You’ve Got Options: Holiday Music in the Pandemic

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We often think of the winter holidays as a lively, joyful, and exciting time in our families and communities. That’s what Hallmark shows us, right? 

Sometimes, though, the holidays can bring a combination of joy and stress from trying to coordinate and plan for all of the familial traditions. And in some years, we can’t get together with loved ones, or we’re grieving for people who’ve died or otherwise left our lives.

In this pandemic year, full of unprecedented experiences, we cannot engage with our loved ones at the same level and carry out the traditions we cherish. 

This pandemic holiday season can bring up a whole range of feelings. 

First off, please know that if you’re not feeling in the holiday spirit, that is completely fine. You do not have to “pivot” or adapt your holiday traditions, and if you just want to opt out this year, that is OKAY. We are living through a once-in-a-century pandemic after all.

But maybe you’re all in for the holidays and are looking for new ways to celebrate. Things may be different this year, but we also have a golden opportunity to forge new traditions. 

We have created three playlists to help you through this holiday season. No matter how you’re feeling today, we’ve got a playlist for you.

Ready to celebrate?

If you’re ready to celebrate and put up your favorite holiday decorations, wonderful! The joy of the holidays can help carry us through the rough times and provide comfort. We have just the playlist for you here: Spotify / Youtube

Not in the holiday spirit?

But, if planning and all the usual holiday work ups are too much to handle this year, or even just in this present moment, you can go for comfort and ease. Maybe you can simply try to connect with those you care about, eat your favorite foods, and lean into your support networks. Sometimes all we can do is try to keep it together, as Norah Jones sings in “Tryin’ to Keep it Together.” Not feeling the holiday spirit? Try out this playlist of non-holiday songs: Spotify / Youtube

Mixed feelings?

And maybe you’re feeling something in between or don’t even know how the heck you feel today. Music can help you process these mixed feelings or hold the space for your experience. For example, “White Christmas” can validate that feeling of holiday wistfulness. The singer expresses that though they are unable to go home for Christmas in person, they can go in their dreams. If you’ve got mixed feelings about the holidays, check out this playlist: Spotify / Youtube

One more option:

Play whatever music feels good right now. We love suggesting songs, but there’s nothing like playing your favorite song or album. Look for the songs that can hold your sadness, express your joy, or get you motivated for the day ahead.

We’re wishing you holidays that are musical just in the way you need.


For more information on Show Me Hope and how we are helping the community during the pandemic visit

If you are experiencing disaster distress, you can call or text the national hotline 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 1-800-985-5990. 


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