10 Powerful Songs & Videos That Will Help You Through Tough Times & Why

10 Powerful Songs & Videos That Will Help You Through Tough Times & Why by Charles Sledge & Philip Braselmann

Today we have the first ever collaborative post here on Charles Sledge.com. Here me and my good friend Philip Braselmann of ValorForFreedom where he writes about depression and masculinity and why masculinity is the cure to depression. In today’s post, we are going to be talking about some of our favorite music tracks and why they are so. These can be anything from music that inspires us in the gym, during writing, or simply for some good old masculine reflection.

Here we each go through 5 of our top tracks and why they are some of our favorites. I’ve been meaning to do a music post for some time as I believe music has a unique power whether for reflection, motivation, productivity, or that extra strength to grind out a few more heavy reps. The point is that music has power. I think Philip would agree with me that most modern music is complete crap filled with recycled tunes and agenda driven. Music has power for good or for evil. Here we list tracks that will lift up your mind, spirit, and masculinity. The first 5 tracks are my favorite followed by Philips.

1 – Riddle Of Steel/The Riders Of Doom by Basil Poledouris

Whenever I’m getting ready to set a new PR (especially on the deadlift or back squat) there is a particular song that I go to. It’s actually a compilation of two songs by the great composer Basil Poledouris from one of the greatest movies of all time Conan The Barbarian. The first part is the Riddle Of Steel it’s a slower track but gets me pumped (I’ll explain why in a moment) then it goes into The Riders Of Doom a more upbeat battle like track that signals to me it’s time to get to the bar and perform, greater than I ever have before. Alright now for why this song affects me the way it does.

The starting part The Riddle Of Steel comes from a part when Conan’s father is talking to him and explaining some facts of life to him. The most important being thus “The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one – no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts (points to sword) This, this you can trust.” Every time I hear that score I am reminded of those wise words and a good father passing them onto his son. And then the battle begins and I go to the steel to wage it. Perhaps this sounds too poetic to you but it’s what works for me.

2 – Where The Hood At by DMX

Alright a bit of a different mood here but still one of my favorite songs. I in general not a fan of rap but I love DMX. One thing that I hate and see in tons of modern “men” is that they apologize for damn near everything. Sorry for having a dick, sorry for being white, sorry for breathing, sorry for existing, shit’s ridiculous. One key tenet of being a man is being unapologetic and enforcing one’s will damn everyone else. Listen to this one time and you’ll notice one thing DMX is not is apologetic, at all. Men need to take a stance more like this.

Not to mention that I agree with everything he says in this song. Be strong, address challenges, don’t fucking apologize, have some damn balls, and respect over everything else. And my favorite line of the song “Only know how to be one way, that’s the dog”. No substitutions and no compromise. Just how a man should be. Sometimes I just listen to this song while driving and other times for the gym. Regardless it’s one of my favorites and has all the right messages. Me and DMX have the same mindset at least in this song. Well worth putting on your list.

3 – Bad Man by Blues Saraceno

Here’s a song that I’ve actually written quite a few articles to here on Charles Sledge.com. I like the sound, the vibe, and the lyrics. Last year I discovered “dark country” or whatever it’s being called and have been a big fan of it. Especially since country lost it balls after the Outlaw Country wave. Anyways back to the song. First off I like the title. I’ve explained how in a backwards, sick, and decaying society to be “bad” according to society is to be good according to your manhood and yourself. To be good by society’s standard you essentially need to cut off your balls and become a drone. Something that none of us want.

So we must become outlaws, barbarians, rebels, and “bad” men. To be bad to society is to be good to yourself and your manhood. Hence this can be seen as almost a theme song of what this website is all about. Doing your own thing, being a man, and giving the middle finger to a society that’d put you in a cage and cut off your balls if given half the chance. There comes a time when a man has to start doing things for himself and his own gain and to stop sacrificing himself for those who care nothing for him and see him a dispensable cog to be stepped on and ridiculed. As soon as a man rejects this he becomes “bad”. Therefore I say we should all strive to be as the song says bad, bad men.

