Getting Over the Fear of Failure

Three months ago, I cut pictures and words out of magazines ready to build my vision board. I was pumped and carefully scanning each page for inspiration, motivation and all the good feels.

The images sat on my desk in a jumbled pile, emblematic of my brain, vision, direction and thoughts. The board stared back at me, blank, vacant and overwhelmingly silent.

I couldn’t do it.

Three months ago, I decided I was moving. I didn’t know where yet, I just knew it was time. I knew I wanted a career shift and change of scenery. I’ve been here since 2009, and when people ask why I didn’t go back to New York after college, my response was always, “I got a job and just never left.” Not exactly a strong reason to set up your life somewhere.

Fast forward to right now, as I write this blog post. My vision board is complete, I’m moving back to New York this weekend and am working on a website for my own Health Coaching business.

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So, why now? What took me so long? Why didn’t I just glue the pieces of paper to the board two months ago? Why didn’t I just put in my notice and move away? Why didn’t I just sit my ass down and build the website for the career I am passionate about?

Fear.

Fear is an interesting emotion. It’s motivating as hell. Most of us, thankfully, haven’t faced a life-threatening situation, but think of the last time you were nervous or scared about something small. Maybe it was the first day of a new job or school. Maybe you were going on a first date or meeting your significant other’s family. Think of the weird things you do in those situations.

I couldn’t pinpoint what was stopping me. I thought it was fear of taking a step in the wrong direction and sending my life off course, but that wasn’t it. I’m a firm believer that you can always live the life you desire, no matter where you are right now. I just had to remind myself of that.

So, what was stopping me?

I thought it was my fear of putting myself out there, being vulnerable, making a bold decision to go after what I want. But, the more I thought that way, two things started to happen. First, it increasingly became a self-fulfilling prophecy. You really do start to believe the shit you tell yourself. I planted that seed pretty deep, and I began shying away from opportunity, settling in and just watching life.

The second thing was the more I said this and acted this way, the more separated from myself I felt. But something pretty magical came from this. I found my authentic self, because I could see it from afar. I could see who I truly was at that moment. It didn’t match up.

Enter trust and intuition. I was beginning to understand my own intuition, my gut, my heart. Maybe, I feared it was steering me wrong?

I fully believe in the power of intuition. There is scientific proof that it exists. It lives in the part of our brain that is connected to our gut—hence gut feelings. This part of our brain is primitive, so it isn’t capable of language—hence phrases like, “I don’t know why, I just felt like I had to do it,” or “I can’t explain it, it just feels right.” You legitimately cannot explain it because there’s no link between this gut feeling and the part of your brain capable and responsible for language. It’s your intuition, and you should trust it.

Okay, so clearly I trust my intuition. Are you getting annoyed with me yet? I’ll tell you what it was.

Fear of failure.

My own self-doubt and fear of failure was sabotaging my drive, intuition, passion and confidence. That’s how powerful negative thoughts can be. That’s how powerful fear can be.

I felt stuck. I felt it in every aspect of my life. Menial tasks became an uphill battle. Exhaustion set back in. I was exercising and eating from a place of fear, I was socializing from a place of fear, I was living from a place of fear.

My inner critic was telling me things like, “Who do you think you are?”, “You can’t just pick up and leave without a clear plan”, “You can’t start a business”, “You can’t make it in New York”, “You’ll never succeed”, “You’re not smart enough”.

My inner critic is a big, big bitch.

With the help of some audiobooks, good old-fashioned page-turning books, affirmations and videos, I’m healed! Just kidding. That voice in my head isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but I have completely changed how I listen and respond to it. I stopped agreeing with the bitchy friend in my head and started believing in myself.

So, what’s next for me?

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I am moving back to New York City on Saturday, transitioning out of the digital world of marketing and into Health and Wellness, full-time.

Some decisions were made out of an “act now, think later” mindset. Some were highly analytical. Some were made out of complete trust and confidence in myself.

Of course, I had amazing, supportive people helping me make this decision, but since it was made, one person’s reaction made me feel at ease. A friend told me he heard I was moving back and, like everyone else, asked, “So, what’s the plan?” I laughed, threw up my hands and said, I’m not 100% sure yet, I just know what I want and I know I want to be in New York. His response, “Just going? I love it.”

