A couple of years ago, I started playing music whenever I was having trouble falling asleep. It’s turned out as one of the best coping mechanisms for me, and has helped me through my most challenging mental health issues. Now, I play music every night as I go to bed. There’s always a few albums that help me calm down.
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Why music calms me down
The issue – for many people alike – is that in the evenings especially, there’s a lot of space for ruminating, and on top of that, anxiety. I got to a point where I desperately needed to distract myself from negative, unhelpful thoughts, or else I wouldn’t sleep at all. By playing music on a very low volume, I gave my mind something else to focus on. The soft tones from soothing music helped me fall asleep. It also helped me keep track of time: if I still wasn’t asleep by the end of the album, I knew my head wasn’t in it, and I had better just get out of bed.
Albums that calm me down
Harry Styles (self-titled album)
This was the first album I started playing when my sleep issues were at their worst. The album came out just around that time (May 2017), and I was a huge fan right away. The first track Meet Me In The Hallway is my most played track on Spotify, and the album as a whole features as most played album, too. The opening and closing tracks to this album always soothe me instantly.
Mumford & Sons – Wilder Mind
Mumfords & Sons have been my favourite band from the moment they gained popularity with The Cave and Little Lion Man (after which this blog was named). Their album Wilder Mind surely was something else, and many people either didn’t like it, or needed some time to get used to it. I, too, agreed it was different, but didn’t enjoy it any less. It got me through my most difficult depressive episode in 2017, at which point all I could do was listen to this album and the aforementioned Harry Styles.
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
I was surprisingly late to the Fleetwood Mac party, considering their sound is right up my alley. Their album Rumours was added to my circulation of “bedtime music” in 2018. Sometimes I sing the songs in my head when I wake up at night and need some distraction.
Tom McRae – Ah, the World! Oh, the World!
I’ve been a Tom McRae fan since I was 11, which honestly, is a little problematic. McRae is generally known for voicing thoughts on the darker side, but his most recent production from 2017 sounds a lot more like a sweet ray of sunshine in spring. It’s wonderfully serene. The album came with a book and souvenirs, like a postcard and a coat hanger ticket. The latter turned out to be a lottery ticket. Prize: a meet-and-greet with the man himself, anywhere in the world, doing whatever you like. I’m holding onto mine dearly in hopes of winning a living room concert!
Harry Styles – Fine Line
Styles’ latest album was quickly added to the list when it was released last December. I feel like this new album leans more towards pop, which sometimes makes it more difficult to sit still. However, this last track Fine Line is perfect for singing you asleep!