4 – The Crown & The Ring by Manowar

So truth be told picking one and only one Manowar song for this list was pretty tough. I’m a big fan of pretty much every song that they’ve written but this one stands out for a couple of reasons. While many of their songs I like to work out and write to this one, in particular, is my favorite for reflection. I did the editing as well as much of the writing of my book Man Up to this song. While many of their songs are fast paced metal this one is lower and has an almost hymnal like aspect to it. Making it unique and powerful. Sometimes at night (especially when it’s storming heavily something that happens quite frequently), I like putting this song on and looking out at the thunder and lightning. To hear its roar and flashes of power. I think of the privilege I was given to be a man and to be given the opportunity to fight. I still get goosebumps when the chorus kicks in with the organ and thunder is booming all around me.

The lyrics to this are also some of my favorites though truth be told Manowar has my favorite lyrics of any band, composer, or what have you ever. The lyrics remind me of what it means to be a man and how powerful it is. I could honestly do an entire article about this song and the lyrics (and probably will). The chorus especially is power and reminds me of our duty as men. It is us alone who are the kings of nature, it was something given to us by Providence. And it will always be tested by this world. And it is through our strength alone that we will keep it. The enemy will always be at the door so we must always be both strong and wise to defeat them and drive them before us. Covered with blood and our pride.

5 – You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive by Ruby Friedman

I also like the Darrell Scott and Patty Loveless versions (but not the Brad Paisley one not enough suffering in it). Now this one has a special place for me and I’ll explain how that ties into masculinity as a whole. You see something that I think is critical is knowing your history, heritage, and where you come from. Someone without a heritage and a tribe is going to be listless and lost grasping at whatever is put in front of him even if it’s absolute crap. Hence you have the modern world. When one is divorced from their blood it takes away a good source of their power and strength. The tree without roots is the easiest to topple over and will topple over from even the lightest of breezes.

One should know where they come from. And my blood, name, and line comes from Kentucky. Not Harlan a little north but Kentucky nonetheless. Now let explain why that matters. While too many their heritage and blood is something to be made fun of why they live in their modern bubbles to me it’s everything. Knowing where you come from and who you are is a weapon modernity and the great Babylon that propagates it doesn’t want you to have. It makes you immune to so many of their tricks and diseases. Know where you come from. Another song that almost took the place of this one is Ballad Of A Southern Man by Whiskey Myers this song will either be a joke or speak deeply to your soul as it says “I guess that’s something you don’t understand”. It’s the latter to me and I know why.


ACHTUNG, ACHTUNG! My name is Philip Braselmann and I am a 26 years old proud German man. I had depression for 12 years after I got diagnosed with essential tremor (which is often confused with Parkinson’s or Alcoholism) and I fixed my depression by becoming a man (I don’t care about my essential tremor anymore).

I learned what it means to “man up”. On my website ValorForFreedom, I write about Depression and Masculinity. I also coach people with depression or other men that don’t feel like men anymore. The coaching happens over Skype via chat only, microphone or video or both.

The outrageous thing about masculinity is that you grow through pain, while women get destroyed by it, they start to become men. On the other hand, you have men that grow up in safe environments which leads to them becoming too soft, they will have a rough awakening when they enter the real world. I am never surprised when I see rich boys or German boys getting beat up, they are too sheltered.

The thing is that this is pushed by our society, they encourage women to act like men and on the side, they tell men to stop being violent and that they are all rapists “toxic masculinity” is the buzzword they use to shame men all over the west.

The elites know that masculine men are dangerous and that only 100 of them could take over the government. I really wonder why people like Merkel are still in office. Anyway, the struggle is real. Men are lost nowadays, they don’t know what to do with their life, there are no jobs, they have to tip toe all the time to not hurt some feminist fagboy or wannabe man  “masculine woman”.

Men struggle mentally, and they are not allowed to use their anger, violence or even just being dominant. They will be shamed, attacked by the left and women in general. This has to stop, luckily there are men like Charles Sledge and me who have been in the same place and identified a way out.

