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Being in quarantine is tough to say the least. Not being able to see friends or family, having to do school online, and the constant fear of catching COVID constantly weigh on my mind and bring down my mood.
- Areiana Edwards
Trying to take care of my mental health along with my academic responsibilities stressed me to no end. Through all of it, though, one thing has helped me keep my sanity: music.
I listen to music every day, throughout the day, whether I’m doing household chores, homework—and even when I’m going to sleep. A lot of the time, I wake up with a certain song on my mind. It can either come from a dream that I had, or it’ll just pop into my head once I open my eyes.
I base the music that I listen to on my mood. If I’m in a good mood—when I feel like if I went outside to sing, all of the animals would sing along and dance with me—I’ll find songs that match it. When the weight of the world is weighing heavily on my shoulders, I listen to music that is more somber, and that allows me to properly process and understand my emotions. If I’m feeling calm and mellow—imagining that I live in a small cottage on the outskirts of town with my dog, reading books in an armchair positioned where the sun hits when it’s setting—I listen to softer music that allows me to take some time and just breathe.
Below are some albums that have a nice mix of each mood, with songs that have accompanied me through the ups and downs of 2020.
This album was released in 2017, but it is such a classic. It does a great job of explaining the feelings that so many of us have as emerging adults. As we transition from high school to college and prepare to leave the comfort of what was once our daily lives, we struggle with losing relationships that were important to us, confusion about the direction that we want to take in life, and how to be alone. Yes, they may be cliche topics, but she portrays them beautifully with her captivating storytelling.
This album was released in June of this long year. I’ve listened to it nonstop since its release. The complicated runs in the songs challenged me to the point of obsession as I tried to figure out and replicate them. This album also lets my imagination run WILD. While it’s nice to create stories in my head on my own, sometimes it’s also nice to conceptualize the stories created by others. In “Tipsy,” I get to imagine that I’m some lovestruck girl warning a guy about what could happen if he hurts me. In “Wonder What She Thinks of Me,” I get to imagine that I’m in a dramatic, scandalous relationship with a person who prefers me to their significant other. These situations (hopefully) will never happen in my life, so it’s fun to imagine the possibilities.
This album… had me HOOKED after the first listen. The songs on Sawayama each tackle their own topic. The powerful opening track “Dynasty” discusses cultural difficulties, while the song “Love Me For Me” covers the importance of self acceptance. This album is about Rina Sawayama’s life and the things that she’s experienced, but I believe that the majority of the songs can resonate with all listeners, regardless of age. “Paradisin” makes me reflect on the years of my life leading up until now and my “teenage rebellion.” The song “Bad Friend” reminds me of the times that I could’ve done better in relationships with friends and romantic interests. Sawayama is truly a versatile album that anybody can relate to.
Here’s a playlist of my favorite songs from these albums.