Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DePaul chapter.

This fall is different from any other we have experienced so far. The unique thing about right now is that everyone has gone through some sort of change as a result of this pandemic, no matter how big or small. For me at least, spending so much time alone with myself over the past 6 months or so has led to a lot of introspection. 

I am the kind of person that tries to keep myself busy enough to avoid thinking too much, and when everything came screeching to a halt I found myself facing a lot of unprocessed emotions that had been put on hold. Poetry and music helped me navigate these feelings, reminding me how deep emotions run, their versatility, and what it takes to put them into words.

Now, six months later, I want to highlight some of my favorite poetic tracks for a reflective and introspective fall — music to soothe your soul, to remind you to feel deeply and unapologetically. 

I hope these tracks touch you in some way, that they remind you of a loved one, a treasured memory, a battle overcome. If anything at all, I hope it makes your fall morning walk a little bit nicer. 

Person in Blue Jeans and Pair of Blue Sneakers

Track 1: “A Sunday Kind of Love” by Etta James

Oh Etta James, what an incredible artist. This song is about longing for a long-term relationship, the kind that’s sweet and easygoing, much like a Sunday. 

There’s a certain kind of comfort associated with Sunday, and I love how she uses the connotations of the days of the week to describe the love she seeks. A love that, “lasts past Saturday night,” when the fun is over and it’s time to reset for the week ahead — someone to plan ahead with, to stick it out through thick and thin. 

For me, this song makes me feel all the good parts of being in love. It reminds me of the lazy days, the ones spent cozy and content with just being in each other’s presence. What better way to start off than with that warm, fuzzy feeling?

Valentin Antonucci

Track 2: “Black Dog” by Arlo Parks

Arlo Parks is simply beautiful. Her music is full of love in many forms, and “Black Dog” is a wonderful example of this.

This song is about her attempts to help a friend who has depression through a rough patch. What makes this song stick with me is how earnestly she expresses care for her friend in its purest forms. Her gentle persistence throughout the song, saying, “I would do anything to get you out your room” makes my heart happy. 

I think a lot of people don’t know how to help those with mental illnesses like depression. Sometimes it helps just to have someone show they care because it’s the little things that matter most. 

The simple joy that comes from the offer, “let’s go to the corner store and buy some fruit,” alone makes me love this song like I love the friend that knows me best. That friend lives quite far now and we don’t get to talk much, but a conversation with her feels like pressing a reset button. For me, this song feels like the special kind of comfort that comes with being truly seen and heard by someone close to you.

Track 3: “Party of One” by Brandi Carlile

Whew, this song has a lot to unpack. It is complex, extraordinary, and it’s a story of an aching heart and soul. Brandi Carlile, accompanied by Sam Smith on this song, is an incredible lyricist that doesn’t hold back. This raw track details the pain and heartache of the lows in a relationship. 

Specifically, Carlile and Smith wrote this song about the specific struggles of same-sex relationships with the heavyweight of having to “fight for the right” to be with someone, but still facing the same hardships of any relationship.

In a general sense, it is a song about the tides of immense love and exhaustion. Being in a long-distance relationship myself, this is a song that really makes me think about my own love. The repeated line throughout the song, “I am tired, I am yours,” pulls together her love for her partner, while simultaneously unraveling her will to fight for the relationship.


couple wrapped in Pride flag
Samantha Hurley from Burst

Track 4: “Walden Pond” by Atta Boy

Atta Boy’s, “Walden Pond,” is wonderfully nostalgic, looking back on a past lover with a youthful heart. It connects ideas of nature, love, and the open road in a way that is unique and multifaceted. It is a song about how sometimes the simple things in life aren’t enough for some people, and they seek new adventures in new places.

But despite their going away, they will never forget the fun they had where they came from. This song has me reminiscing on being 17 in the summertime. My favorite line of the song is, “remember good days driving miles ‘cross county lines.” 

To me, this song feels like road trips with good music, days by the lake, and hanging out with my high school friends. It brings back all my favorite memories of growing up in Michigan just long enough to remind me that there’s some good there.

Concrete Road
Photo by Matt Hardy from Pexels

Track 5: “Doomed” by Moses Sumney

Moses Sumney is probably the most truly poetic lyricist on this list. His lyrics in “This Mortal Shell” alone are enough to have you considering the meaning of your existence. The song itself asks the questions: “What is life without love? Is my life worthwhile if not filled with love? If lovelessness is godlessness/ Will you cast me to the wayside?” 

Lyrics aside, his voice is enough to cleanse your mind of any unwanted thoughts. When I find myself anxious or overthinking, I stop what I am doing and take a moment to listen to his music because it’s meditative for me. When I listen to this song, I lay as still as possible with my eyes closed, letting his voice take over my mind like ink spilling into water.

iPhone with headphones on desk
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Unsplash

Track 6: “Take Care” by Tasha 

This is a spoken-word track by Tasha, an incredible indie artist. “Take Care” is a reminder to treat your mind, body, and soul with kindness. It is a reminder to cherish and hold close your mortal form, if not for yourself then for those who have died and left you to remember their names. 

She speaks a lot about believing in herself in “Bubble Baths.” In “F-ck the Police Poetry,” she speaks about her fear of not being remembered when she dies.

Similar to Moses Sumney, Tasha’s voice has a certain entrancing quality that makes me stop what I am doing and listen. From beautiful love songs like “Kind of Love” to the honest spoken word of “Take Care,” her art is powerful and I encourage you to take a moment to hear what she has to say.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Track 7: “Young American” by The Vaccines

“Young American” is a song about the vague ambiguity of love. It reminds me of dreams where you reach out for something that you can’t seem to grasp. In an anti-gravity love song, The Vaccines detail first love in metaphors about the milky way galaxy, my favorite line being, “pull me into orbit with your hands and show me where you wanted me to land.” 

It is a song about vulnerability, first times, and of questionable experiences painted as dreamy romances.

This is a song I hid away for a long time. It had become attached to a person in my past that I wanted to forget, and once stuck it became hard to separate the two. Over time I realized that this song didn’t fit the memory of that person anymore. 

Instead, it portrays honestly and openly the experiences of any new love. Now, this song is somewhat therapeutic for me. It reminds me that my past experiences have built who I am today, but also that the people of my past do not define me.

close-up of woman holding white headphones around her neck

There are a few other songs I added to my Spotify playlist, but these are the ones that mean the most to me. I hope you could find a piece of yourself in some of these tracks too, and I wish you a happy and healthy fall!


Hello! My name is Maddy Maes and I am a secondary education English major with a film minor at DePaul. I am in my second year, and I hope to teach abroad after graduating. I have always loved writing in all forms, but poetry has a special place in my heart. I have a poem published with the Live Poets Society, and pre-Covid I performed my work at my first poetry slam. Aside from that, I am also a semi-professional photographer, new bullet-journaler, beginning roller-skater, and a stress baker :)