The fact that I can recall this one reaction reminds me how much work I still have to do on myself. It shouldn’t matter. I know that people react out of their own fear. That moving with no clear path or plan seems crazy scary to them, so they disapprove, question or sabotage out of love, out of a want to keep me “safe”. But, the love for myself and my happiness is what is driving me to go after my dreams.

I might still fail. I think about it all the time. I might move back to New York, struggle to find a job, never find a single coaching client and have to start from scratch. But then again, I might become more successful, happier and healthier than I have ever been. It’s not a matter of luck or circumstance. It’s faith in myself and in life. It’s trust in my brain, body, spirit and intuition. It’s confidence and composure.

It’s up to me.

11 Ways to Be Healthy and Active During Snowmageddon

Apparently, the apocalypse is coming to the DMV. So, I figured I would share a couple tips to staying healthy and active while snowed-in.

I could give you eleven different ways to burn major calories in your apartment, but I am not going to do that. The challenge for this weekend, snowed-in or not, is to reframe what healthy means. It’s not about fitting in your workout everyday, no matter what. It’s about keeping a healthy mind, body and soul. It’s taking this time to de-stress from our crazy, everyday routines of exercising, work, family, friends, responsibility and obligations to other people and other things.

Take this time to recommit to self-care, self-love and creating healthy habits.

  1. Read this post on 10 healthy snacks to make while snowed-in.
  2. YOGA! There are tons of YouTube videos of challenging yoga practices for all of your goals. You can also download the Yoga Studio app, which lets you tailor your practice to your needs. AmandaBisk.com also has great 30-minute yoga sessions to download.   giphy-3
  3. Meditate. It’s not all about your body. Your mind is just as important. Turn off Netflix, put down the chips and dip and find a meditation to follow online that fits your goals. Trying to sleep better? There’s a meditation for that. Trying to get healthier, get a promotion, change a relationship, increase your self-worth, or just de-stress? There are great guided meditations all over the internet for anything you can think you. I personally like the guided mediations on melisssaambrosini.com, but warning to all the men reading this, you might want to just search Google.
  4. Clean your apartment/house. I don’t mean put away your pile of laundry that has been sitting on your chair for weeks. I mean do a deep clean of your house. Vacuum the carpets, scrub the bathtub, get the ceiling fans. This one is good for the body and the mind!giphy
  5. Dance party. Turn up the jams, turn off the judgment and rock out. Not only does this burn some major calories, it is guaranteed to improve your mood. (Note: If you’re not snowed in alone, check out the Triller app and make some music videos)giphy-5
  6. Make a vision board. Sit for 5 minutes with your eyes closed and think about what you really want. What are your biggest dreams and aspirations. If you couldn’t fail, what would you do? Now take that, and create a vision board that you can look at every day to keep you on track towards your dreams.IMG_3101
  7. Assess your kitchen. Never have time to really get your healthy eating habits started? Well, now is the time. Empty out those cabinets and throw away all the shit you have in there. You’re more likely to reach for refined carbs and sugary food when you’re tired and bored, so why tempt yourself?
  8. Challenge your roommate, significant other or whomever is snowed in with you. Loser does the dishes for a week or shovels the snow. Who can hold a plank the longest? What about a wall sit? Who can do the most push ups in a minute? Can you do a headstand? Who can do the most burpees in a minute? giphy-2
  9. SLEEP. We run our engines pretty hard everyday, and it’s generally inappropriate to nap in the middle of a workday at the office.  Try cutting out the caffeine for a day or two. If you don’t have anywhere you need to be, let your body rest naturally, and maybe this can even decrease your daily caffeine intake when you get back into your routine.
  10. Break out the old workout DVDs. If you’re going to be staring at the TV all weekend, you might as well be burning some calories doing it.giphy-4
  11. Maybe the most important tip of all. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy time with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, siblings, roommates, friends, pets, etc. Cook together, laugh together, play a board game, go play in the snow. Nothing keeps you healthier than enjoying the small moments in life. Jen-Wheeler-Snow-Man

The Best Time of Day to Exercise

Hi my loves. I heard your requests and decided to start with a question I flip-flopped on for years until I learned one KEY thing that is true for pretty much anything (But you have to keep reading to figure it out J).

