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  • Writer's picture The Vindicator

Songs for Sad Girl Season

Ten albums to get you through the winter blues.

Written by Olivia Schwab

Listen to the playlist!

The past couple days I’ve been living in the same hoodie and pajama pants. I’ve skipped the majority of my classes and my work relentlessly piled up. The only things in my fridge are day-old Rascal House and one (maybe two) beers. To top it off, it’s pitch-black out by 7:00 p.m. All tell tale signs that Hot Girl Summer has officially ended and it’s time to ring in the most wonderful time of the year: Sad Girl Season. Seasonal Affective Disorder (hilariously abbreviated SAD) affects nearly 10 million Americans, including myself. SAD is characterized by mood changes related to the changing seasons and it can feel like there’s no end or hope. Personally I’ve found that the easiest way to help cope with the changing seasons is through music. Music is a simple and effective way of combating stress, anxiety, and agitation. Lined up are ten of my favorite albums for tackling those winter blues.

"All tell tale signs that Hot Girl Summer has officially ended and it’s time to ring in the most wonderful time of the year: Sad Girl Season."

1. “Stranger in the Alps” by Phoebe Bridgers

What? Thought I was going to make a sad girl playlist and not include Phoebe Bridgers? Bridger’s entire discography is perfect, but this album is my personal favorite for these chilly months. Highlights include “You Missed my Heart” and “Scott Street.”

2. “the rest” by Boygenius

Oh, yeah, we’re staying on the Phoebe train a little longer. Boygenius, the three-piece indie group featuring Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker, is essentially Odd Future for sad lesbians. The group’s latest EP, “the rest,” is sensationally heartbreaking. Every single song is perfectly-crafted, but “Voyager” stands out as especially tragic.

3. “The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We” by Mitski

Mitski. Need I say more? Highlights include “My Love Mine all Mine” and “Star.”

4. “Everything So Far” by Pinegrove

This album feels like the first cold day of the year, featuring raw and real lyrics with vocals that could comfort anyone going through it. “New Friends,” “Size of the Moon” and “Need 2” are highlights. 

5. “Either/Or” by Elliott Smith

Seasonal depression’s final boss: Elliott Smith. Discovering Elliott Smith was a rite of passage for high school me. In “Either/Or,” Smith shows off his songwriting chops, evident in songs like “Ballad of Big Nothing,” “Between the Bars,” and “Cupid’s Trick.” Although the album is over 25 years old, Smith continues to resonate for everyone. Frank Ocean credited him in the liner notes of “Blonde,” and Phoebe Bridgers names him as her biggest musical inspiration.

6. “OK Computer” by Radiohead

That’s right! The girlies are listening to Radiohead. “OK Computer” is a beautiful record, nervous and chock-full of surrealist poetry and existential dread. Radiohead’s entire discography is fantastically depressing, but songs like “Airbag,” “Let Down” and “No Surprises” set this apart from the rest.

7. “Those Days are Gone” by Free Throw

A little something for the angsty girls. The Midwest emo album speaks on the innocence of young love. “Kim Taste” and “Two Beers In” are my personal favorites. 

8. “Illinois” by Sufjan Stevens

This album has everything: stories of a boy crying in a van, bone cancer, stepmothers, parades, bandstands, presidents, UFOs, cream of wheat, trains after dark, a serial killer and Bible study. “Casimir Pulaski Day” and “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” are highlights.

9. “Grace” by Jeff Buckley

From start to finish “Grace” is a masterpiece. Songs like “So Real,” “Forget Her” and the title track “Grace” are yearning meditations on the passage of time and impending separation. 

10. “Chet Baker Sings” by Chet Baker

“Chet Baker Sings” is a cool-jazz album recorded in 1954. Baker’s mellow and sonorous vocals mixed with his melancholic trumpet lines feel like a warm hug. If you take anything away from this, listen to“It’s Always You” and “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” I promise you won’t regret it.

While music is a great tool, it’s nothing in comparison to psychotherapy, medication or light therapy. Don’t brush off that yearly sinking feeling as a case of the “winter blues” that you have to tough out on your own. Asking for help can be hard, but at least you have a quality playlist to listen to while you do.


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