I am of the opinion that the way to get out of feeling stuck in life is to turn all the lights off in your home, light a vanilla candle or two, and absolutely murder the same emo song by playing it over and over and over (and over). This process lets you experience a range of emotions from sad, to weeping, to pathetic, to resilient, to resolved, to not-taking-anyones-shit, until you blossom from your cocoon as a person who has a plan and knows what they want to do about their deadend job/boyfriend/toxic friend/etc. Here are my favorites songs to get into your sad cave with, with the hopes that you will emerge better for having donated 120 of your Spotify plays to one of these cathartic wonders:
How Come You Don’t Want Me — Tegan & Sara
Oh man. This is the soundtrack to the worst fuckin breakup of my life and I have a strong feeling it’s also the soundtrack to yours, and your best friend’s and just about everyone else on the planet whose hearing function is still in tact. And there’s a reason for this, it fucking kicks ass. Go ahead baby, turn the lights down and the music up. Close your eyes and scream sing, get it out. You’ll feel better when you’re done.
Where Does The Good Go — Tegan & Sara
When you’ve successfully transitioned from wanting to cry a LOT to wanting to cry a slow, but steady stream while listening to something quieter, you should switch from one Tegan & Sara to another. ‘Where Does The Good Go’ is a more subtle cry, more resigned to giving up on the object of your feeling stuck-ness.
I Can Change — LCD Soundsystem
This song is to get the last bit of pathetic neediness out of your system in the privacy of your own home.
All Cleaned Out — Elliott Smith
When you’re really at the end of your rope and you really can’t imagine putting up with your [insert blank] situation for one more minute, that is the time to listen to ‘All Cleaned Out’ on repeat and think about how you are that girl putting up with shit you don’t need to. Elliott has you, you can survive.
In My Time Of Need — Ryan Adams
Now you are ready to take a break from your practical tears and enter into the realm of fantasy tears. This song is about being poor and rural and crying about taking care of your love. Beautiful, right?
Dear John — Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Just to solidify your romantic rural love fantasy.
Heart Of Gold — Neil Young
Now it’s time to mope some more about how sensitive you are!
With Or Without You — U2
And just for good measure make sure you whisper, “and you GIVE yourself away” slowly to yourself, while rocking gently back and forth.
Tracks Of My Tears — Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
At this point you may wish to venture into the world of standing up, eyes closed, and swaying back and forth as you faux karakoe this song taking care to bend your knees and faux scream the chorus.
Rich Girl — The Bird & The Bee
You are now ready to transition from sad to angry but you will do this slowly with a melodic cover of Hall & Oates’ ‘Rich Girl.’ Feel the anger slowly coming to a boil.
Should Have Known — Robyn
Release the rest of your anger with this perfect ballad from Robyn. You knew, you always knew whatever is making you feel stuck is the wrong thing for you. Time to release it.
A Legal Matter — The Who
This is the part where you really put whatever is frustrating behind you. Whatever the cost to sever that relationship is, it’s less than your happiness, less than you being able to live your life. Let go and let the lawyers take care of the rest.
The Long Day Is Over — Norah Jones
Now you’re going to be ready to get in the shower and shower away your tears and snot. This is when you drag your laptop to the shower door and blast this song. Massage your scalp and sing along: your long day is over. Whatever is stressing you out is over. It’s time to hang up that hat and be able to move on.
A Little Bit Stronger — Sara Evans
When you get to the end of your cry-in-the-dark night, you will start to feel resolved and start to be able to visualize what you need to do next in order to improve your situation. You just need a little push. That is the moment to start listening to Sara Evans on repeat. You can skip this step if you aren’t a country music fan, but you’ll be missing out.
Emerge from your evening as a happy and over-it person. Go and get yours.