Carl is the first lucky winner of operation Facebook Questions!

His Question: “What works for us, working out before or after work?”

First of all, if y’all don’t know Carl, he’s a badass life, Instagram and fitness enthusiast with a sweet sleeve tattoo.

Second of all, I have a few thoughts on the timing of workouts.

Physiologically, your metabolism increases after you work out, so starting your day with a kickass workout will spike that metabolism and get you burning some calories right off the bat. (Just make sure you replenish with some yummy, nutritious breakfast)

Physiologically, it’s an awesome way to start your day. You’ve accomplished so much before the sun rises, and now you’re ready to attack the day. It helps me keep my intentions in mind throughout the day since I already filled my self-love tank a bit with a workout in the morning; it helps me stay true to my health goals for the rest of the day.

The same physiological benefits are true for after work. You theoretically have plenty of healthy fuel to get you through a great workout and increase your metabolism before enjoying dinner. Psychologically, you can de-stress and reflect via a cathartic boxing class, throwing around some heavy weights, hitting the pavement alone or enjoying wonderful yoga practice.

Personally, I do both right now. I am following Amanda Bisk’s workout guide. She explains that your metabolism increases after exercise, so why not increase it twice a day? It’s two twenty-minute workouts a day, either circuits or a walk/jog/run. She also has good mindfulness exercises and yoga in there each week. I’m a fan.

BONUS: I have yet to go to a gym to do her workouts. (ASay, I do them in my living room at The Park!)

I’ve read plenty of articles that say “successful” people workout in the morning, NO EXCEPTIONS. I say poop to that. Do what feels right for you. If you want to make that a habit, figure out a way to hold yourself accountable, remember why you are doing it, what’s the end game? Jot down how you feel afterwards to keep yourself from hitting that snooze button the next morning.

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If you’re just NOT a morning person, but maybe have trouble getting your ass in gear after work because you’re tired, hungry, hangry, pissed at the world due to interaction with coworkers, try some mindfulness exercises before you leave the office, on the metro, or at home before you leave for your run or the gym. Connect with the larger vision of your health. Why is exercise important to you?

Try scheduling classes that you have to go to right after work. Find an accountability partner; maybe that’s your conscious cause you’re spending money on a class or a friend you’re meeting at the gym.

In other words, Carl and everyone else who has made it this far, I am not an exercise physiology expert, nor do I know if working out in the morning makes you more successful. What I know FOR SURE is this: Doing what feels good, right, true and out of love for YOU will create the most rewarding and sustainable results both internally and externally.

Share your workout routine in the comments below. Let us know what works for you. Sharing might help or inspire someone else, so don’t be shy 🙂

Oodles of love,

MB

10 Tips to Get Out of Your Rut and Back in Your Groove

We’ve al been there. Go a couple of days without exercising, a couple of days of mindless, unhealthy eating and your motivation further and further out of reach.

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I am currently recharging my own batteries. So, let’s explore some ways we can get out of these ruts.

  1. Find a buddy. As soon as I decided to make a schedule, I texted my friend and we started with just one day that we will workout together every week.

    Kat and I working on our hip mobility and glute strength after a workout
    Kat and I working on our hip mobility and glute strength after a workout
  2. Make a schedule. Just like you do with work and making social plans, carve out time to exercise each day. Paying for group classes creates great accountability as well.
  3. Make it known. Yes, posting about your workouts and healthy eating might get annoying and old for your social audience, but it also keeps you accountable.
  4. Start small. I used to think SMART goals were silly, but they work. Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Time-based. The key word for me is realistic. Start small, conquer it, move on to the next one.

