5 Songs Every Social Worker Needs on Their Playlist

If you are a Social Worker, you are probably overworked and underpaid. You are definitely stressed. In fact, a leading association of Social Workers listed many stressors for workers and the top three are lack of time to do the job, a heavy workload and difficult clients. Add to that the expectations others have that you will fix everything and the expectations you may have for yourself and you have the makings of a migraine. Although many of these issues are written into your job description, here are five songs that may help you keep your perspective.

"In the Ghetto "

This song, released in 1969 and made famous by Elvis Presley, is a powerful statement about the hardships of living in poverty, and the resulting generation-to-generation mindset that creates crime, neglect and abuse. Social workers must have empathy. Working with some clients who may reject counsel and make the same mistakes again and again can jade and desensitize workers. Keep this song on your playlist for a reminder of why you went into social work.

" Waiting on the World to Change"

This song was released in 2006. It reflects the attitude of so many people that there is little anyone, especially a rising generation, can do about all the political and social problems in the world. It says that someday the young will take over the world and things will get better. The problem is that you know nothing will change unless someone works for change. This song belongs in your playlist because it is a direct challenge. You are the one who is on the battle front to heal the world.


The ultimate song for refreshing your vision of your job, John Lennon's idea of the perfect world is both a challenge and a reassurance. Aside from the hopeful lyrics, the melody and the cadence of this song are like sitting in a spa for a few moments to unwind. It is perfect before a home visit or a staff meeting.


We all feel defeated at times. Social workers are especially sensitive to these feelings because you work with people, and what you do can impact so many lives. This 2016 Katy Perry song reminds you that "when the fire's at your feet again" or when you are shaken to the core, you will rise. Although you are armed with years of proven social work practice and you understand psychology, there are many things that shock you and leave you feeling vulnerable. That's the time to click on Rise.

Your Choice

Everyone needs a song that will remind them of the joys in life. If you are a person of faith, pick a favorite hymn or worship song. If you just need a mood lift, add a great sing-along like Bob Marley's "Don't Worry, Be Happy." A great choice is "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King. Another song featured on some great videos has the Sesame Street Muppets singing "Manamana." Anyone can remember those lyrics. An added positive to this song is that even small children are entertained and soothed by watching the video, so it is a good one to keep handy.

Social work is a challenging profession. You see so much of the raw and un-bandaged wounds of the world that it can be hard to stay positive about your ability to help. Science proves that music can affect the mood and even your perspective of the world around you.

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