Music can be one of the most important parts of a recovery process from illness or surgery. Sitting in bed, shut off from the world and feeling as physically crummy as personally low, a healthy playlist can be as important as a hearty soup and simply following your doctor’s orders. So, no matter your affliction—runny nose or not running around on that broken ankle—here are 10 songs for a sick day.
1. “Everybody Hurts,” R.E.M.
In this life, as the legendary Athens band’s frontman Michael Stipe notes, “Everybody hurts … sometimes.” Whether it’s the common cold, a nasty fever or some far more severe health issue, it happens to us all. As only a truly trailblazing band would know, you’ve got to just suck it up and face whatever (under the) weather.
2. “Fever,” Peggy Lee
It’s the truest sign of illness. No matter what sort of health dilemma, you know you’re in trouble when that temperature starts a-risin’. And, sure, Mrs. Lee may have been singing about a heart cold, not a head one, but still once you hear those spooky snaps that kick this tune off, you know the sickness is coming on.
3. “Remedy,” The Black Crowes
“If I had some remedy, I would take enough to please me.” It’s all Chris Robinson can do to keep himself from explosively hollering about curing what ails him. In this staple of good time Southern rock from the Crowes’ early catalog, the Atlanta band’s frontman keeps on keepin’ on, wailing on the back track of that aforementioned lyric, pining for some of the medicine he needs. If you weren’t feeling faint already, this epic, soaring rock song will do the trick.
4. “Codeine Crazy,” Future
Ahem … that cough sounds bad, bro, need something for that? Lucky for you, current crown jewel of hip-hop, Future, has just what you need with this ode to that much-sought-after cure for what ails you. So sit back, swallow hard and here’s to hoping your world turns as purple as this song’s video.
5. “Dramamine,” Modest Mouse
So, Dramamine is the pharmaceutical name of the medicine or just the brand name? It stops all dizziness, nausea and vomiting or just when that triumvirate is associated with actual motion sickness? Does motion sickness stop once you stop moving? These questions and many more throbbed through my head as I fervently perused the answers I awaited on WebMd! All while, of course, jamming to the sweetly subtle reverberations of this indie-rock classic about a sickness brought on by the unknown. This is a must-listen no matter your state of sickness.
6. “I Wanna Be Sedated,” The Ramones
Only The Ramones—those bastions of punk pranking—could put just how hellish it is to try and outrun a bad sickness. As they crunch guitars behind the repetitive rolling off of this titular phrase, you can feel the monotony of whatever your awful illness is coming back and back and back (and back) until you just can’t take it no more.
7. “Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine,” The White Stripes
With his pale skin whiter than the sickest of hospital patients, who better than Jack White to deliver a tune about the useless of medicinal purposes? And what better way to do so than with not very arguably the most ridiculously nonsensical lyrical refrain ever: “Acetaminophen / You see the medicine / Girl, you have no faith in medicine.” Keep playing that guitar, dude.
8. “The Shape I’m In,” The Band
Bob Dylan’s old backing band stepped out of his shadow to become some of the most influentially soulful rockers in music history. On this jittery ballad about being “under the weather,” they’re all as in unison as ever, with that trademark rhythm-and-blues bounce driving the Civil War-era folk rock they played out so well.
9. “Insomniac’s Lullaby,” Paul Simon
If you’ve been sick, you know you ain’t going to be sleeping much. That’s why the sweet sounds of one of the elder statesmen of the softer side of folk rock serenading your sorry, sickly ears is the perfect prescription to getting the unmatched medicine of sleep back in your life. That and NyQuil.
10. “Autumn Fall,” Gold Panda
So, is it specifically about being sick, recovering from sickness or a bad disease itself? Well, you won’t know from its lyrics because, there aren’t any in this chilled-out long walk through unflashy electronics. But whether it’s that cold in the fall or whatever other season that has you down, it would be in your best interest to get lost in a relaxing soundscape while you pound the cough drops and vitamin C. And this is one of the freshest new songs from a real good example of a guy who knows how to make those sounds.