    A new journal and new mindfulness practice
    A new journal and new mindfulness practice
  5. Journal or Blog. This not only keeps you honest with yourself, it might enhance your awareness.
  6. Practice mindfulness. Take a couple of minutes at the beginning of each day to set your intention. Decide what kind of day it’s going to be. Starting with your intentions set allows you to live each day honestly. (Note: Intentions are different than goals. Set your intention and let it float away)
  7. Forgive yourself. This is a big part of mindfulness. If you slip up or get off track, treat yourself like you would a friend or loved one. It’s not the end of the world. Forgive yourself and move on.
  8. Make it tangible. I love pictures, quotes, vision boards, images of meaning and the like. Keep them visible.

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    My bedroom wall.
  9. Stop saying should. “Should” implies someone or something is driving you. Ask yourself, “says who?” whenever you say, “I should exercise” or “I shouldn’t eat that.” If the answer is not “I say so,” figure out what it is you want to do.
  10. Play. Play around with both your exercise routine and in the kitchen. Cooking new, healthy recipes and trying new classes can help inspire you to find a new routine you won’t want to stop or de-prioritize when life gets in the way.

Share your own tips for getting back into your healthy routine in the comments below.

Why Mental Health is Ignored while Physical Attributes are Praised

I blame social media.

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Before the advent of social media, I imagine you only compared yourself with the people in your class at school, someone who lived down the street from you, or the girl your cousin brought to a family BBQ. Now, with tap of a screen, I can compare myself to a model in Australia or be flooded with pictures of celebs in tiny outfits. And, let’s be real, when I say, “compare myself with,” I don’t mean favorably.

Another social media fail? Believing the Instagram world is reflective of the real world. Everyone falls into this trap. I’ve spent nights out with crying girls, only to wake up the next morning to their post of the one picture they took before shit hit the fan, with a caption about how wonderful life is, how amazing their night was and how #blessed they are for having such wonderful friends; the same friends who caused the crying about how awful their life is on the previously horrible night.

Additional dimension: Putting it all out there, real or otherwise makes us more vulnerable than ever.

The result: Physical attributes are praised, picked apart, criticized, and flaunted. Mental attributes: ignored.

So, here I am to tell you that I battle deep, long bouts of depression. I’ve seen multiple therapists and have taken many different types of anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants, sleep aides and the like.

I have spent, do spend and will continue to spend countless hours working on my physical condition, but have admittedly fallen behind on the mental health part of my journey.

This blog’s tagline is Be Strong. Be Confident. Be Active. Well, being all of that has physical, emotional and mental components.

Why am I telling you– some friends, some family, some complete strangers– all of this?

I HATE the stigma that is attached to mental illness. Let’s be clear what is considered a mental illness. (check the list: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/) There are mood disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, sexual disorders, sleep disorders and more. So many different disorders that so many people we know have fallen victim to are illnesses. Just like you’d treat your physical body when it falls ill, so should you treat your mental and emotional state.

It’s not weakness; it’s illness.

So, here are some tips I’ve found work for me. This does not mean they will all work for you. But that is what makes us all special and we must begin to respect that.

– Find a therapy that works for you, whether it is health coach, a counselor, a psychologist, whatever or whoever, find someone to talk to who can help.

– I won the family lottery. My parents are smart, intellectually and emotionally. My two older brothers offer great advise; most of which is, “Do as I say, not as I did.” I have a kickass sister-in-law. My family keeps me sane, because I just compare myself to them… Just kidding.
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– Gotta give my mom a separate shout out. Yes, I have to preface our conversations by saying, “Hi, I need my mom,” or, “Hi, I need my therapist.” But, it works. She’s a smart and caring lady, and I am so lucky to have her as a mommy and her patients are lucky to have her as a therapist.401904_10200210725735412_1709594851_n

– I have wonderful, incredible, amazing humans I can cry to, yell at for no reason and really open up to. Some of them live clear across the country or back home in New York (thank goodness for FaceTime) and some of them live just minutes away, but they are my rocks, and I’m grateful for them everyday.

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– I exercise. I like running. I like spinning. I like lifting weights. It rids me of stress and fills me with confidence. Never mind the fact that it allows you to eat way more! Perfect segue…

– I eat. I don’t mean comfort food like fries and such, though I for sure eat all that shit, I mean I eat things with natural benefits for your health. I eat whole, real foods, I eat FAT (yup you heard me, pass the butter), I eat veggies and fruits and CARBS and DESSERT… you get it, I eat. It makes me happy.

