By Haixin Zeng, Mileena Torres, and Nathaniel Brewer

Score songs yourself here.

Start Strong Peer Leaders – Summer 2011

The Sound Relationships Nutrition Label is a tool that Start Strong Boston developed that we use to analyze the message conveyed in popular songs on the radio. (See results here.) The nutrition label is pretty easy to use. We often use it in our community centers with students to decipher whether a song is healthy or not. We wanted to create a hands-on way for people to “grade” songs on a scale of 1-50 for either healthy or unhealthy and see how popular songs rate on their sheets. It is interesting because some people may have drastically different ratings for some songs which causes interesting discussion amongst each other about what they think can constitute to healthy or unhealthy.

We think it is important to review music lyrics, because people often sing along or play songs without realizing what it means. We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t listen to certain songs because they may not have a healthy message, but it is important to be able to recognize that a song, although it may be your favorite, may not have a positive message.

One thing we noticed is that in the Healthy songs, all of the couples were enjoying themselves and they were resolving their conflicts if they even had any. This year we found “Marvin’s Room” by Drake to be the unhealthiest within unhealthy scores of thirty-three out of fifty. It was unhealthy because of its sexual references, disrespectful language to the partner, drama, and mentions of manipulation. The lyrics are degrading and display a lot of vulgarity.  This year’s healthiest song was “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flats with a healthy score of forty, out of fifty. We decided it was the healthiest because it showed support, respect, trust, and equality within the relationship. We hope you found it useful!

Score songs yourself here.

This blog was written by Haixin Zeng, 17, Mileena Torres, 17, and Nathaniel Brewer, 17.  They are all Start Strong Boston Peer Leaders. Learn more here.