This brings me to the topic of this post: Music and videos have meanings and they can be used to overcome your struggles. They will also help you to stop feeling ashamed as a man.

But one has to find the right videos and music, and they have to know the meaning. Look, for example, to a hip-hop video most would say “toxic masculinity” because it is shamed by our society. They don’t see that it holds the key to their freedom. I bet that most can identify with it deep inside, but they don’t allow it because it is too violent.  And by the way, the only masculine culture that is celebrated in our society is HipHop, see it as the only source of worthy masculinity our society has.

Men become angry, frustrated, lonely, too horny and too sad in our society, and we as men don’t know how to deal with these feelings in a correct way, society just forbids us to express them, crying, however, is ok in the eyes of society.

So much for the introduction, here are my 5 favorite pieces of art that will show you how to deal with these emotions in a correct way.

1 – Video: The Dark Knight Rises – Prison Escape

This video is from the movie “The Dark Knight” most of you have certainly seen it, and if you haven’t seen it then you definitely have to, because this movie is quite masculine, not something you usually see from Hollywood. It’s a wonder that Batman is played by a white person.

However, this scene represents a lot of feelings and philosophy, but what stands out for me in this scene is how the dark knight is driven by his purpose to protect his city and to defeat Bane. He is sitting in this huge prison hole and the only way to escape it is to climb out of it. He is afraid to die in this hole, but he is also, as he says, “angry”. There is a huge key to success here, you can overcome fear through anger, don’t forget that.

I often say it and I will never stop saying it, without anger I wouldn’t be where I am today, and if you are preventing yourself from becoming angry, then you stop yourself from using your masculine advantages. But that does not mean to always be angry about petty shit, but to be angry when it is useful, for example in fighting, or when you are frustrated and want to give up, then anger is quite the powerful fuel.

2 – Video: Glengarry Glen Ross

Many of you haven’t seen this masterpiece, it would be quite outrageous today as there is no diversity in this scene. It involves a lot of cursing, most men would pee themselves if they were talked to in this way, this is how weak men have become.

Just look at how sad and frustrated the salesmen are in this scene. Totally depressed without any energy. It takes brass balls to show these men the right way, love and patting on the back won’t help them. He insults them, tells them the honest truth and does not walk on eggshells.

This would be impossible to do nowadays thanks to our society, but it is absolutely necessary sometimes. 

Do you see where this is going? Yeah, you probably do by now you fucking faggot. Do I have your attention now? Good, then stop being a depressed piece of shit and get angry, chase your fucking dreams, they are absolutely attainable.

Be surprised, I don’ talk like this when I am coaching because that would destroy my clients, but I am on a website for hardasses right now, and that is why I tell you this without walking on eggshells.

If you wish to drive a fucking Lambo then get angry, go for it, grab your damn balls and go for it, may sound cheesy to you, but this is how it works my friends. Civilization was built through violence, balls, and determination, not through being politically correct, walking on eggshells and being a pussy like society tells you too.


3 – Video: Rush Highlights 

Rush is a movie that probably no one of you guys has seen because it is about Formula1 racing. This movie shows the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, the best of their time. Niki Lauda was known to be the silent, very disciplined guy while James Hunt was known to be the exciting, adventurous risk taker, party guy. Formula 1 was the shit back then because it was much more dangerous than nowadays (even with less horsepower).

If you have seen Niki Lauda once, then you only see him as the guy with the ugly skin that talks about Formula 1. But there is something about him that will really inspire You. 

Niki Lauda is a very disciplined and serious person, quite the ambitioned introverted man. In one race he crashes his car and burns alive, to his luck, the other drivers quickly get out of their cars and help him out of his racing car and Niki Lauda survived, but he will wear the scars of this crash for his entire life.

This is where the inspiring part begins, the part that will make you want to fight, to stop being depressed and go after what you want and love. After watching this you will feel like a faggot for not chasing your dreams.

