If there’s something that feels like a musical version of summer – that’s The Beach Boys and especially their Wouldn’t It Be Nice. The upbeatness of this song, plus the Adam Sandler cry-singing on a boat scene that immediately springs to mind, get me in a warmer state of mind any time I hear it, making the longing for summer or days with better weather more fun, even enjoyable.


Sometimes I feel that I can live or perceive life in two modes: a sort of superficial, autopilot one filled with anxiety, fears, and stress – and the one where I can look beyond all the worries to notice the beauty in every moment. Somehow, the second mode makes you (or me) gentle, caring, and opens my heart to the world, as it happens during a metta (loving kindness) meditation. Whenever I feel that I’ve been spending too much time in the first mode, I just turn on Tom Rosenthal’s Z-Sides album and in particular the song Morning O, and it’s such an eye-opener every time. Heart-warming, soul-soothing, and definitely hope-inspiring, it feels more like a musical hug than anything else. 


My loose coat and thick scarf are great for fighting the fall freeze, but they are of no use for keeping the inner warmth. To my luck, Mitski and her new album The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We deal with it seamlessly. Her songs satisfy my seasonal urge to soak in melancholic tunes yet make me feel safe and cared for. For example, My Love Mine All Mine is simply a three-minute soothing hug and a powerful message about self-love.


If I want to keep the cold away – whether it's the weather outside or a particularly bad mood – I put on a good song and start singing along (badly) and dancing to the beat (no matter that my moves are probably even worse than my singing). When the lyrics of a song hit me in the heart with every line and stay there forever – as is the case with My Blood by Skinny Living – then I know there is no chance for the cold to win.