Whether it’s a layover, a strange departure time, or an unexpected delay brought about by the weather, sometimes a change in flight plans leaves us no option but to get some shuteye at the airport. While the key to sleeping peacefully in an airport lounge is finding an area with little traffic, oftentimes listening to soothing, familiar tunes can help your mind quiet down and allow your body to relax.
Here are 11 songs to get you in a calm state as you wait to board your plane. Just make sure not to miss your flight!
Imogen Heap – “Sleep”
Strings and gentle piano music complement the English singer-songwriter’s earthy vocals on this little-known lullaby.
Air – “Playground Love”
Taken from the score for Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides,” the track features slow-mo grooves and a melancholy saxophone solo.
Daughter – “Shallows”
This break-up ballad by the London trio may be infinitely bleak, but it’s also beautifully hypnotic.
James Blake – “Limit To Your Love”
Blake’s lovelorn crooning floats over a warm but alien musical structure and illustrates the power of restraint.
The xx – “Angels”
The song’s dreamy, atmospheric quality – anchored by Romy Madley Croft's plaintive voice – is perfect for those preparing for a power nap.
Radiohead – “No Surprises”
A simple acoustic guitar strum, a glockenspiel, an unobtrusive rhythm section and Thom Yorke’s less-is-more vocal phrasing let the slow jam shine.
Coldplay – “Fix You”
Call it a stately rock ballad or an unabashedly sentimental tune: Here, Chris Martin delivers words of hope and encouragement in his gentle falsetto.
Massive Attack – “Teardrop”
Sung by Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser, the delicate electronic track conveys emotions that are neither positive nor negative – only intense.
José González – “Heartbeats”
This is the quintessential indie pop bedroom song to play when you’re feeling particularly wistful, in dire need of ZZZs or both.
Birdy – “Skinny Love”
Recorded in 2011, when the English singer was 15, this piano-fuelled cover of the classic Bon Iver single is both spare and strong.
Sigur Rós – “Glósóli”
The glorious scope of the Icelandic group’s music is best admired over the course of an album, but this six-minute-plus opus is a wonderful start.
Read more about the best places to take a nap at the Helsinki Airport.