‘Healthy’ and ‘Unhealthy’ Songs: Boston Commission’s Top 10

The Grammy Awards it’s not, but many of us fusty old parents will welcome the new Top 10 lists from the Boston Public Health Commission: the songs that are best and worst at promoting healthy relationships. (They’re posted on the commission’s home page here.)

Personally, I’m glad of official confirmation for the way I bristle every time Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie” comes on the teeny-bop radio station my daughter forces me to listen to in the car, and the compulsion I feel to explain to her all the ways that the song gives the wrong message.

Here are the top 10 lists, and the commission’s release:

BOSTON – A teen violence prevention program at the Boston Public Health Commission has released its second annual Top 10 lists of healthy and unhealthy relationship songs. Train’s song “If It’s Love” topped the list of healthy relationship songs, while music veteran Usher had the top two songs on the 2010 unhealthy list – “Lil Freak” and “Hot Tottie.” One of this year’s breakout stars – Katy Perry – was also a healthy choice for music fans; her song “Teenage Dream” followed Train as the second healthiest song of 2010.

Using the Sound Relationships Nutritional Label it started a year ago, Start Strong peer leaders analyzed songs from Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart, a record of the top 100 songs purchased, played on the radio, and streamed online across all music genres. Monica’s “Everything to Me” took the third spot on the healthy relationship songs list while Bruno Mars had two healthy songs on the list. Although the lyrics on Perry’s “Teenage Dream” include themes about sex, it was in the context of a healthy relationship, said participants in Start Strong, a program of the Commission’s Division of Violence Prevention.

“We don’t see sex as an unhealthy part of a relationship, especially if it also includes caring, support, and love,” said Start Strong teen Desire Peguero, 16, of Roxbury. Continue reading