Fun fact, dear readers, April is National Stress Month. While it seems that we currently have the stress part down, I figure it’s my responsibility as a Hallyu writer to help you relieve some of that stress. What better way to do it than with some tunes? After all, music is scientifically proven to help with stress, elevate your mood and even boost your immune system!
Now, we’re taking a break from the usual playlist and giving you a list of full albums that will help you de-stress. I picked albums that are calming and pretty chill without being loaded with sad ballads. Just because something is slow doesn’t make it calming.
01 MBLAQ — Sexy Beat
MBLAQ, despite being known for their club songs, is a really great band for slower tracks. I love a good dance track as much as the next girl. But I actually prefer their chiller side. Even with “Smokey Girl” on here, this is a great album to just run in the background as you’re trying to relax. The entire album is even on my sleep playlist. It’s that soothing.
02 Crush — From Midnight To Sunset
Oh, this album. Picture this for me. The sun is setting on a summer’s day that miraculously isn’t insufferably hot. A gentle breeze blows as you sip your drink. Not an insect or worry to bother you. You are relaxed as night falls. That feeling is this entire album. “From Midnight to Sunrise” is that breezy, calm feeling seeping into your body. There are some songs that are just so ethereal, it gave me chills when I first heard it.
03 Primary — Primary and the Messengers
Honestly, any Primary album is a great one for de-stressing. But this has been personally field-tested! I literally wrote my first book while listening to this album in 2013. 30 grueling days of plotting, writing and world-building with this fun and chill album helping me. I did a Rapid Review of this a few weeks ago. I absolutely adore it. If you need to do a quick dance party, you have hits like “See Through” or “Love,’ but it’s also perfect music for a night of self-care.
04 Jonghyun — Base
This is another that’s on my Sleep playlist. It’s rare for me to love an entire album, but this was an instant classic for me. From the confident and charming start with “Deja Boo” to the slow, seductive “Beautiful Tonight” (or “Fortune Cookie,” depending on the physical or digital format) this album just lulls you into calm. I’ve had nights where I just couldn’t sleep, so I replayed this. I haven’t gotten tired of it. “Love Belt” is still one of my favorite songs of Jonghyun‘s, and I still clutch my heart during “Monodrama.”
05 Jus2 — Focus
Dear JYP Entertainment and Got7‘s JB and Yugyeom, please do another Jus2 album. I understand the Got7 members have their own musical goals, both together and individually. With that said, I’d like another Jus2 album.
This dark house/electro R&B/trip-hop album is perfect if you’d like something a bit more modern. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the albums I listed here. But “Focus” is an outlier in both this list and the current K-pop scene. This collaboration makes for an album that’s modern without chasing trends and chill without ever being boring. Refreshing without being alienating. This EP does a lot within six songs and constantly surprises me.
Hopefully, these albums will help lower your stress. I know that we’re all in scary times right now. But I want to let you all know that you’re not alone. We will get through this. Stay safe and remember that self-care is important.