Joie Flotteur

The Joie Flotteur playlist on Spotify

I made a playlist once — it was comprised of all my favorites. I had forgotten that I collected these songs with the intention to lift my mood on days where I needed some bounce. A discussion with my therapist reminded me. I was seeking tools and resolve for my frustrations. Her advice was to utilize self care and boundaries in those moments. In my mind, I was to employ tactics of positive redirection. Together we explored what these positive redirections looked like. We only ended up covering the one and that was did I have a playlist that enhances my mood?

That’s all it took. She dangled bait that I bit, chomped, and savored. Five minutes later, I realized what had happened. Up until that point, I had been disclosing negative feelings and interactions from the week, then she had me talking about my playlist. Magically, *POOF* my mood changed. Thinking about the songs on my favorites playlist had me bouncing from one memory to the next. Giggling and beaming I began recounting some of these feel good memories. We were both laughing and it felt like our web chat room was floating on happy.

I told her how I cheesily named it, “Joie Flotteur;” my attempt at “being fancy”. The French words for “joy” and “float.” Then, I explained how I am an air sign and if you asked me words to describe joy and happiness that I would most likely reply with things that involved flying, floating, and being in the air or one with the air.

Film clip for the Dire Straits’ single “Walk Of Life” from their album “Brothers In Arms”. © 1985 Mercury Records Limited

I expounded on some of the songs on the playlist. One of the first that came to mind was the Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life,” which reminded me of my grade school P. E. teacher who would play this through his boombox and have us do our warm-ups. We got to take turns in his class leading the warm-ups to this song and others but this song was played daily. The song has an upbeat which is jaunty and bouncy. It’s difficult to hear the opening synthesizer and not feel like bopping (child of the 80s here).

The next song I mentioned was the Doobie Brothers’ “Listen to the Music.” There are a few memories associated with this one. The first was singing this song with a friend for karaoke at the local LGBTQ+ bar years ago. It takes me back to several karaoke duos with my karaoke dude.

Official live video of The Doobie Brothers performing “Listen To The Music (Reprise),” from their LIVE FROM THE BEACON THEATER show in November 2018.

The second and third involve my husband. In the second one my husband and I were returning from a trip to Vegas. We had agreed to take turns splitting our drive home. On my turn, I cranked the radio and made sure I was sufficiently cool whilst he snuggled up into a blanketed cocoon in the passenger side. This song came on the radio and I abandoned my restraint. I sang the chorus and heard about it from him later. The third memory was I was cleaning the house with my earbuds in and playing my rock playlist. This song came on while I was taking a break from mopping. I was sitting at the table, dancing in my seat, belting out the chorus when he was coming up the stairs. Rarely a dull moment with us.

There’s also Erik Satie’s, “Gymnopédie №1”

Satie — Gymnopédie №1 performed by Rousseau

it takes me back to a yoga class where this played through the savasana (Chopra 2015) where vivid imagery played through my mind. I imaged my kids playing in fallen autumn leaves and then on swings gliding through air, their faces in awe, abandon, and absolute delight. This imagery has held for me in the last nine years.

Following that track is an electro-swing number by Parov Stelar that always gets me in a summertime mood with its jazzy notes and cricket overtures.

Song for the Crickets by Parov Stelar

This instrumental track is a whole mood — dusky, taunting the listener to venture into the summer night and experience balmy bliss. It makes me think of all the summers as a kid where we did late night sprinkler dances, caught lightning bugs/fireflies, played games like Hot Box and Hide and Seek, and so much more. Then, transports me to adulthood with cookouts, fishing, hiking, and steamy makeout sessions with lovers.

The last track I will talk about is “Can I Kick It?” by Tribe Called Quest. Every

Official HD Video for ”Can I Kick It?” by A Tribe Called Quest

time I hear this played whether from the Joie Flotteur playlist, on the radio, in the media (TV shows, shared on social media, movies), or someone says something that reminds me of it I think of one of my best friends.

We met while both of us were working in non-profits in the downtown of the area we both live. We got into a habit of every other Friday hitting up one of the local bars in downtown for some wings, brews, and chatting about music. This song and Dr. Dre’s line “until the next episode” were the lyrics we always came back to in our talks. “Can I kick it?” is one way we signaled to each other “I got you.” It has been a way to pick each other up over the years.

I could ramble on and talk about each of the songs on this playlist like they were kids that I nurtured and brought up but the thing is these are songs that have grown me. I have gotten where I am today because of these songs, the memories they are attached to, and the lyrics that became salves of empowerment, nurturing, balms for my soul. This playlist reminds me of the times when I had friends, family, a good time, and that was all I needed so that when bad times come knocking I am armed with these beats and lines that make me feel less alone on the path. If you are a creative and/or are a musical connoisseur make you a playlist like this that can boost your mood whether you need one with bounce or one to chill. 🎵🎶

Interested in seeing more of the playlist or listening? Scan the Spotify code at the top to view or listen and bounce to this air sign’s playlist.




Queer Writer & Poet | Sex and Sensuality | Health and Wellness Interests | Personal Experience | LINKTR.EE/TOLBERTMBB | Instagram @tolbert_on_medium

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Queer Writer & Poet | Sex and Sensuality | Health and Wellness Interests | Personal Experience | LINKTR.EE/TOLBERTMBB | Instagram @tolbert_on_medium

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