Freshers’ flu: a soundtrack for staying in

As we make our way into the third week of term, I’m going to make the prediction that many of you will be sat reading this wrapped tightly in numerous layers, clutching at a mug of Lemsip and restricting yourself to early nights. Oh yes, freshers’ flu has truly set in, and for the past week I have been tied up in scarves and desperately trying to regain my voice. Late nights and an abundance of germs seems to have caught up with us all as lecture halls are filled with the sound of coughing and spluttering. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to make some musical recommendations to help ease your aching joints and act as some lemon and honey for the soul!

When easing a weary head, my first port of call will always be the smooth and sultry tones of Sinatra. It is without any shame that I will admit, as others opted to party, I have spent several evenings drinking hot chocolate and listening to Frank. ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ is my absolute go-to when you need the musical equivalent of a hug. After all, when looking horrendous wrapped in blankets and blowing your nose, it’s always nice to hear someone singing about how lovely you are! Practically any Sinatra songs will help put a smile on my face, but if I were feeling particularly low, I may tend to opt for the cheekier numbers such as ‘Chicago,’ ‘Love and Marriage,’ ‘Love is Just Around the Corner’ and ‘Fly Me to the Moon’. There is something so nostalgic and simply carefree about this music that it never fails to lift my spirits, and I’m sure if you mixed your study up with a little jazz, the pill may be a little easier to swallow.

With your immune system at rock-bottom, it is likely you are also suffering from some form of sleep deprivation. So, for the insomniacs amongst you I would recommend the ethereal vocal and piano music of Danish singer, songwriter Agnes Obel. I have long used her 2010 album, Philharmonics, at times where I have needed to chill and recuperate. With a clever instrumental soundscape, subtle vocals and laid-back sense of ease, she is the perfect artist to transport you to a calmer state of mind. Not forgetting that she has since released Aventine (2013) and Citizens of Glass (2016), equally transformative and original pieces of art that, whilst retaining her unique style, further explore instrumentation and vocal possibilities. If vocal music isn’t necessarily what you go for when trying to go to sleep, you could just as easily find plenty of background calming white noise on Spotify and in the depths of the internet. Listening to the sound of the birds in the trees, whale noises and even the sound of a microwave oven can be surprisingly meditative and helpful for getting your forty winks. I personally find that the sound of the ocean takes me back to summer holidays of the past and time spent on the beach, so it is usually the perfect cure for forgetting those impending essay deadlines!

“Sometimes when you are feeling particularly down, the only thing that will help is indulging in some incredibly cheesy and feel good anthems”

Sometimes when you are feeling particularly down, the only thing that will help is indulging in some incredibly cheesy and feel good anthems. I often find myself quickly tuning in to the Dirty Dancingsoundtrack as my ultimate outlet of emotion. From dancing away to Merry Clayton’s ‘Yes’, a classic eighties pop anthem, to the sassy ‘Love is Strange’ by Mickey and Sylvia, to the simply iconic ‘I’ve Had the Time of My Life’; Dirty Dancing packs the emotional punch certain to have you belting out the words and sobbing within seconds! For a slightly more upbeat and motivational thrust I would slip on your dancing shoes and turn up your speakers for a bit of Footloose and Top Gun. These two eighties classics are toe-tapping, upbeat soundtracks full of great hits that instantly transport you to a happier place. Whether it’s ‘Danger Zone’ or the opening eighties synthesisers of ‘Footloose’ these two are truly brilliant remedies for the common cold.

I really hope this may have eased the pain of freshers’ flu for a few of you and sincerely promise that within the week, after stocking up on enough vitamin C and cough medicine to last a lifetime, you will be back to pulling all-nighters in the library and ending your nights at Van of Life! In the meantime, why not craft your own feel-good playlist for some relief, cut yourself some slack and prioritise your own wellness for at least a day over work! After all, an essay can always be written in bed, and hot chocolate and marshmallows sure have the edge over vodka.




Originally posted on Varsity




Image courtesy of Louis Beche: Flickr

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