PostResilience using the song “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree

Sometimes we all need a reminder that no matter what challenges or obstacles we may face, we have the strength and resilience to overcome them.

Using positive self-talk and affirmations, the lyrics of the song “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree encourage us to “believe in yourself” and can help us practice radical acceptance and self-compassion, two core DBT skills. These messages can also help us combat self-doubt and negative self-talk, which can often hold us back from achieving our goals and living our best lives.

We can use the lyrics to remind us to “stand up tall” and to “reach out” when we’re feeling down or overwhelmed, which can help us develop the ability to tolerate and manage difficult emotions and experiences without making them worse.

By practicing mindfulness and using the skill of observe and describe, we can learn to be more aware of our thoughts and emotions and gain perspective on them, rather than getting caught up in them.

One way to connect the lyrics of “You Gotta Be” to DBT skills is to rewrite the song to reflect your own personal experiences and challenges.

Write your own version that personalizes the message and helps you to feel more connected and empowered by the song, while also incorporating key DBT skills into your self-care practices.

Below is an example of a rewrite of the lyrics.

As I face each day ahead,

I challenge myself to stay ahead

I try to keep my head up to the sky

Sometimes others may cause me pain

But I know I can’t remain

I stand up and show my strength

I won’t be ashamed to cry


I gotta be

I gotta be brave, I gotta be strong, I gotta be wiser

I gotta be tough, I gotta be resilient, I gotta be bolder

I gotta stay calm, I gotta stay collected, I gotta stay focused

All I know, all I know, self-love will guide the way

I listen to the words of those who care

I read books that help me grow and prepare

I take my time to solve my own problems and doubts

Some may have more resources than me

But I know I have my own unique qualities


Time waits for no one, it keeps moving on

Leaving me behind if I can’t keep up

The world keeps turning

I can’t control it, no matter how hard I try

The best part is facing my fears head on, oh

I remember to listen as each day unfolds

I challenge myself to hold on to hope

I try to keep my head up to the sky

Sometimes others may cause me pain

But I know I must let go of my fears


In conclusion, “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree can be a powerful and uplifting song that speaks to the importance of positive self-talk, combating self-sabotage and intrusive thoughts, and believing in ourselves – all key skills emphasized in DBT. By connecting the lyrics to our own personal experiences and DBT skills, we can tap into the strength and resilience needed to overcome any challenges or obstacles that come our way.

**For a library of resources, including more in-depth instructions for using common songs for DBT skills, plus our own original songs and ready-made activities, specifically created by DBT Informed Board Certified Music Therapists to strengthen particular DBT skills, …

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Have fun with this song and give this activity a try!

Let us know how this goes! Leave a comment below.

I hope you all have a Musical Monday,