Thematically, the song explores the protagonist's attempts to both strive for better in life while also remaining true to emotional feelings ("when you're feeling down, you should never fake it"). At its climax, Blige asserts that "things will turn out fine" through faith and spirituality. It was composed by Blige, as was the rest of the album, at a dark time in her personal life when she battled drug and alcohol addiction and was engaged in a tumultuous relationship with K-Ci Hailey.
Blige's older sister, LaTonya Blige-DaCosta, provided additional backing vocals on the song.
Blige recorded "My Life '06" for her compilation album Reflections (A Retrospective). The new version of the song features live instruments, a more mature and jazz-inflected vocal arrangement, and new closing ad-libs that shed a positive light on the song's previously melancholy and somber mode.
The song was also heard in the series premiere of the BET television drama Being Mary Jane.
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