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Aloha Spotify Playlist, Week 6: You Can Do Hard Things

By The Aloha Team

Spotify logo.

Each week for the summer, our fabulous counselors will be contributing to a Spotify playlist with songs that they love and want to share with you – and that apply to the week’s theme! And each week, we will publish some of their thoughts about why they chose their songs.


Here’s the playlist to Week 6: You Can Do Hard Things



And here are our counselors!


Charlotte Abrams

Iowa (by Dar Williams): I remember Dar Williams, an Aloha Alum, performing this song whenever she would visit and it is so encouraging and truthfull!

Leaning on Myself (by Anna of the North)

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out (by Cat Stevens)



When I Was a Boy (by Dar Williams): Dar Williams is an amazing artist as well as a Hive and Aloha alum! This song has always meant a lot to me, and it reminds me of camp because she sings about one of the hardest things we do every day: being ourselves.


Georgia Dare

Superheros (by The Script)

Brave (by Sara Bareilles)

This Is Me, from “The Greatest Showman” (by Kesha)


Henry DeRuff

Coração (by The National Parks): The joy of this song is palpable (love the horns, drums, and melodic ambient vocals), and the message could not be more on point. This song is reminding the listener that someone cares about them (“You are in my heart.”) and that when things feel difficult or even impossible, that’s the moment when you have the chance to grow the most.


Val Elefante

The Climb (by Miley Cyrus): This has to be my go-to karaoke and shower song. Whenever I’m going through a tough time and need a good post-cry anthem, this is it. It’s right in my voice range (but like kinda at the top of it) so when she hits the high notes I fully need to scream. But it’s a very cathartic scream – “IT’S ALL ABOUT, ALL ABOUT THE CLIMB!!!”

Run the World Girls (by Beyonce): Ok, c’mon, if you are a female-identifying person and you ever feel like you’re not good enough for any reason whatsoever… my advice is to have this song in your back pocket. OMG, now I am thinking about a mini-Beyonce living in my back pocket who comes out to remind me that girls run the world, and I can do anything I set my mind to. That would be awesome. But yeah, this song can really do the trick.


Meg Fitzpatrick

When It All Falls Down (by Audiomachine): I know this song is very different, and sounds like it could come out of a movie! But for me this was the first song I performed to for a circus act in an entirely new apparatus! It was so hard to learn, and it was very frustrating at times, but I learned a new skill and the act we created was beautiful. When I hear this song I think of all the late nights I spent learning and training, and the beautiful outcome we ended up with. This song reminds me that just because things are hard does not mean I should stop, in fact, it sometimes means that if I keep pushing, I can create something more beautiful than I even imagined.


Hal Juster

Brokedown- Parts 1 and 2 (by the California Honeydrops)

This Must Be the Place (by Talking Heads)


Eliza Kissick

March March (by Dixie Chicks)

If I Dare (by Sara Bareilles)


Alex Lipoff

Let Love Rule (by Lenny Kravitz): This song was performed wonderfully one Sunday at Lanakila, and it fit the theme perfectly – as well as the larger values of the Aloha Foundation. Add in the incredible saxophone solo (by Karl Denson, a virtuoso) and we have a true winner. A song for the times we are in right now.


Sara Liptrot

Better Than (by John Butler): I love this song. The whole premise of the song is to not think of what could be better but to realize that what you have is already great and that we can all be better and do better. Every time I hear this song it reminds me to be happy and recognize all the great things I do have and that I should reach out to my friends and tell them I love them. Plus, other than the great lyrics, I just think it has a happy catchy little tune.


Charlie Mayhew

This Year (by The Mountain Goats): The best version of this song is the live one on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. You will make it through this year!

We’re Going To Be Friends (by The White Stripes): This one speaks for itself.

This Time Tomorrow (by The Kinks): This time tomorrow, we’ll probably still be stuck inside. But… this time next year!


Matt Smith:

All Will be Well (by The Gabe Dixon Band): “All will be well/even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself/All will be well/You can ask me how but only time will tell.” Sometimes, in all our camp focus on helping others and on being our best selves, we forget that its okay to make mistakes. Personally, I often forget to be as kind to myself as I try to be with other people. Being your best self isn’t easy (and it’s exhausting), and more often than not you’re going to make a mistake, break a promise, or just get too tired to keep up the effort. At camp, we have a lot of people to buck us up in those moments, but that’s not always true in the real world. This song helps remind me that I can do the hard work of being my best self, and that it’s going to be okay when I make some mistakes and break some promises to myself along the way. All will be well.


Lindsay Stelljes

I Found Out (by The Head and the Heart)

Wherever is Your Heart (by Brandi Carlile)


Morgan Towle

I Try (by Macy Gray).

My Silver Lining (by First Aid Kit)