Perimenopause, the physical and emotional stage of life, has recently been getting the attention it deserves. When I asked my mother at what age did she start perimenopause, she answered, “Oh we didn’t have that back then.” What she meant was, it wasn’t talked about, or recognized as deserving of discussion.
A few months ago, I polled my friends for songs they would include on a perimenopause playlist. I thought a playlist would be a conversation starter, a way to understand what’s happening without all the medical gobblygook. Sometimes art is more accurate than science.
I found the songs fit into three categories
1) Songs that describe the physical sensations of hot flashes. I could’ve guessed this one, but it was super fun to see people chime in with “Hot Legs” by Rod Stewart and “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner. But the winner in this category is “Girl on Fire” by Alecia Keys. Not only can you make the obvious reference to hot flashes, it also speaks to the pressures women experience and handle with expert grace. Runners up in this category include: “Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vandellas , and “Too Darn Hot” by Ella Fitzgerald.
2) Songs that speak of the emotional rage that can accompany “the change.” Mood swings and even depressive episodes are common for women. And there’s nothing like a chemical surge to mess with your brain chemistry. A tie in this category with “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks and “Ironic” by Alanis Morisette. If you can’t control the hormone floods in your brain, at least celebrate them.
3) Freedom. So many women mentioned the freedom and power of owning the moment and the process. It doesn’t even have to speak to the physical process, but the act of aging and finding power as a mature confident woman. Winner is “It’s My Turn” by Diana Ross. Runners up are “Think” by Aretha Franklin and “You’re So Vain” by Carlie Simon
If you need to strip down to your comfy but cute cotton undies and dance around the house, go ahead. You’ve earned it.