breathe, Chloe Temtchine
Chloe Temtchine needs to use breathing tubes while performing. She wrote this song to raise awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension.
You might also be interested in Every Breath You Take, performed by Philips Breathless Choir
This song was inspired by the Movement for Black Lives. In the face of injustice, don't give up. Continue to breathe.
Breathe, Jonny Diaz
A focus on calming breath and mindful awareness from a Christian pop singer.
Breathe Deep, MC Yogi ft. East Forest
Official video features images of the Buddha; for secular mindfulness classes you might want to use the audio-only version.
Breathless, Small Black
"I'm standing in tomorrow's way. Future's fine, 'least it seems okay... Saw both my life and death in two lines. Felt the kick of fate. There's no sun, no storm, no time, nowhere. For a moment I was breathless."
D.F.Y.L. (Don't Flip Yo' Lid), JusTme
"People messin' wit' me on a constant. I don't want be bothered wit' the nonsense... Don't wanna lose it. Gotta find a way to keep it chill."
In addition to his mindfulness songs, you might also be interested in JusTme's guided meditations, like "Breathe for New Beginnings."
Take a Breath, Jonas Brothers
"Worlds are spinning 'round. There's no time for slowing down. So won't you take a breath? Just take a breath."
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Do you ever think about breathing or do you tend to take it for granted? What are some other things that you take for granted?
- Do you think that meditation is about 'breath control'? Why or why not?
- How can breathing help us when we're angry or feeling other strong emotions?
- What do you think of the lyric "Life's not about the breaths you take; it's the moments that take your breath away"? How does this connect to mindfulness?
Breath-Based Practices for Mindfulness or Stress Reduction
Be Here Now: Songs about Time and Appreciating the Present Moment
Songs about Gratitude