After waking up in the hospital he tries to put the helmet back on his head and fails, but he tries it again later and finally succeeds while his wife is only shaking her head.

You guess right, he went back to F1 racing. The best scene of this movie is where he walks to his racing car while everyone looks at him in awe because he almost died, looks like a monster and still goes to his car, everyone pays him the highest respect.

His hands shake on the steering wheel but that does not stop him. He starts with the race and finishes it victorious. Niki Lauda does not win this championship as he says that it was too dangerous and leaves the race, James Hunt wins this championship. However, Niki Lauda wins the championships later.

And that is the power of purpose my friends, it does not matter if you burned alive, if you have a purpose and a dream, you go after it with everything you have, whatever happened beforeFor me that is my online business, get rich or die trying.

I enjoyed this movie a lot and this scene helped me a lot in tough times. Embrace the struggle, get violent, and be angry, and you will come out on the other end as a different person, this will be your rite of passage, you will not be a boy anymore, you will become a man.

4 – Video: Creed Montage – The Fire

If you are a passionate man (everyone who is smart is passionate) and you feel that your life does not feel like it is supposed to be, then this video is perfect you. This scene is from the Rocky Series “Creed” which I watched with bad expectations because most movies get trashy after the first ones. But damn, I was wrong with this movie, in my opinion, it was much better than the original Rocky movie.

This is another example of how anger can become your ally when things are not going the way you want them to go. The song is from “The Roots and John Legend” called “The Fire”. The fire is your anger, your passion and your determination, that together… “IS THE FIRE… INSIDE YOU!“.

The ultimate combination to overcome any obstacle, I overcame my depression by building my own business and quitting my 9-5 + defeating people in my way, and there were many people that didn’t want me to succeed, including the government itself, which I have beaten too.

I learned to overcome obstacles through violence, but it’s usually smarter to overcome obstacles through manipulation and rarely even through submission as violence can get you killed or bring you to jail, so be careful when and how you use it.

I definitely recommend violence to go after your goals. Is the government denying you a document that you need? Try harder, hire a lawyer, don’t give up. Don’t have the money to sign up for a gym? Start your side hustle right now and apply your skills online, if you, for example, are good at creating websites, then do it as a freelancer on the freelancer so that you can afford the gym and quit your job later.

Newsflash: hard working website creators make up to 10k per week on freelancing websites, but for that, they need THE FIRE.

Because if you don’t become angry and burn all bridges behind you, then there is a possibility that you go back, if you, however, burn your school degrees like I did, then you have no other choice but to succeed, keep the pressure up, unleash THE FIRE.

Be like the son of Apollo Creed, that was always compared to his father (who was a champion), he had to be better than his father to be a successful boxer, that is only possible through THE FIRE.

Start to burn (get angry), embrace it (make it your status quo), and explode (apply it). LET IT BURN.

5 – Song: 50 Cent – I Am Supposed to Die Tonight

And finally a song, a hip-hop song by Curtis Jackson (50 Cent). Now some probably say “ugh, scum music”. To address these people: You are sheltered and when you come across a man that literally represented THE FIRE, you will lose.

Death, violence, treason, and manipulation are a daily part of Curtis Jackson’s life. His mother died before he became a teenager and he provided for himself by selling drugs. He probably had more money than you have right now when he was just 8 years old.

To top it all he was shot 9 times and survived, at that point he took his rap career to the next level and used beats of other rappers and dissed them on their own beats.

But that does not only sound dangerous, he also looks dangerous, and you will lose against him (so do I).  So tell me, how is this “scum music”? His music merely reflects the reality which you don’t see because you grew up sheltered and provided for.

With these people addressed I am now gonna talk about the song itself. The song is obviously about death. Everyone is afraid of death, all fear is based on this essential fear. We would be able to act much more confident if we embraced death. Back in the stone age or in villages nowadays they bury their people around them. Death is an everyday part of their life and they don’t avoid it like we do. They have to hunt their own food and kill for it.

