15 Songs That Perfectly Capture Your Seasonal Affective Disorder

Nov 6, 2014


Angela Bunt

It’s cold. It’s dark. And we can’t stop ordering takeout.

“Brick” – Ben Folds Five

6 a.m., day after Christmas / I throw some clothes on in the dark / The smell of cold, car seat is freezing / The world is sleeping, I am numb.” Sure, accompanying your girlfriend to the abortion clinic probably isn’t the way you wanted to spend your holidays, but you could have at least warmed the car up for her beforehand.

“Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” – The Smiths

Please, please, please, let me get what I want / Lord knows it would be the first time…” That’s right, Morrissey. You’re the only person in the entire world who’s had something not work out for them. Take a vitamin D and get over yourself.

“Sullen Girl” – Fiona Apple

I wander the halls along the walls and under my breath / I say to myself, I need fuel to take flight / And there’s too much going on / But it’s calm under the waves, in the blue of my oblivion.” Classic mid-February-will-this-winter-ever-end song. Sounds like my life, except “under the waves” is more like “under my comforter because I refuse to turn the heat on.”

“Everything Means Nothing To Me” – Elliot Smith

The title — repeated numerous times throughout the song — about sums it up here. This guy is really, really feeling down. “…Wishes with a blue songbird on his shoulder / Who keeps singing over everything / Everything means nothing to me.”

“The Cold Part” – Modest Mouse

It was hard to pick the right Modest Mouse song for this list, as their entire archive can be interpreted as quite depressing. But in honor of the pending winter, “The Cold Part” seemed most fitting. “So long to this cold, cold part of the world / So long to this bone-bleached part of the world.” I guarantee he’s talking about living in New England.

“Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley

Maybe there’s a God above / But all I’ve ever learned from love / Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you / And it’s not a cry that you hear at night / It’s not somebody who’s seen the light / It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.” Leave it to Jeff Buckley to sing something so terribly sad, yet make it sound so beautiful. Amen to that.

“If Winter Ends” – Bright Eyes

This song is dedicated to whoever has had their heart ripped out during the dead of winter: “I dreamt of a fever / One that would cure me of this cold, winter set heart / With heat to melt these frozen tears.” Maybe it’s time to move out of Omaha, Conor.

“Hurt” – Johnny Cash

There isn’t a strong enough tanning bed in the world to replenish Cash’s lack of serotonin in this NIN cover. “What have I become / My sweetest friend / Everyone I know goes away / In the end.” Nooo Johnny, they all just moved to Florida with the rest of the old people.

“Untouchable Face” – Ani Difranco

Another tune about a rough breakup. While it’s not made clear what season this song takes place in, the light patter of drum symbols in the background coupled with Ani’s visuals almost sound like snow falling on a frigid night: “Two-thirty in the morning and my gas tank will be empty soon / Neon sign on the horizon rubbing elbows with the moon.”

“Transatlanticism” – Death Cab for Cutie

The Atlantic was born today and I’ll tell you how / The clouds above opened up and let it out.” Two words: Polar. Vortex.

“Sound of Silence” – Simon & Garfunkel

Hello darkness my old friend / I’ve come to talk with you again.” Ugh, don’t even remind me about the Daylight Savings Time shift that I haven’t yet adjusted to. It’s so, so very dark. And so cold. Oh so cold.

“Infinity” – The xx

While the lyrics to this anthem of codependence are sad on their own, it’s the haunting reverb and electronic beats that allow you to get lost in its melancholy. “Could you tell I was left lost and lonely? / Could you tell things ain’t worked out my way.”

“Mad World” – Gary Jules

The quintessential “I feel sad” song, this single is often associated with the overrated sci-fi flick, Donnie Darko. But it could also work well as the soundtrack to folks shoveling their cars out post-blizzard: “All around me are familiar faces / Worn out places, worn out faces / Bright and early for their daily races / Going nowhere, going nowhere.” Should’ve sprung for a snowblower.

“Sunset Sun” – Karen O

Karen O has a way of saying everything by saying almost nothing at all: “Sun rises sun / Pain hides no one / You’ll see it wasn’t me / Someday you’ll know the one.” She could be singing about a stuffed teddy bear and it wouldn’t matter–the emotion in her stripped down vocals makes me feel more alone than I ever have before.

“Coldest Winter” – Kanye West

Memories made in the coldest winter / Goodbye my friend will I ever love again.” Aww, who says Kanye has no heart? Although, we wouldn’t be surprised if this song was actually an ode to his trademark leather track suit. Don’t worry, just a few more months until you can bust it out again.