When Bianca Blakesley of Mattapan first heard Beyoncé’s newest single, “Break My Soul,” she played it on repeat eight or ten more times.

“It was an addicting beat,” Blakesley said of the hit released last month ahead of Beyoncé’s seventh studio album, which debuts on Friday.

But the song’s beat isn’t the only thing that has contributed to its immediate success. The sixth track on her upcoming act i RENAISSANCE album evokes the same feelings of exhaustion and stress that drove Blakesley and millions of other people to quit their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s leading some to call “Break My Soul” the anthem of the “Great Resignation.” Blakesley is among the people featured in the GBH News series The Big Quit: Why I’m Moving On who say Beyoncé's run-away hit resonates.

“She's really capitalizing on a moment,” said Blakesley, who quit her job as a mental health counselor in May 2021.

“And I just quit my job / I’m gonna find new drive,” the first verse goes, continuing in the chorus, “You won’t break my soul.”

“I think what she’s referring to is just times of pressure and going with what your dreams [are],” said Alyssa Wilson, who quit her job as a technician for National Grid last September to focus full time on a soap-making business that took off during the pandemic.

Wilson’s move meant giving up both a steady paycheck and generous benefits to strike out on her own. She was in the kitchen of her Dorchester home last month cleaning up after preparing orders when she first heard “Break My Soul.”

“If you want to quit, if you want to do something different, take that risk,” she said. “I think it’s a really risky song, to be honest, but I think the message is clear that sometimes we hold ourselves back and we’re only hurting ourselves in the end.”

Wilson says the risk she took to focus on her business, My Fluffy Puffs, has paid off. She’s launched new products and is on her way to getting a minority- and woman-owned certification for her business.

Unlike much of Beyoncé’s other discography, the latest single draws heavily on house music, as well as samples from Big Freedia’s 2014 track “Explode” and Robin S’ 1990 hit “Show Me Love” — which Wilson thinks gives “Break My Soul” a driving energy.

“I love the beat of it, it’s like an up-tempo, house-type beat and it really just gets you moving,” Wilson said. “It makes you feel active, and I think that’s a deliberate genre selection — it’s not really pop, it’s more like house music this time and it puts that fire under you.”

When Garen Scribner first heard the new single, he immediately recognized the sample from Robin S — “Show Me Love” is one of his favorite songs. “Break My Soul” has been on replay for him ever since.

A ballet dancer, Scribner performed on stages around the world before an injury forced him stop. He was recovering from surgery in March 2020 when lockdowns started, and Scribner decided to make a change. He enrolled at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he just graduated with a master’s degree in public administration.

He likened his journey to one of Beyoncé’s lines: “I’m takin’ my new salvation / And I’mma build my own foundation.”

“What I’ve been doing over the past couple of years is trying to figure out how to take my artistic life, my life on stage as a performer, and build myself a new foundation,” Scribner said. “How I can take that and be of service moving forward in my life and find that same physical and emotional feeling of fulfillment that I had on stage performing with my colleagues into the next chapter of my life.”

2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 2
Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella Getty Images North America

Scribner is in New York working on his television series called “Broadway Sandwich,” a show about how Broadway actors spend the time between matinée and evening productions. He’s also collaborating on a new piece for the San Francisco Ballet that will open in January and is starting to look for a full-time role in a performing arts institution.

“One of the lines at the end of the song, she [Beyoncé] says, ‘Looking for something that lives inside me,’” Scribner said. “And I think for me, I’m still doing that work. That’s a lifetime pursuit, finding the thing that lives inside me that shines and carries me forward and spreads light to other people, too.”

Leaving behind her counseling job meant giving up a lifelong dream, but Blakesley wanted a job that allowed her to continue to work remotely and would take less of an emotional toll. A training course in coding led first to freelance jobs and now full-time work.

Beyoncé’s hit is “validating and affirming the choices that a lot of people are making or have been making since the pandemic in terms of career shifts or lifestyle shifts that feel more liberating than what they were doing before,” Blakesley said.