– I write. I write in a journal almost nightly. Writing your shit down is seriously freeing.

Also, this journal lives next to my bed, and I’m now hiding it cause I have nosey friends— whom I love very much.

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– I turn off my phone. (I hear your gasps.) When I am feeling sad, nothing makes it worse than social media. Seeing everyone’s perfect insta-lives is just not what I need. So I don’t look.

– I trim the fat. If it’s not making me happy, I get rid of it. I just laughed at myself. I’m a 24-year-old girl. What I just typed obviously doesn’t apply to boys. Though, I consider myself a pretty strong woman, and I get better with trimming ALL types of fat everyday.

A good way to do this is to ask yourself whom you are doing something for. If the answer isn’t for yourself, well, you better be doing it for someone you love very much, cause there is no other excuse.

Another good question: does this make me happy? Is the answer no? Kind of? Sometimes? Drop it.

Also, FOMO is not real. Seriously, if going out every weekend doesn’t make you happy, stop doing it. You’ll live.

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I am NOT the expert on mental or emotional health, but I am the expert on me, as you are the expert on yourself. So, I hope you can take some of these tips and figure out what works for you!

I use these everyday to try to be the happiest version of myself. I do it for me and so I can give my best self to the people I love. They deserve that. And so do I.

Physical health is so, so, so important. Mental health is equally as important and rarely spoken about. Break the silence and lose the stigma. Not only could it change lives, it could save them.

A few articles/pieces worth the read:

Being 13: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/opinions/underwood-faris-being-thirteen-lurking-social-media/index.html 

Split Image: The tragic story of Madison Holleran: http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/12833146/instagram-account-university-pennsylvania-runner-showed-only-part-story

This post from Elite Daily about ignoring our Mental Health: http://elitedaily.com/life/outer-health-inner-health/1207863/

I Know I’m Annoying; It’s Because I Love You

I hear myself. I know I’m annoying. It’s because I love you (even if I don’t yet know you).
Over-zealouness really bothers people when it comes to health.

I was recently watching Last Comic Standing, and one New York-based comedian said that he turned Vegan for a bit. There is a certain negative connotation with Vegans. The comedian continued by saying something like, “Yup, I decided to be a Vegan. So, you know, I gave up meat, and dairy and friendship.”

MTO Kombucha, sold at TRUE Health and Wholeness
MTO Kombucha, sold at TRUE Health and Wholeness

I can sense my family’s annoyance with me, though my persistence seems to be paying off a bit, as I now have both my oldest brother and father drinking Kombucha daily and my brother sent me a picture of something with “Ancient Grains” in the title. So, yay!

On a recent family trip, I tried to sneak in some organic options of typical foods we eat, like peanut butter and salad dressings. I tried to convince them to use regular butter instead of substitutes like margarine. I tried to have sourdough and flax seed bread available as an option along with their whole wheat loaf.

Now, I know most of you read that last sentence and thought, soooo you want your family to be fat. I’m pretty sure that’s what they think.

Note: I am a certified personal trainer, but I am NOT a nutritionist; I listen to and I am surrounded by some pretty smart people at work (TRUE Health and Wholeness) and I read a lot. I have also been turned into a believer by following certain food rules myself.

6 am TRUE Fit Boot Camp!
6 am TRUE Fit Boot Camp!

Food, though, is just one part of health. There’s exercise for the body and mind, and there’s wellness, again, of body and mind. No one has all the answers, but we have to talk about the possible solutions, the successes and the failures in order to weed out the stupid ones, right?

My family, being health conscious, focuses mostly on calories. As a female who used to struggle terribly, and still struggles daily, with her body image, as most women do, I understand subscribing to this calories in vs. calories out method. Again, I don’t have  all the answers, but here is what I do know.

