The Headphone Jack: Songs to bring smiles during self-quarantine

Being away from friends and family can be hard enough, but when it’s too cold or rainy to get outside, things can feel much worse. We at The Alestle feel the same pain, and often find ourselves craving an escape from dark reality. Here are a few songs that remind us there are better days ahead, and some that temporarily transport us to brighter times. 


‘Get You High’ by HARBOUR

This song is the perfect distraction from self-quarantine blues, with a catchy, upbeat chorus and strong beat. The singer is longing to get closer to a love interest, just as we are pining over the times we could be around others without having to stay 6 feet apart. The lyric, “don’t worry about a thing and lay your head by mine,” perfectly encompasses the carefree nature of the song, and strengthens the desire to get out and enjoy the sunshine. 


‘Overwhelming’ by Jon Bellion 

Need a song to get you moving, or motivate you to do those at-home workouts? Bellion has got you covered in “Overwhelming.” This is hands-down my favorite running song, and just my general go-to when I need to get hyped up and confident. Strong buildups to the chorus give ample time to get ready to break into a short sprint or any more intense part of a workout. 


Typical of Bellion, the song is not confined to just one musical genre, but combines elements of so many different styles to create a masterpiece. For example, the choir is reminiscent of gospel, while the trumpets announce that yes, the woman he is singing about is royalty, just as trumpets blast when a queen enters a room. Bellion chuckles during the song, making me feel like I’m his best bud and he’s bragging about his new girl to me, and I can’t help but smile in feeling so connected to the artist. 


‘Morocco’ by Moon Taxi 

“Morocco” opens with the line, “So sick and tired of the pouring rain, I took a train to Morocco just to kill the pain,” and one word comes to mind: relatable. We are all in this space where many parts of our lives have been brought to a standstill, making us want to just get away from our problems. Unfortunately, traveling is not an option right now (and if you think it is, you’re really a dumbass), so we must find other ways to escape. The singer gets this feeling, as he’s left questioning if his coping mechanisms will even help: “It might help a little, it might help a lot, I don’t know but it’s all I’ve got.” Knowing somebody gets it without an overly somber tone provides comfort like no other, even a pinch of optimism, making it the perfect addition to this playlist. 


‘Holiday’ by Retro City 

The carefree vibes of “Holiday” make it the perfect song to be sandwiched between “Morocco” and “San Diego.” The first verse is super short, making sure to grab your attention and leave you wondering what else happened on the sweet summer night the band is recalling. “Explosions in the sky, in the sky, in the sky when you say my name” repeats twice through the chorus, making the song catchy, but not too catchy to where it’s annoying. The song is simple in structure, reminding us that not everything has to be so complicated.


‘San Diego’ by The Cautious 

This is the first song on my “Summer Vibes” playlist — and it doesn’t take more than the first couple of seconds to understand why. The imagery transports me to a small beachtown booming with cyclists and longboarders, the hum of radios from Jeeps filled with young people rocking windswept hair. And this is the exact place I want to be — well, the place we all want to be — right about now. So lay back, play “San Diego,” and let yourself escape. 


‘Nobody’ by Hozier

Of course, the main man made his way to this playlist. “Nobody” is the ultimate feel-good song. For some reason, I envision being caught in traffic on a Friday, but not really caring because it’s a nice day and I can have my windows down and listen to some good jams.  In this song, Hozier is reflecting on his life experiences and days of travel — he’s done so much, been to so many places, but he still has yet to find a love as enthralling as the person he’s singing about. This song gives off an aura of “slow down and take it in,” something we all need to be reminded of right now. 


‘Watermelon Sugar’ by Harry Styles

How could I not put this song on here? While I typically try to stay away from “mainstream” songs on The Headphone Jack, this song fits in all too well here. I mean, who could disagree? Styles perfectly portrays “that summer feeling” here, and his vocals are so, so sweet. “Watermelon Sugar” is the perfect taste of better days to come, making it the perfect one to close this playlist. 


To listen to these songs, as well as some more of my favorite feel good tunes, visit my Spotify. 

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