Feeling overwhelmed and pulled in too many directions? Head noisy from too many thoughts? Restless from an ever-present sensation of being behind? No? Maybe that’s just me. Either way, here are some songs that help me find some respite from the bees in my brain.
1. “Right on Time” by Brandi Carlile
We all wish we could pull a Brandi Carlile and run away to live in a cabin in the woods with our loved ones and numerous Grammy nominations. In lieu of being able to do that just yet, her raw, cascading voice will cut through the noise and ground you in the present. (I recommend watching her live performance from SNL.)
2. “Girl From the North Country” by Bob Dylan (the version with Johnny Cash)
If there’s a sonic equivalent to an emotional support blanket, that’s this song for me. Close your eyes and let two of folk’s greatest storytellers transport you with nothing but harmonies and some acoustic guitar.
3.“Golden Slumbers” by the Beatles
“Once there was a way / to get back homeward…” There’s something very simple, nostalgic, and reassuring about this one. If you want the emotional consolation of a lullaby without actually falling asleep, this is the song for you.
4. “Like Real People Do” by Hozier
In my opinion, this is probably the most beautiful song to ever be written about bog men. The closest I’ve ever come to having a spiritual awakening was while taking a late night walk through falling snow and listening to this—so find a quiet place and just let it resonate in you.
5. “Ready Now” by Dodie
I cannot emphasize enough how soft and pure and cozy this song is. Sometimes you just need to put aside the Econ homework, sit very still, and take some calming breaths while someone tells you things will be okay. Dodie can provide such a service.
6. “Peace” by Taylor Swift
Last but certainly not least; the bassline of this song can normalize my heart rate like nothing else. Find some sunlight. Touch the grass. You’re doing amazing.