  • I feel better when I avoid processed foods to the best of my ability. Now, I don’t have the budget nor the time to cut processed food from my diet all-together, but when I make a conscious effort to cook my own food from real, whole ingredients, my body thanks me,
  • I feel better when I spend the extra $ on antibiotic-and hormone-free meat. I choose organic and grass-fed as well. When it comes to eggs, I always choose free range. I do this for two reasons.
    • In this day and age, we take enough shit to combat illness, stress and genetics that we don’t need whatever that cow was given on a farm you’ve never heard of.
    • We need to be kinder to the animals we share this planet with.
  • I feel better when I combat aches, pains and illnesses naturally. As an athlete, you’re body is your livelihood. If you’re hurting, you take something to make it feel better so you can play. Being hurt, as a competitive athlete, is a reason to keep you sidelined, not a warning sign from your body to slow down. These days, if I can take something naturally occurring in nature to help with something as simple as inflammation, I will try that first.
  •  I feel my best, my most beautiful, my most feminine, my most boss, my most accomplished, my most whatever you would like to fill in that blank with when I leave the gym. Lifting weights, lifting heavy weights helps you lose weight by increasing your muscle mass, speeding up your metabolism and dropping your body fat.

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Now, back to the beginning. I know I’m most likely annoying you with my talk of holistic this, whole foods that, heavy weights whatever, but here’s why I keep telling you this.

I love you very much and would like you to be in my life at your healthiest and happiest, for as long as possible. The goal of this post is NOT to have you say, ‘okay, Molly makes sense, she must be right and now, I am ONLY eating organic from and am going to spend 3 hours a day at the gym.’ I want you to Google, to research, to ask questions, to explore, to try and fail, to try and succeed and figure it out. I want you to wrap the people you care about up in huge hugs of knowledge and love in order to help them be the happiest and healthiest them they can be, and maybe, together, we can slowly create a healthier society.

Over and Out

-MB

Random Playlists

Hey Homies,

I haven’t posted in a minute, so I figured I would post my last three SUPER RANDOM Spin playlists. They’re a mix of old and new, tried to incorporate all types of music from country, to dubstep, to rock, to rap. Spin-Cropped

I’m also working on a post about the amazing humans I do Boot Camp with three mornings a week. Thats’s coming your way soon.

Songs I’m feeling right now (new and old): I Don’t Really Care by Kalin and Myles, Becoming Insane by Infected Mushrooms, Heartbreaker by MSTRKRFT and John Legend and Marvin Gaye and Get It on to cool down to.

Ride 1:

Above and Below: The Bravery

All Day and All of the Night: The Kinks

All or Nothing: Fake ID

Becoming Insane: Infected Mushrooms

Bills: LunchMoney Lewis

Don’t Stop the Music: Bart B More

Don’t Turn the Lights On: Chromeo

Girl All the Bad Boys Want: Bowling for Soup

Jump: Kris Kross

White Noise/Red Meat: Dada Life

Superstar: Aeroplane

Tilt Ya Head Back: Nelly feat. Christina Aguilera

Mr. Birghtside: The Killers

Be My Escape: Relient K

Low: Flo Rida Ft. T-Pain

Leon On: Major Lazer & DJ Snake

Marvin Gaye and Get It On: TnT Bass

Ride 2: 

Aint No Rest for the Wicked: Cage the Elephant

Heartbreaker: MSTRKRFT (feat. John Legend)

Cross the Dancefloor: Treasure Fingers

Ballroom Blitz: The Sweet

Call 911: Florrie, Bart B More Remix

Bodywork: Bart B More & Tommie Sunshine

Fix You: Coldplay

Right Now: Akon

The Other Side: Jason Derulo

Come With Me Now: KONGOS

You’re So Beautiful: Empire Cast

Paralyzed: The Used

Wonderwall: Oasis (cool down)

Ride 3:

Love Me Like You Mean It: Kelsea Ballerini

Work This Body: Walk the Moon

Untouched: The Veronicas

Until You’re Mine: Demi Lovato

I Don’t Really Care: Kalin and Myles (My New Fave!)

Love Like Woe: The Ready Set

Don’t Want to Miss a Thing: New Found Glory

Trampoline: Kalin and Myles

Trouble: Gloriana

Worth It: Fifth Harmony

Heels Over Head: Boys Like Girls

Where’d You Go: Fort Minor

Until Next Time,

-MB