“Love Yourself”

Justin Bieber, 2015

A word of caution: The line “And now I know: I’m better sleeping on my own” might make this song inappropriate for some classrooms. Previewing the lyrics is advised.

Choose from the activities below: 

  • Listening Listen to the song while reading the annotated lyrics below. Intended for nonprofit educational purposes only.

Love Yourself, lyrics.docx          Love Yourself, lyrics.pdf

  • Post-Listening Watch the official video. It features dancers who are married in real life and is appropriate for most classrooms, although previewing is advised.
  • Post-Listening Summarize the video, which tells a story. For step-by-step instructions for structuring a summarizing activity, please see Activity #2: Summarizing. Working together, my low-intermediate students wrote this summary of the video:

A couple is having a difficult time.
She thinks only of herself.
He tries to fix the problem.
He tries to communicate, but she doesn’t care.
She doesn’t love him.
He recognizes it’s not a good idea to be together.
She wakes up.
He’s gone.

  • Post-Listening Sing the song’s chorus, which is repeated four times. It’s easy and fun to sing.

‘Cause if you like / the way / you look that much,
Oh, baby, you should go and love yourself.
And if you think / that I’m / still holdin’ on to somethin’,
You should go and love yourself.

Below is an audio clip of my class singing the chorus.

  • Post-Listening Practice using reflexive pronouns. The song repeats the phrase love yourself eight times, so it invites a grammar lesson on reflexive pronouns. First, have students watch the “Talking Heads” video at AzarGrammar.com, which explains how reflexive pronouns work. Then have students complete the worksheet below. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.

reflexive pronouns.docx          reflexive pronouns.pdf