Embracing Your Anti-Muse

By Epiphany Johnican

“Muse” is a term used to describe someone who inspires the work of another. In Greek mythology, the Muses were nine goddesses who presided over the arts, including music and literature. Each muse was connected to a different art form. For example, Polyhymnia was the muse of sacred poetry and Euterpe was the muse of music.

An artist or poet preparing to begin work would call on a particular Muse to inspire him, and a poem itself might begin with such a call; Homer’s Odyssey begins, “Sing to me of the man [Odysseus], Muse.”

Throughout time, being identified has served as a compliment. It makes people feel good knowing they’re exquisite and mystifying enough to be what pushes someone’s talent forward. And it gives a sense of purpose knowing that they’re servicing the world just by being as amazing as they are. It feeds the ego so much that when you’re no longer that source of inspiration, no longer the “it” girl, you feel lost and unappreciated. You don’t even appreciate yourself.

It stems from getting tossed to the side by a significant other, an employee, family members or even friends, everyone has felt rejection and pain. However, these negative emotions can be powerful. Maybe even as powerful as having a muse, you can become fueled by your anti-muse. Those feelings of not being enough can serve as your anti-muse and can push you to become a better person.

This is why some focus on school after a breakup. Or why some make “Eat, Pray, Love” a reality by traveling the world. Rather, anti-muses should be embraced because they are what encourage us to grow as individuals. Here are eight songs to inspire you to take the power back into your own hands and focus on yourself: 

Softee – “Crazy Bitch”

This song serves as a reminder that someone will always try to attack your character. You can either ignore it or embrace it. In this new pop single, Softee embraces it all the way. That level of confidence is goals.

The Bookends – “It’s Your Turn”

This upbeat pop ballad is a painful reminder of how it feels to be used. But it reminds listeners that those toxic people who are no longer in your life will eventually realize their mistakes. They’ll regret how they took you for granted. In the meantime, you can focus on moving forward in peace, because you recognize it’s deserved.

Alex Mali – “I Know”

This Hip-hop, rap and pop fusion track is all about bossing up. Mali sings about how she’s thriving in life but also shares her past struggles and experiences in disloyal relationships. This tune is encouraging and provides hope as you picture yourself on the other side of your struggle. My favorite lines: “Yeah, I refuse to let adversity have it all. So I’m gonna keep on climbing even when I do fall.”

Softee – “Princess And Pauper”

This Keep On album is so lit, it had to be included twice. “Princess and Pauper” is a pop-techno song about exuding power and confidence through sexuality. Softee also sings about how all your exes come crawling back in the end. Let’s just be real: thinking of yourself on that level says you’re getting your confidence back.

Nikki Taylor – “Games”

While most of these songs on this list are all about moving forward, this song gives listeners a second to embrace their post-breakup emotions. Taylor’s strong vocals and the rhythm of this single make it hard to resist dancing along! Taylor’s whole album, Wasted is full of empowering tunes worth listening to. Her dynamic voice makes her the independent pop diva we’ve been missing.

Jesse – “Like It”

“Like It” is a funky upbeat tune that encourages you to get up and dance. The lyrics describe strong admiration for a woman, which reminds listeners that women deserve to be treasured. The groove combined with Jesse’s way with words will have you feeling like you’re the woman he’s singing about.

Melba Moore – Just Doing Me (Terry Hunter Radio Mix)

“Just Doing Me” is a funk pop song about focusing on your own life and staying true to yourself. This is another bop that gives vibes of self-love. Moore’s lyrics embody progression, healing, self-discipline and hope.

Julius Jordan, Eric Roberson – Real Good Time 

“Real Good Time” is the song you listen to while getting ready, whether you’re putting on makeup before a night on the town or preparing to catch a flight. Either way, these house music elements will encourage you to dance while doing so.

Stream the playlist here

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