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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

With all the snow and wind we’ve been getting lately, I’ve found myself missing sunshine more and more. Winter is a time when a lot of us feel lower; the cold and darkness sink our energy. It’s important to take care of your mental health, especially in winter. For me, one of the things that helps is music. I have a lot of songs stashed away in my playlist for when the cold, gray sky is making me feel down and I need a little sunshine to fight the winter blues. Hopefully, you’ll recognize some and find others that are new for when you need your own energy boost.

1. I Aint Worried – OneRepublic

I’ll be honest: I can’t hear this song without thinking of the beach scene in Top Gun: Maverick. The scene’s lighting is perfect, the tone is carefree, and it’s a chance for all the tightly-wound pilots to let loose and have fun playing together on the warm sand. When I hear this song I try to listen to the lyrics and tap into that energy, to relax and say, “I ain’t worried ’bout it right now.”

2. Here comes the sun – the Beatles

I can’t have a list of sunshine songs without including this one. It’s gentle, warm, and upbeat, and the main lyrics are “here comes the sun.” You can’t get more summery than that! I first heard this song in the Lindsey Lohan version of The Parent Trap, and that movie had me in a chokehold for a large part of my childhood. Whenever I hear this song today, I get a wash of childhood nostalgia and can’t help but smile.

3. Walking on a dream – Empire of the Sun

One of my favourite lyrics in this one is “Never looking down, I’m just in awe of what’s in front of me.” I love songs that linger in a sense of wonder. It always strikes me as such a carefree, positive way to look at the world, and that’s what I love about summery songs—they allow for a little escape from the dreariness of whatever season you’re in and invite you to bask in the warmth for a little while. Forget all your troubles; live with the music.

4. Don’t Delete the Kisses – Wolf Alice

I first heard this song in the Netflix adaptation of Heartstopper, and I’m so happy I did. The show itself is incredibly sweet and heartfelt, and the song fits the storyline perfectly, with the singer sharing feelings of shyness and excitement over a crush. The song flows like a friend gushing to you, with the singer spilling all their worries and fragile hopes about a new relationship they want to pursue. This song may not have any direct correlation to sunshine, but the sound design and the hopefulness of the lyrics give me summer vibes, so it’s definitely on the list.

5. Ur so beautiful – Grace vanderwaal

Some of you may recognize Grace VanderWaal as the winner of America’s Got Talent in 2016. Since then, she’s gone on to make some wonderful music and this song is one of my favourites. Lyrically, it’s very simple—just a soft “damn, you’re so beautiful / and don’t you know it” with Grace’s unique vocals and a dreamy guitar. It’s very warm and soothing, and can always break me out of a bad day.

Sapphyre Smith

Queen's U '24

Sapphyre is a fourth-year English major at Queen's University.