I’ve been overly stressed out lately. I’m in the midst of the hardest semester that I will ever have to endure and with two jobs and trying to be a social human being it really takes a toll on me. I always forget to take time for myself. Yes, I’ll sit and watch a show or movie to unwind, but it really doesn’t do the trick. I always forget that the best thing for me is to listen to music.

I listen to music whenever I’m driving. I hook up my ipod the old school way with a tape-deck cable and off I go, zoom! But, this doesn’t do it. I listen to music in the car so my mind doesn’t wander. When I let my mind wander I end up in all sorts of places I don’t want to be, mentally and physically.

It’s the calm music I listen to that allows my mind and body to take that very large sigh of relief, if only for a half hour or so. The best scenario for doing this is when I turn off the lights, light candles, lay down on my bed, couch or in the bath and just listen.

I just listen and allow my emotions to overtake everything. I rarely do this. I bottle most of my reactions and feelings up during the day. But with the music it just all spills over like a tranquil stream breaking its banks in a hard rain.

Sometimes I sing along. I like to think I have a relatively decent voice, but it helps with the relief none the less. Sometimes I’m silent; I close my eyes and allow my brain to let go of words and just imagine. Other times I don’t even listen to the lyrics, I just let the music flow over me as I think about how to better understand myself, because let’s face it, I’m only in my twenties and a very large, tangled, mess of a human being. I know I’m not the only one.

Here’s a list of my favourite songs for decompression:

Little Bird – Angus & Julia Stone
Santa Monica Dream – Angus & Julia Stone
I’ll Be Seeing You – Billie Holiday
Time & Space – The Cinematic Orchestra
To Build A Home – The Cinematic Orchestra
Home – Daughter
Medicine – Daughter
Youth – Daughter
Asleep – Emily Browning
Reading in Bed – Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton
Telethon – Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton
Your Hand in Mine – Explosions in the Sky
Still True – Feist
It’s Okay – Land of Talk
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
Calendar Girl – Stars
Comatose – Timmy Curran
Troubled – Timmy Curran
Alice – Tom Waits
When I Come Home – William Fitzsimmons

These are just a few of those that I listen to. I urge you, don’t forget about yourself. Make the time and spend it trying to find your sanity, your reason, your creativity, and your contentment. I don’t do it nearly enough; don’t be like me. 
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