We’ve all had those days where everything gets a bit overwhelming and you want to do nothing more than curl up and hide yourself from the world. I’ve been having a lot of those lately, and so I made this list of some of my favourite chill music playlist songs to listen to when I need to stop stressing out and focus. Some are popular, others less so, but all have been chosen because they help me to calm down and get on with the task at hand. Also because they’re damn good songs.
1. Blue Ridge Mountains – Fleet Foxes
I discovered this song about three weeks ago and basically listened to it on repeat whilst working on a fiction project. There’s something strangely hypnotic about the vocals and the haunting melody, which lulls you into a sense of calmness and leaves you feeling soft and dreamy long after the song has ended.
2. Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens
There’s something so lovely and nostalgic about this song. The melody is lilting, and Sufjan’s vocals, as usual, are gentle but powerful. The lyrics are heart-wrenchingly beautiful, especially if you’ve seen Call Me by Your Name or read the book it was based on. This is the sort of song you can put on repeat and it will never get boring.
3. Visons of Gideon – Sufjan Stevens
Yes, both Sufjan Stevens songs from the Call Me by Your Name soundtrack are on here because they are both chill songs in their own way and Sufjan Stevens in a lot of ways is the king of chill music. With that said, Visons of Gideon is different from Mystery of Love in that it has a more melancholic, downbeat feel that taps more into sad-chill than its partner, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful to listen to.
4. Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Stevie Nicks is magical and should be on your chill music playlist. We all know that. But there’s something about her crooning vocals on this iconic track that feel like a warm, comforting hug for your chafed soul. The lyrics are also strangely comforting, as they remind us that everybody gets older, and that’s okay. Listen to this one when you feel alone and misguided in life, and let Stevie work her magic.
5. From the Dining Table – Harry Styles
I avoided listening to this song for months because I heard the first few notes and dismissed it as being boring. Big mistake. When I stumbled across it again on shuffle a month or so ago, I was blown away by everything about this song. The lyrics are sad, but the melody is soothing and Harry’s vocals are pure and clear. TIP: if you listen to it with headphones it sounds as though Harry is singing directly into your ear.
6. Cherry Wine – Hozier
Hozier’s voice sounds like you’re relaxing in a mossy grove somewhere in the middle of the forest with your woodland friends and everything is fine. Although the story to this song is not the most cheerful of subjects (but a very important one), the gentle guitar instrumental that plays in the background against his vocals creates a hazy and relaxing effect that is sure to help you chill.
7. Samson – Regina Spector
I used to be obsessed with this song when I was younger, and, as happens when you overplay a song to death, I went off it. I rediscovered it a few months ago and fell in love all over again. Not only does it tell a story from the ancient world, which I’m always a sucker for, but the tune is nice and gentle, and is chill without being distracting.
8. Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
This is a bit of a strange one, but there’s something about Taylor’s vocals in this song that evoke a feeling of calm nostalgia, similar to Mystery of Love. Her descriptions of the memories she shared with the unnamed person in the song have a rose-tinted feel to them, and the entire premise is one of remembering those we no longer see. This is a chill music playlist of a song for reflection of love and of life.
9. What’s Up? – 4 Non Blondes
I have nothing much to say about this song except it feels like somebody telling you hey, kid, it’ll be okay, and also that it was featured in Sense8, a brilliant Netflix programme that was unfortunately cancelled after two seasons. It’s more upbeat than the others, but its melody is still nice and relaxing, and the lyrics offer a sense of unity that will leave you feeling less alone in the world.
10. Andante, Andante – Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again Soundtrack
A slight wild card here, but nothing is more soothing than Lily James’ vocals when she croons the title words of this song. Somehow both sweet and sensual, the song is subtly relaxing. In fact, you probably won’t even realise you’re slowly swaying until halfway through. Plus, the scene in the film in which Lily sings this song is extremely cute, and you should all go and watch it immediately.
I hope you all enjoy listening to these songs on a chill music playlist as much as I do, and that you feel like this sloth afterwards.