Johnny Cash, shown in 1972 Germany, has seen more than a few people through the morning after.
Johnny Cash, shown in 1972 Germany, has seen more than a few people through the morning after.

10 Songs That Can Almost Cure Your Worst Hangover

Written by Kris Kristofferson and most famously performed by Johnny Cash, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” is perhaps the ultimate lament of the horribly hungover. Things are already bleak before the narrator even opens his eyes — “I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt” — and it doesn’t get much better as he watches a child at play, smells chicken frying, and hears a choir singing in a not-too distant church. The ache for redemption from a soul-crushing hangover, in the form of at least a couple of aspirin if not a salve of a more spiritual nature, has rarely been captured in such poetic terms, but that’s not to say plenty of artists since then haven’t tried, both intentionally and otherwise. We thought it would be fun, albeit in a mildly sadistic way, to see which music our staff can tolerate listening to while in the throes of such self-inflicted misery. Presented in no particular order, the songs are included in case that happens to be some of you on this damp, dreary Monday morning.

“One Headlight,” The Wallflowers
This is a familiar tune, one I've listened to hundreds of time, so I think of it as an audio blanket under which to snuggle when last night's festivities ruin the next day's anything. Plus, there's something soothing about Jakob Dylan's voice. It's just spirited enough to keep me awake, but just low-key enough to be tolerated while the ibuprofen kicks in. CLINT HALE

"Fade Into You," Mazzy Star/"Sweet Jane," Cowboy Junkies
There is nothing worse than the headache that comes with a hangover. Bending over to pick up something from the floor seems like a life-threatening task. Keeping one's head on a pillow is necessary for survival. Worse, even with the most comfortable bedding, hangovers are so draining that the sufferer is no doubt exhausted, but often too anxious and antsy to be able to actually sleep. "Fade Into You" and "Sweet Jane" sound like lullabies for adults who have been around the block, soothing tension and easing the listener into relaxation. Both Hope Sandoval and Margo Timmins' voices are so soft and beautiful, they sound like angels calling the hapless hungover to sleep. SELENA DIERINGER

“Disasterpeace,” Compass
Its low, droning chords have a way of comforting your throbbing head and dry mouth. Its repeated towering arpeggios mirror your feeling of melancholy heroism as you refill the Brita filter you spilled it last night. Its soothing, simple melody give the sweet encouragement needed to valiantly hoist that wet towel from the floor to the dryer. You are the hero of your own story. ERIC SMITH

“Lose Yourself,” Eminem
Jesus Christ, it's the "Eye of the Tiger" for anyone born after 1980. Obama uses it to warm up for convention speeches! If this song can't fire you up, even in the midst of the world's worst hangover, I simply can't help you. Try Asher Roth or something. CLINT HALE

"Sunshine," Atmosphere
Sometimes a hangover just hurts. What's great about "Sunshine" is that the song acknowledges this sad reality, but also reiterates that there is a whole day that can come after a shitty morning. We have all been so hungover that we simply do not care that there is any world beyond our windows, but this cheery hip hop tune encourages the saturated to get out and feel alive. Breath air, ride a bike, get the blood flowing – it's the best way to recover. SELENA DIERINGER

“All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down,” Hank Williams Jr.
I turned 34 on January 8 of this year, and spent the entire day in bed, having enjoyed the previous day's festivities a bit too much. This song came on my Pandora mix as I lay in misery, and it was almost serendipitous. A song about getting old and slowing down plays while I'm reminded that I too am in fact getting old and slowing down. This is the song for those who want that next hangover to be their last. CLINT HALE

"Shake It Out," Florence + the Machine
It is hard to dance with the devil on your back. Is there a worse devil than a horrible hangover? Doubt it. Not surprisingly, Florence Welch has shared that this song was actually written while she was hungover, which simply proves that beautiful things can still be born out of an ugly start to the day. Advice on a hungover morning? Shake it out. If that doesn't work, Nazareth has a song called "Hair of the Dog." SELENA DIERINGER

“So Fresh, So Clean,” Outkast
This song features a smooth beat and a catchy hook to ween you off your dancing mood from last night. While it may not actually be true in the case of a rough morning, the credo of “So Fresh, So Clean” must be absorbed internally before it becomes reality. The most important thing is to remain in the Fresh, Clean mindset as long as possible. Let Outkast soak into your soul and clean it from the inside while you wallow. ERIC SMITH

“Hold On, We're Going Home,” Drake
Typically, you would think a Drake song is a better fit for the previous night, when the booze is flowing and the music is bumping. This isn't inaccurate; tracks like "Energy," "One Dance" and "Hotline Bling" are tailor-made for party time. But this gem of a track, in which Drake slows it down a bit and croons, is perfect for sorting through the previous evening. CLINT HALE

More Drake
When I'm hungover, pretty much any Drake song sets the mood. But not the boastful anthems. Instead, I want to hear Drake wallow in his own self-made misery. I want to hear him bemoan his poor decisions and plead for understanding since I too am in a state of unreasonable pain due to circumstances completely within my control. It's reassuring and self-indulgent, which is exactly what I need when my head is throbbing as a result of my own actions. Choice tracks include "Furthest Thing," "Marvin's Room," "Karaoke" and "Houstatlantavegas." MATTHEW KEEVER

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >