Tuesday Ten: Curing Your Winter Blues

By | February 3, 2015 at 3:00 PM

It’s easy around this time of year to bury yourself in comfort food and sad songs, but you can only do that for so long before you need a change of pace. Once you’ve gotten your fill of indulging your winter blues (which we talked about in last week’s Tuesday Ten), it’s time to move on to curing them—and we’ve got the perfect playlist for that, too.

Check out part 1 of our winter blues playlist here!

Anberlin – Impossible

At first, the vaguely 80s intro of “Impossible” makes you want to bop your head. Those catchy “whoas” show up, and you’re thinking, “Man, this is exactly what I needed to get me out of this winter funk!” And then the chorus kicks in, you actually pay attention to the words, and you realize just how sad it really is. To me, this contradictory song is basically the musical equivalent of February in Canada: one minute the sun is shining and you start to see grass again, the next minute you’re wearing three layers and shoveling snow off your driveway. Unlike the unpredictable mid-winter weather, Stephen Christian’s voice is consistently great and the tempo stays upbeat the entire time. The melody is so good, you can almost forget that he’s singing about a difficult relationship and eventual breakup. Plus, dancing around for four minutes will help you stay warm on those cold winter nights. (Sam Devotta)

The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun

This might seem too obvious of a choice, but just be glad I didn’t pick “I Can See Clearly Now.” There really is no better way to prepare for re-emergence from your winter emo feels than with George Harrison’s greatest gift to humanity. The guitar riff is just wistful enough to remind you of the cold darkness that currently shrouds you, while also uplifting enough to point towards the future of clear skies and having to shave your legs again. In fact, April 1969 (the month the song was written) set a record high for hours of sunlight around London that wasn’t beaten until 1984. Harrison’s calm, reassuring voice will gently coax you out of hibernation from the “long cold lonely winter” after around your tenth re-run of American Beauty to tell you that it’s time to get your ass out of bed and go outside again to enjoy those extra hours of sunlight that he magically summoned. (Catherine Yi)

Brand New – Jude Law and a Semester Abroad

Fighting through winter is much easier when you’re able to channel that sad anger and turn it into, well, real anger that eventually leads to relief when expressed through intense singalongs. “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad”, like most of Your Favorite Weapon, has a certain fighting power to it, but this song in particular is perfect to remind you that winter does end. Starting off with lyrics that remind you of how long the semester is going to be, it quickly transitions into a song that makes you really ready to be done with the winter months—or punch them in the face if they had one—and move on. It’s all about being angry enough to say “screw you, cold” and drown the winter in the Arctic, where it should stay. It’s a go-to throwdown with winter song that really helps you keep the momentum of saying “ha!” when it’s over, where in the end you just feel much better about everything—even the snow. (Shelby Chargin)

Jimmy Eat World – The World You Love

One of the things that makes Jimmy Eat World such a perfect band is that they have a song for every season. And when the frigid temperatures of one season start to make you worry that you might freeze to death before reaching the warmer days of the next, a song like “The World You Love” is everything you need in your survival kit. While massive anthems like “The Middle” or “Big Casino” exude a level of summeriness that you just can’t connect with when you’re wiping icicles off of your own face, the measuredly upbeat feel of “The World You Love” is a bit more tempered; it’s a little burst of sunlight on a cold January day, warming your hands and reminding you that better weather lies ahead. The chorus feels like it was tailor-made for those freezing days when the grey seems inescapable, and I wouldn’t be surprised if scientists discovered that it’s physically impossible not to break into a huge smile when the bridge kicks in. Now don’t that feel like sunshine after all? (Eleanor Grace)

Lights – Siberia

A song literally about the coldest place on earth, this is definitely a winter song. But to paraphrase T Swift—just think, while you’ve been getting down and out about the freezing temperatures of the world outside, you could’ve been getting down to this sick beat. So get out of bed and go face the snowstorm outside with this song as your battle cry (we do recommend getting dressed first, though). The mantra-like chorus “I don’t care if we suddenly find ourselves in Siberia” tells you that even the coldest of nights can’t stop you when you really believe in something. There’s still that slight winter chill in the floaty, quietly confident vocals that can’t help but send shivers running down your spine, but the heavy bass will counteract any iciness, so turn the volume up to eleven and feel yourself move by the almost tribal drumbeats and powerful synths. (Alex Bear)

Semisonic – Closing Time

Winter happens to fall in the first months of the year, leaving it the official season for endings and the start of new beginnings. What song encompasses the feeling of flipping a page in your life better than “Closing Time” by Semisonic? “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” will escape from your headphones, while everything you loved about 90’s pop rock guides the song into a chorus that looks straight into the future you desire. While listening, it’s easy to imagine the sun setting in your soon-to-be new hometown or fantasize about what it will be like to finally land your dream job. Why? Because this is the unofficial song of new starts, and what better time to get a jump on that than winter, when everything ends and prepares to start over again? (Emillie Marvel)

Take Cover – Resolution

The best way to cure the winter blues is with more upbeat tunes—like “Resolution” by Take Cover. Sure to make you want to jam out and sing along, Take Cover provide a very time-appropriate tune. This song talks about the new year and getting over whoever has been breaking your heart, and it’s sure to boost your spirits as the cold months drudge on. Get up and dance along to the catchy chorus, which leads into what should be your new year’s mantra: “It’s time to start moving on”. While “Resolution” isn’t the happiest song out there, it settles into that nice middle ground between the winter blues and the joys of summer. It’s the perfect piece to help you transition out of those darker months and into the warmth to come. (Jenna Cafora)

Twin Forks – Can’t Be Broken

While Chris Carrabba circa Dashboard Confessional would certainly fall into the winter blues category, the musician’s new project Twin Forks is quite the opposite. Though still evoking emotion through lovestruck lyrics, Twin Forks’ “Can’t Be Broken” lays down a tune that will surely have your foot tapping and your heart aching for something… more. The track is dreamy, magical, and passionate. “It’s the way you stay right by my side / It’s the way you lay your lips on mine / You’re the rarest thing I’ll ever find / My love,” Carrabba sings over fast-paced acoustic guitar rhythms, filling your ears with an upbeat love song—a love you can share with someone during the cold months, looking forward to something warmer and brighter. Your winter blues can, in fact, be broken with this one. (Alyson Stokes)

Walk The Moon – Down In The Dumps

Ohio synth-pop group Walk The Moon believe in strictly good vibes in all situations and seasons, even when you’re dealing with an ex from hell during the frozen months of winter. “I won’t let you bring me back down in the dumps” is a particularly good mantra to have—or at least try and keep in mind—during those trying times, when someone is begging to have you back in their lives because he or she just can’t bear to be single during the dreaded (to some) cuffing season. Don’t let their tantrums sway you to go back to an awful relationship or friendship; you do your thing and ​focus on being your best self. (Tarynn Law)

The Wonder Years – Living Room Song

I typically gravitate towards The Wonder Years during my angsty, frustratedly sad moments, but “Living Room Song” is my happy exception. Many of my closest friends live in my hometown, and when I’m away at college during the winter months, this song reminds me of the great friendships I have waiting for me at home. The Wonder Years excel in the realm of acoustic songs, and the soft acoustic guitar featured in this track creates a comforting tone that’s a perfect contrast to the bitter weather outside. And it’s difficult not to smile after hearing the gang vocals on the chorus, perhaps because it sounds like a bunch of friends singing about friendship. It’s hard not to be transported to your own living room with your best friends while listening to this song, and there’s no better remedy for the winter blues. (Danielle DeSisto)

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