January is the worst month of the year. It’s dark and cold and wet. Everyone is questioning why he or she even lives in New York City to begin with. Threats to move out of the state are made daily, even though everyone knows they said the exact same thing this time last year. There is literally nothing to look forward to until March 20th .
The only silver lining of this month is that people have finally stopped attempting to make bundling up look good. It’s the one time of year that physically everyone is on a similar playing field. I just want to lie in my bed watching episodes of The Great British Bake Off while taking eight-hour winter depression naps. January is an especially tough of year trying to keep my mental health in check because it seems like everyone is overtly expressing negative ideas about diet culture, body and food shaming.
January tends to be the month with the most amount repetitive negative thoughts bouncing around my head. This is likely due to lack of sun and listening to people chatter about their New Year’s resolutions. Here is a playlist to help recalibrate your brain when it’s on overdrive from trying to combat the mid-winter slump.
1. "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by the Supremes
Listen to when…your brain keeps telling you to engage in old self-destructive behaviors that you know you don’t need anymore, but suddenly seem appealing.
2. "Changed the Locks" by Lucinda Williams
Listen to when…toxic people are trying to break back into your life
3. "Respect" by Aretha Franklin
Listen to when…people in your office are continuing to talk about and buy into diet culture, which you no longer want to be a part of.
4. "I Want to Break Free" by Queen
Listen to when…you think tanning might be a good idea because you can’t stand looking at your translucent skin longer.
5. "Let’s Wait Awhile" by Janet Jackson
Listen to when…you want to binge drink at your company happy hour even though that behavior no longer serves you.
6. "A Change Would Do You Good" by Sheryl Crow
Listen to when…you’re thinking about quitting your job to take prioritize nap taking.
7. "Don’t Rain on My Parade" by Barbra Streisand
Listen to when…you’re having a good mental health day and someone starts to talk about spending less time plugged into social media and watching TV
8. "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick
Listen to when…you pass a juice store and start thinking about how good it would be for your body to only drink liquids for six days.
9. "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus & Chaka Khan
Listen to when…the daily media outpour of sexual harassment and assault is getting you down.
top photo: the Supremes (1966)
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Samantha is the author of Putting Out: Essays on Otherness. She regularly contributes to BUST. Reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org