Jasper Jams: Breakdance Through Burnout

by Gabriella DePinho & Christine Nappi, Senior Writer & Arts & Entertainment Editor

With the lack of Spring Break, it’s no doubt that many of us are feeling burnt out. Midterms “week” didn’t exist for us this year– the supposed week of stress, lack of sleep and tons of exams and projects, suddenly turned into a month long event. This might not have been so bad with time off from school, which could have helped us to recuperate and pay more attention to our mental health. But we didn’t have time off– and the work seems to keep piling on, even though midterms are technically over. 

While nothing seems to beat the feeling you get when you get off for Spring Break, there is one thing that can help you through this time: music. Music has the power to completely alter your mood and improve your overall well-being. If you’re stressed, feeling down, or in need of a pick me up to get you through this crazy-busy semester, then listen to these songs and get ready to breakdance through burnout. 

Christine’s picks: 

Brown Eyed Girl– Van Morrison 

An oldie but goodie and a classic feel-good tune. Maybe it’s just because it reminds me of summer and warmer, care-free days, but this song always put me in the best mood. Whenever I hear it, I imagine that I’m sitting on the beach as the sun is about to set, surrounded by my friends and family with smiles on each of our faces. This song brings me back to moments when life was perfect and when I couldn’t be happier. I like to listen to it when I’m feeling down or need a pick-me-up from being constantly burnt out. It reminds me that warmer, simpler and happier days lie ahead, which gives me something to look forward to. 

Only Wanna Be With You– Hootie & the Blowfish 

This is one of those songs that you know you know, but never actually think of listening to it until it randomly comes on shuffle or is playing on your local coffee shop’s radio. That’s exactly what happened to me the other day: I was listening to a random playlist, and suddenly it came on. But this song deserves a spot on your feel-good playlist– the acoustic guitar and upbeat rhythm can uplift your mood instantly, and the lyrics can help you feel better. The song is about wanting to be with someone despite all odds; the singer’s only desire in life is to be with the girl he loves. This is a comforting message and reminds us that the most important thing in life is simply being with our loved ones. Nothing else seems to matter as long as we’re with them. So when you’re feeling stressed out and spread too thin, know that whatever you’re stressed about doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things– being with your loved ones is what matters. 

So Close (ft. Georgia Ku) – NOTD, Felix Jaehn

When I’m looking to feel even better than just good, I always turn to electronic dance music, or EDM. Listening to any EDM song will leave you feeling hyped up and excited, which trust me, will fix your feelings of burnout. Also known as “club music,” EDM tracks will bring you back to life pre-pandemic, where you were able to pack into a sweaty bar with all your friends and have fun together! However, this song in particular replicates that fun, party-like feeling for me and gets me excited. My friends and I would always play this song when we would hang out on the weekends, and it just reminds me of a more fun time, when it wasn’t considered dangerous to be in a social setting with tons of people. If you need a pick-me up to put you in that party feeling (despite not being able to party) I recommend listening to this song. Just don’t listen too closely– the lyrics aren’t necessarily the happiest, however, the quick chord progression and beat drops distract you from reading into the lyrics. 

Joy– Bastille 

What better way to feel joyful than listening to a song titled “Joy.” I remember when I first heard this song, I was instantly hooked. I’m someone who really enjoys listening to happy, ubeat music that lifts your spirits, as opposed to slower, sadder songs (they don’t call me Happy Nappi for nothing) and this song is exactly what I look for in music. For some background, the lyrics depict someone waking up in not the greatest of moods, however they are instantly filled with joy when that special someone calls them. The song basically recreates the warm, bubbly and excited feeling you get after receiving a notification from your crush, which you can’t deny, is a happy feeling. So if you’re looking to boost your mood and feel the same “joy” the singer does, then add this to your playlist! 

Life is a Highway– Rascal Flatts 

The serotonin this song gives me is indescribable. This song is just a bop. Maybe it’s because of nostalgia, since this version of the song was featured in Disney’s “Cars,” a piece of cinematic gold that we all watched when we were young. With the upbeat instrumentals and catchy lyrics, you can easily sing along to this song. “Life is a Highway” will instantly boost your mood– trust me. Even if the song doesn’t play on the nostalgia factor for you and bring you back to happy times, you can’t help but smile and belt out the lyrics when you hear this. 

Something That I Want – Grace Potter 

Yes, this is the song at the end credits of the movie “Tangled” (I promise I didn’t intend for my picks to have a Disney theme, but they do). This is such a cute and happy song– it’s the type of song that nearly every movie plays at the end, when all the characters have resolved their problems and appear to have nothing left to worry about. If you want to feel like those characters, then put this song on! It won’t be able to solve your problems or fix whatever is stressing you out, but it can certainly help. When listening to this song, you’ll be able to escape to a happier place for a little while. 

Best Song Ever– One Direction 

I’ll admit it… I was a directioner back in the day. I used to listen to them all the time and play this song specifically over, and over. Is it really the best song ever? No. But, it still puts me in a great mood! It’s one of those songs that reminds me of simpler times, when One Direction was still together, and it’s one of those songs that I know every word to. There’s something that feels so good about singing along to a song where you know all the lyrics. Not to mention, the song is very upbeat and exciting, and I promise the first seconds of the song will leave you feeling excited. But if you’re not too into One Direction, then try playing “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who. The instrumentals sound the same anyway! 

Gabs’ Picks:

Spinning (with Charli XCX & The 1975) – No Rome 

This collaboration has only been out for a few weeks but I’ve listened to it a bunch. Charli XCX is a pop diva, The 1975 rock the alternative scene but what brings them together so well is the London-based Filipino musician, No Rome, who blends genres such as synth-pop, contemporary R&B and house music so well. This song is great for a work out playlist — to blow off some steam — or a dance party with your roommates while you wash your dishes. 

One More Weekend – Maude Latour 

If you love Lorde — who hasn’t released music in years but did write an essay about going to Antarctica recently — then Maude Latour is for you. She’s giving you “Melodrama” vibes with a specific NYC twist, as she is a 21 year-old student at Columbia University. While it’s not exactly a dance around your room tune, I think if you have the chance to take an aimless walk or drive to clear your head, this track will keep you great company. 

Haven’t Had Enough (Of Being Young) – Mating Ritual 

Mating Ritual has been a band whose music I’ve awkwardly danced along to since high school. While I loosely follow their new releases, I happened to check their artist page just shortly after this track was released. I would be lying if I said I haven’t already done my fair share of dancing to this song about growing up even when you’re not ready to (which is relatable as graduation looms in the distance). 

House Party – Sam Hunt 

This song gets a disclaimer that it is extremely irresponsible to have a house party right now as the pandemic is still ongoing– vaccination efforts are still underway and herd immunity has not been reached. However, I highly encourage a fun night with your roommates and this song is great for that soundtrack! While we might prefer to be at a traditional house party to celebrate the end of midterms, you can still have fun, dance and sing in the comfort of your living room.

Heartbreak Girl – 5 Seconds of Summer 

Sometimes the best way to cope with stress is to go back to the things you loved during your tween years. A lot of the time it’s super cringey, but also incredibly comforting. Lately I’ve been watching the Disney show “Austin & Ally” and exclusively listening to 5SOS’ early eps. Though the band has expressed that they hate this song now, I’ll always love it. If 5SOS isn’t your jam, I highly recommend looking up a band you haven’t listened to in five years anyway.