By Courtney E. Smith
Thanks to multiple surges of cold air streaming down from Canada, this January about half of the U.S. population has been freezing their butts off.
Last year they called it the Polar Vortex, but this year it’s been rebranded as the “polar plunge,” which sounds like an adorable polar bear pool party.
But we here at Radio.com are onto the National Weather Service and their cutesy nicknames for terribly cold weather and know that all this cold Canadian air is leading to is a serious case of the winter blahs.
Some people will tell you to combat that with happy songs. But we would prefer to just lean into that sad, shivering feeling with a playlist that allows you to embrace the weather and feel your feelings.
This playlist is best listened to while wearing a parka and holding a nice mug of hot chocolate. No mini marshmallows though. This way you get a taste of what true seasonal affectiveness disorder is like.
1. Kanye West – “Coldest Winter”
There’s no time quite like winter for feeling cold, alone and distorted. West nails the feeling with the production on this epic, freezing single.
2. Lorde – “A World Alone”
Speaking of winter-friendly production, the starkness of this Lorde track is enough to give anyone the shivers. Fake friends and all of their noise are put on notice, being alone together—also known as hibernation—gets priority.
3. White Stripes “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”
There’s that moment when winter weather feels pristine, as if the cold air (and sometimes snow) will make the whole world shiny and clean. This song is for two days after that, when everything’s, dark and gray and the snow has gone yellow.
4. Tori Amos “Winter”
Everyone knows winter is just a metaphor for growing older and, eventually, dying. Naturally Tori Amos wrote a song about it.
5. Beach Boys “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”
For when the winter blahs have you feeling out of sorts: the Beach Boys are right there, melodramatically, with this classic.
6. Rihanna ft. Eminem “Numb”
For those winter days when you can’t feel your fingers. It almost makes you feel like you’re detached from your body, like you’re losing your sense of self. That’s kind of what’s going on with this song.
7. Expose “Seasons Change”
There is not a single song that so skillfully employs the sense of time it takes to express utter discontent with one’s lot in life.
8. Rufus Wainwright “Bitter Tears”
Sometimes the weather man will warn you that it is “bitterly cold” outside and then advise you wear a hat. Rufus Wainwright doesn’t believe in hats.
9. 10,000 Maniacs “Like the Weather”
Not feeling the cold and gray rainy days? Too bad.
10. Mumford & Sons “Winter Winds”
This song offers a little solace for Americans tucking in for the winter, at least you aren’t in London. The thought of that torment alone should make any poor soul feel warmer.
11. Lee Hazlewood “Cold Hard Times”
Here’s an advanced track, about a hard-hearted man who is not taking you back. The secret of Hazlewood’s cold, hard world is that this man he’s singing about is actually the summer sun.
12. Madonna “Frozen”
It’s as simple as this, your heart is not open. So Madonna must go. You’re frozen.
13. Travis “Why Does It Always Rain on Me?”
For those times you forgot your umbrella and it’s just above freezing so instead of snow you get buckets and buckets of freezing cold rain.