Top 5 Songs to Help Calm You Down

In the world of a Midwest college student, mid-February can only mean two things its not getting warmer anytime soon and theres still much more work that needs to be completed. Even if this isnt the world you live in, there are still countless other stressors besides sub-zero temperatures and a never-ending pile of work that has somehow consumed the entirety of a desktop. Sometimes you just have to chalk the day up to a loss and put your feet up in hopes that youll remember what it feels like to be calm. For times like these, here are five songs dedicated to dissolving all that built-up stress.

Number Five: “Paper Doll by John Mayer. Jenna Maroney once stated in the 30 Rock episode, Verna,that it was perfect, like a John Mayer song.For me, this has to be the song she was talking about. From his 2013 album Wildfire, Paper Dollis just about as relaxing as music can get. The harmonies and guitar picking in the chorus make it an especially great song to which you can just chill. While the bass isnt an incredibly prominent figure, its still a very relaxing sensation to be able to sit back and feel it deep inside your soul. And of course, Mayers trademark vocals are what secure Paper Dollas my all-time favorite song for relaxation.

Number Four: “Peggy-O by Simon & Garfunkel. While most kids were raised on The Beatles, the standard repertoire in my house consisted of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and, most importantly, Simon & Garfunkel. They hold an incredibly special place in my heart. Peggy-Ois their cover of the original version by The Grateful Dead, but this is the version that has stuck with me my whole life. As most of their songs do, Peggy-Ois pure and polished an ideal listening experience for those of us who just need a little clarity in our lives. Additionally, Simon & Garfunkels terrific harmonies are showcased on this track, allowing your mind to focus on something a little prettier than whats been getting you down. (Bob Dylan also covered Peggy-O,but thats probably not what youre looking for if youre looking to de-stress)

Number Three: “Towers by Bon Iver. A little more driving than both Paper Dolland Peggy-O, Towershas been a favorite of mine since its release in 2011. While fun has been poked at Justin Vernon for his poor enunciation while singing (SNLs Jay-Z and Beyoncés Babysketch, anyone?), I personally love that his vocals pull you to-and-fro, lulling all the troubles away. You cant beat that guitar hook, either.

Number Two: “Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoesby Paul Simon. This is probably the biggest paradox of a song upbeat yet relaxing! From his 1986 album, Graceland, Paul Simon outdid himself on Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes.Simon drew heavily on South African musical influences with help from male choral group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and highly talented musicians such as guitarist Ray Phiri, bassist Bakithi Kumalo, drummer Isaac Mtshali, and Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour. Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoesis a grooving escape to a more comforting place. This is one youll play over and over until youre left stress-free and rejuvenated.

Number One: “So Good at Being in Troubleby Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Finally, So Good at Being in Troubleis perhaps the chillest of the bunch. Lead singer Ruban Nielson soothing vocals function similarly to Justin Vernons in Towers, propelling this psychedelic, lo-fi track to a different level of calm. Listen for yourself!