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Top Ten: songs to listen to when you’re sad but don’t want to admit it to yourself so you just go for a late night drive and cry

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Some days can be kind of rough and you’re tired of being tired, so you need to let your emo out and drive with no destination. Here are 10 songs—not ranked—perfect for that occasion:

“December” by Neck Deep, off of “Life’s Not Out to Get You”

When I lost my best, and to be honest, only friend after I came out, it felt like this song encapsulated every complex and nuanced emotion I was feeling. I was never mad, just hurt, and always wanted the best for him.

“To: My Old Self” by Real Friends, off of “Maybe This Place Is the Same and We’re Just Changing”

I’m a sucker for long album titles and heartfelt songs about depression and suburbia. “To: My Old Self” is the epitome of that. The line “I need the hope I always tell my friends about” is touching to me.

“The Devil in My Bloodstream” by The Wonder Years, off of “The Greatest Generation”

I remember listening to this as I held my grandfather’s hand as he fell asleep in the hospital. This song does everything right, from lyrics like “The Midwest feels like a hollow place that we filled with love and industry, and we’re staring at the frozen ground in Goodwill suits, silent as the pastor reads the eulogy” to the beat and percussion. I get goosebumps listening to it, no matter where I am. It’s a fantastic song and only gets better when listening to it with the context of the album.

“Mokena” by Real Friends, off of “The Home Inside My Head”

This is a somewhat more recent hit for me, but boy has it hit hard. This song has lyrics that feel like they describe exactly where I’m at right now—I’m moving forward, refusing to let past patterns of behavior dictate how I act now.

“Cough It Out” by The Front Bottoms, off of “Back On Top”

I love The Front Bottoms, precisely because of their angsty, indie feel, and this song is the best example possible of their style.

“Diet of Worms” by Laura Stevenson, off of “Cocksure”

Laura Stevenson has the voice I wish I had. It’s gorgeous. She also is featured as backup vocals in “The Devil in My Bloodstream.”

“I Know Better” by John Legend, off of “Darkness and Light”

He’s got a voice that makes me swoon. “There are kings in my past, things no one can be proud of, but I stand in the light I’ve casted, and turn away from any lack of love” gives me chills. He wows me.

“Stone” by Born Without Bones, off of “Baby”

“Stone” is rad for a lot of reasons, but the one that sticks out to me most is groove. You can’t help but move and sway to the song.

“Plastic Brains” by Knuckle Puck, off of “Shapeshifter”

A lot of these songs deal with a changing self and “Plastic Brains” gets it down.

“Fold I” by Motherfolk, off of “Fold”

So I’ll be honest: I’ve only listened to this group a few times, but I am really enjoying them. “Fold I” sounds like a dark room lit with a single incandescent bulb. It’s peaceful in this somewhat melancholy way.

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth Rose Szpytek, Online Opinions Editor

Elizabeth Rose Szpytek (they/them/theirs or she/her/hers) is a senior at Downers Grove South, and—for reasons still unknown—oversees the online opinions section for the Blueprint. Szpytek, a self-described “genderqueer woman,” is passionate about fighting the cissexism, transmisogyny and sexism that is ingrained into our society. She is a youth leader at Transcend, a trans youth group in Naperville. They also participate in their high school’s peer-tutoring program.

Their free time is mostly spent annoying old geezers at stoplights by blasting bad pop punk out her car’s speakers and writing (as well as perpetually editing) short stories. Szpytek tries to alleviate the infinite monotony of suburbia by escaping into film, video games and podcasts. 

They aspire to have a stable career in something although exactly what is unclear. Just not math.

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Top Ten: songs to listen to when you’re sad but don’t want to admit it to yourself so you just go for a late night drive and cry