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What Music Speaks to You? 15 Core Shaking Songs

Updated on August 11, 2015

How music shakes you.

Sometimes it's haunting. Sometimes it puts voice to something we can't.

Music can shake us in so many ways.

It's human beings speaking their truth to others. And we can often hear ourselves in their songs.

However music impacts you, it might just be the sound you need to hear in a given moment. Not simply because of the melody, but because their words might also be your words. Their feelings resonate with something inside you.

Perhaps you feel less alone in the world.

At least, that's how music shakes me.


The power of words.

We've all experienced the power of hearing a song about something we're feeling in real time.

“It’s alright to shake. Even my hand does sometimes.”

“Hold on to me, cause I’m a little unsteady.”

Whether we hear it on the radio or search for it in our phone, hearing a song with lyrics that strike a chord can transport us. It can cocoon us for just a few minutes of our day (or, for those of us who listen to single tracks on repeat over and over again, for hours of our day).

But I don't just rely on my own visceral response to know the power of music.

"[S]tudies suggest that exposure to prosocial lyrics increases positive thought, empathy, and helping behavior."


Music is like food, sex, and drugs.

Studies have shown that our human response to music is one of pleasure.

In fact, it simulates our positive reactions to sex, food, and even drugs.


Music can heal.

Music therapy is a powerful thing.

Research has shown positive effects in treating stroke patients, children with autism, and adults struggling with depression.

"[A]ny music that helps connect people can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health."

So that core-shaking feeling we get when we hear our favorite songs? The chills and the goosebumps? The physiological effect on your body is real.

Music can help to heal our minds and bodies.


15 Core Shaking Songs (videos below)

  1. "Hallelujah," Rufus Wainwright
  2. "Make it Rain," Ed Sheeran (from Sons of Anarchy)
  3. "Stay," Rihanna (feat. Mikky Ekko)
  4. "Jessica," Regina Spektor
  5. "Even My Dad Does Sometimes," Ed Sheeran
  6. "Timshel," Mumford & Sons
  7. "Fast Car," Tracy Chapman
  8. "Wild Horses," Rolling Stones (stripped acoustic version)
  9. "Unsteady," X Ambassadors
  10. "Listen," Beyoncé (from Dreamgirls)
  11. "River," Joni Mitchell
  12. "Skinny Love," Bon Iver (Birdy version)
  13. "Seasons of Love," Rent (Stevie Wonder version)
  14. "3am," Matchbox 20 (piano acoustic)
  15. "Pretty Hurts," Beyoncé

Sit back, listen, and enjoy.

Then leave your favorites in the comments.

1. "Hallelujah," Rufus Wainwright

2. "Make It Rain," Ed Sheeran (from Sons of Anarchy, iTunes)

3. "Stay," Rihanna (feat. Mikky Ekko)

4. "Jessica," Regina Spektor

5. "Even My Dad Does Sometimes," Ed Sheeran

6. "Timshel," Mumford & Sons

7. "Fast Car," Tracy Chapman

8. "Wild Horses," Rolling Stones (stripped acoustic version)

9. "Unsteady," X Ambassadors

10. "Listen," Beyoncé (from Dreamgirls)

11. "River," Joni Mitchell

12. "Skinny Love," Bon Iver (Birdy version)

13. "Seasons of Love," Rent (Stevie Wonder version)

14. "3am," Matchbox 20 (piano acoustic version)

15. "Pretty Hurts," Beyoncé

What songs have shaken you? Spread the musical love. Leave your experiences in the comments below!



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    • Glen Kizer profile image

      Glen Kizer 

      4 years ago

      Great article about that fine line between all music in general and those particular songs that touch us personally.

      "A Wall I Must Climb" by Michael McDermott who is from Chicago. The Live at Schubas version that is on iTunes. There are times in which I just have to listen to this particular song. Whatever it is about that song, it gives me something I need when other things can't.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very good synopsis and human psychology definitely plays a very big part here. Excellent work, well researched.

    • Katie Kizer profile imageAUTHOR

      Katie Kizer 

      4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois


      I've never heard that one! I LOVE Mary J. Blige though, so I'll definitely check that one out.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


    • profile image


      4 years ago

      "The living Proof" by Mary J Blige from the movie The Help. It is so incredibly powerful and speaks so powerfully to me.


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