Music is scientifically proven to improve and influence whatever you may be feeling. Serotonin levels increase and the pounding in your chest synchs rhythm with the song you’re listening to. When your heart is hungry and your limbs seem alien, get lost in these songs.
- Don’t Take The Money by Bleachers is the ultimate feel-good song, perfect to play while you lay neck deep in candy-scented bath bubbles. It contends a fight between a couple and the lengths one would go to mend the situation. Play this when personal relationships are at strain and life calls for a pick-me-up.
- Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) by Arcade Fire is the embodiment of getting dropped off at home by your friends after a fun night, chest filled to the brim with contentment. The lyrics themselves aren’t as cheerful, but the tune has an undeniable hook. Turn this on when you want to solidify a moment into a memory.
- When I hear Rare Hearts by The Growlers, I feel as though I’m suddenly perched in the back of a Volkswagen bus parked on the beach. I’ve got a box of Chinese takeout tucked in between my crossed legs and a summer love tugging at the ends of my hair. Insert peace signs and circle-lensed sunglasses here. Bop to this when you need a mental vacation.
- Waste A Moment by Kings of Leon reminds me of foggy car windows and running late to school. It permanently instills inside you a feeling of childlike giddiness, and you feel as though there are corners of the universe that you must’ve dog-eared in a past life to ensure you stumble upon them again. Listen to this as a reminder to live every moment to its full potential with no regret.
- With lyrics like “I think we better listen to these kids/We can’t keep pretending what we’re doing”, Fountain of Youth by Local Natives is surely an anthem for today’s youth. It exudes this youthful empowerment that is only carried further by the vocal stretches and passionate instrumentals. Save this specifically for a time when you feel your voice isn’t being heard.
- East Of The Sun by Louis Armstrong will transport you to a 60’s jazz club, dimly lit and emotions overcast. Armstrong’s voice will lull you into a wondrous mood or at the very least cloud your brain from any aching thoughts.
- Black Sheep by Metric was the anthem of my senior year. It places this pressure on your chest that somehow makes you feel cool. This is a hands-out-the-window, teeth-clacking-on-glass-bottles, achingly rebellious kind of tune. If you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline or grungy song to chant to, this is the one.
- On + Off by Maggie Rogers is such a smooth song. Maggie has outstanding vocals paired with lyrics that will leave you feeling a bit nostalgic, even if you’re not sure of what yet.
- Inside Out by Spoon contains one of the most fanciful instrumental pieces I have experienced. It starts off slow, then builds up to an intricate harp solo.
- If you’re in need of a self-pep-talk, I recommend I Will by Sky Ferreira. Throughout the song, she is challenging someone to “mess” with her, stating firmly that she will do what she needs/wants to do with little influence of others.
- If you’re in the mood for solo car karaoke, listen to Jungle by Tash Sultana. She is the female version of Harry Styles, with a slightly more alternative voice. Completely unmistakable.
- Candy Wrappers by Summer Salt is a perfectly-crafted summer song. Tops down on a convertible car and California sun sinking into your skin. The entire song feels like wind through your hair.
- Intensely atmospherical and vocals otherworldly, We Own The Sky by M83 begs you to float away to another planet, fall in love and never come back. All of M83’s music carries a similar sense, and I highly recommend it to anyone who feels like they need time away from themselves.
- 9 by Willow ft. SZA is unbelievably relaxing. Lay down in the dark and let this song calm you and make you want to dance at the same time. Willow is an amazing artist and incredibly underrated. If you end up liking this song, check out the rest of her collection.
If you liked the music on this list, follow me on Spotify at @iliwysam for more recommendations!