Albums and tracks for unwinding. This is v, v close in sound to brood-y music-- but the difference is that with this stuff, you feel quieter inside, not just more melancholy, when you listen.
  1. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie and Lowell
    Me and everyone else, I know. But this album is just--balm. When I'm worn out and my heart feels scuffed up, sometimes I want something warm and comforting, but sometimes I don't. Carrie and Lowell is for when I don't. It's delicate and beautiful and contemplative and so complex that, somehow, while I'm paying attention to it, I find myself feeling better.
  2. Ingrid Michaelson, Skinny Love
    This cover is wonderful. As is everything she's ever done. If you need sleep, I also suggest The Chain, Keep Breathing, and her cover of Can't Help Falling in Love (aka my wedding song).
  3. Ed Sheeran, +
    Lego House, Kiss Me, the hidden rendition of The Parting Glass. this is the album that made me fall in love with him.
  4. Ed Sheeran, X
    I See Fire is a bit on the melancholy side, but I can fall asleep so easily listening it on a loop. Tenerife Sea is in the same category as In Your Atmosphere-- the tempo is so soothing. It's like a waterbed. For your ears.
  5. Bon Iver, re: stacks
  6. Hannah and Maggie, Muscle and Bone
    Try The Room Fiddler first. Their harmonies are beautiful.
  7. Hem, Pacific Street
    This song is a little sad but so delicate and moving. It's good for sleeping when your heart is hurting a little bit.
  8. @john Mayer, Where the Light Is
    His cover of Free Fallin' is perfect. And In Your Atmosphere is peak JM. It's subtle and soothing and so beautiful.
  9. @john Mayer, Born and Raised
    This album is full of winners. Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967, will whisper you right to sleep. And at this one job I had when I got really stressed if climb under my desk and take a quarter hour to listen to Age of Worry on a loop. It's beautiful.
  10. @john Mayer, Paradise Valley
    ....I also used to listen to On the Way Home when I'd crawl under my desk.
  11. LIGHTS, Peace Sign (Acoustic)
    Gorgeous song. Bonus: there's some French in it.
  12. A Walk to Remember OST
    Mandy Moore's Cry. BOTH versions of Only Yours. So I want to watch this movie.
  13. Ryan Cabrera, On the Way Down (Acoustic)
    His hair was ridiculous, in retrospect. But danged if the song isn't still really, really catchy. And calming.
  14. Kina Grannis, Stairwells
    In Your Arms, The Goldfish Song, Message from Your Heart. I love Kina.
  15. The Weepies, Hideaway
    Orbiting makes me feel many many things. I also recommend their album Happiness. And also all their albums, ever, and Deb Talan's by herself.
  16. Ella Fitzgerald, You Belong to Me
    Unapologetically romantic. I love it.
  17. Pride and Prejudice score
    Sweeping and romantic. Be sure to play it quietly.
  18. Bonus: all the Harry Potter scores, the Chronicles of Narnia scores, the scores to August Rush and The Duchess and Sense and Sensibility
    Hedwig's Theme on a loop ain't bad.
  19. REM, Nightswimming
    This song is almost bordering on broody music territory, but it's so pretty. I also recommend Ingrid Michaelson's cover with the looping pedal. It's stunning.
  20. The Fray, How to Save a Life
    Look After You was maybe my favorite song in 2005.
  21. Mae, The Everglow
    Oh, I've already raved ab MAE, I know. But The Ocean is so peaceful. And The Sun and the Moon. And also the cover looks like a less scary cover for Pan's Labyrinth.