This is why it is important to embrace death, Stoics do that on a daily basis, they think of death every day.  You could die at any point with anything, you don’t even need anything to die. Others or other things can kill you too, or your heart just stops beating. The cars that you see every day could just run you over, someone could stab you, you could blackout in the gym and while falling down your head smashes against a barbell causing fatal brain damage.

It’s easy to die. The thing is that death is an integral part of life, to avoid it means to increase the fear of it.  We are afraid of what we don’t know, animals or plants don’t know about death, they are not afraid of it and they live their life to the fullest, dogs fuck in public man, they don’t give a single fuck about that.

I for example workout very hard in the gym, to the point that my heart beats so fast that It feels worrying, it feels like it jumps out of my chest at some point.People who do supersets with deadlifts or squats being the first exercise know what I am talking about.  In my head, I say to myself “Come and get me death, right now, in this moment, kill me now.”

Sounds retarded, but it really helps with general anxiety and it increases your confidence. Sometimes I think about not waking up anymore, sometimes I think of being crushed by a bus, sometimes I think of being stabbed by a group of refugees.

I do that on purpose, and it makes me stronger. This song is about that mindset, Curtis embraces the fact that he could die at any point, he even believed that he won’t make it past 20-30 something because he would get shot by rival drug dealers or fiends.

Embrace the feeling that you can die at any point and your problems will seem laughable compared to death.  If you feel like shit because of depression or not having a girlfriend or having no friends then it’s really time to leave your safety bubble and become a man, real men need nobody to feel good.

And these were my favorite songs and videos when the shit hits the fan and the struggle begins.

Charles Conclusion

Music is powerful, whether it’s used for motivation, reflection, or to simply work harder and more effectively. This is just a taste of the wide variety of great music masculine music out there. There is much more out there. Is there a particular song that speaks to you? Whether for grinding out a new PR on the deadlift or for writing a book or for simply sitting there and reflection on what is good in life. Let us know in the comments and we’ll have this grow into a resource that all men can use to find good music that is motivating and inspiring.

Philip’s Conclusion

I always came out victorious, I still live, I fought, I didn’t give up, and neither should you. I hope by now you have realized how pathetic your depression or other feelings like loneliness are. And if that shit still tears you down then I recommend that you enter a boxing club, sign up at a gym and learn to camp outside. I also highly recommend to travel on your own. Afterwards, you will also laugh about depression like we do.

Shout out to Charles Sledge for publishing my content on his website, shout out to Kris Cantu for showing the balls to come back to business, shout out to Jamie McSloy and RedPillReviews for giving me business advice, shout out to BlackLabelSociety and Grey because they produce other good content for men and finally shout out to my old self that developed the guts to become who I am today.

About Philip Braselmann
Philip Braselmann was born 1990 in Germany and suffered from depression for 12 years after being diagnosed with essential tremor. He slowly learned to cope with it and went the normal route that every man walks. After his girlfriend cheated he was depressed again and decided that he is going to live a good life. It took Philip another year to realize that masculinity was the answer to getting rid of his depression. He loves Modafinil, working out and building his Business.

Charles Sledge


    We created a masterpiece, this will be bookmarked by many as it helps to understand the importance of the struggle & how to beat it.

  • Richard Davis

    While Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom are pretty epic, the Battle of the Mounds track from Conan is even more epic. Conan lost everything and had suffered greatly at the hands of Thulsa Doom. Then, along with his trusty compatriot Subotai, Conan has the ultimate catharsis and becomes the Nietzschean ubermenchse that only the combined greatness of Robert Howard and John Milius could dream up…”And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!:



      Added to my “Among the Gods” playlist. Thank you!

    • Awesome scene.

  • Jeremy Martinez

    DMX and 50 Cent definitely. Funny enough, there is a track by Lil’ Dicky called “Truman” that reminds me to work when I’m depressed. Give it a listen, it’s good shit.
    And “Blessings” by Big Sean.
    Fuck, hip hop may be mostly dumb shit, but it’s main theme is going from nothing to something.