Nothing works better when I need a boost than listening to old music. It instantly puts a smile on my face and gets me pumped up. It’s no wonder I have a whole playlist called Old & Gold, with everything from Smokie to The Beach Boys, as my go-to workout playlist. This month, I’ve been listening to Friday I’m In Love by The Cure, and I hope that you will, too.


To paraphrase Albus Dumbledore, hope can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. My hiding place are the intricate lyrics of Анютины глазки и божьи коровки (Wild Pansies and Ladybugs) by Aquarium. Everything, from the tune to the verses, is soothing and peaceful, it’s like a warm hug from some place where everything is finally and irrevocably alright.


During this nothing-but-gray February I found my comfort in music. Among dozens of wonderful songs of Spotify blends there was the one – Take Care by Beach House. I’d say there’s probably some magic in its tune, otherwise I can’t explain how one track can ease anxiety no worse than a 5-minute meditation. However, there’s a side effect, too: when playing on repeat, it can make you feel nostalgic about a romance you’ve never had.


Maybe because the temps have dropped 20 degrees, Elton John and Dua Lipa’s Cold Heart has been playing in my head and in my car lately. It reminds me how everything old is new again, or can be, with a funky remix and a solid foundation. 


This month, I’ve been ping-ponging between two dissimilar, but equally earnest tracks. First up is LCD Soundsystem’s oh baby, a dreamy track that sounds like it traveled here from across the galaxy. It’s the perfect song to listen to in the twilight hours and think about the bigger things. As an added bonus, the music video (directed by Rian Johnson!) is an absolute hall-of-famer – I’ll guarantee that you’ve never seen a 5-minute clip deliver as much emotion and mastery as any feature film. My second shout-out goes out to Less Than by Nine Inch Nails: this multi-layered and noisy anti-demagoguery tirade isn’t an appeal to your conscience – it’s an address. The tune might be an absolute banger, but the lyrics, in typical Trent Reznor fashion, don’t hold anything back – so listen attentively.


For me, there is no better meditation, no better way to deal with fear and stress – or anything, really – than listening to music. Diving into it, I can let myself be scared, and angry, and sad – and for a tiny second, accept my inability to cope with the situation. And then take a breath, and find the strength to be here and now – and to move on.

So, Aimee Move On by Smith & Burrows.