Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Songs for Sweethearts: A Valentine’s Day Playlist

One writer curates the perfect playlist for your favorite Hallmark holiday

valentine's playlist

It’s finally February, and you know what that means — it’s the season of love. Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve had a playlist of love songs on rotation since Week 3. 

I’ll admit, I’m a Valentine’s Day apologist. To me, the holiday is all about indulging in sweet treats, cheesy gifts, and melodramatic music. And most of all, showing appreciation to the special people in your life. 

Whatever your opinions of the 14th are, the holiday likely stirs up some feelings. And what better way is there to process strong emotions than listening to some good music? 

This year, I’ve decided to curate the perfect Valentine’s Day playlist. To help curb my pro-romance bias, I’ve enlisted some fellow music enthusiasts to help me craft the perfect playlist for every mood. Whether you’re spending the day with that special someone, or thinking of the one that got away — there’s bound to be a song for you. 

“Here with You,” d4vd

Did you and your S.O. survive breakup season this year? Congrats, it looks like you’re in it for the long haul. This song is all about those warm, fuzzy feelings you get when you know you’ve found your forever partner. Even if you’ve never experienced an epic long-term romance, it’s likely this song will inspire a sweet nostalgia. 

For peak romantic vibes, listen while sitting in the gazebo of Nathan’s Garden. Maybe even write your and your crush’s initials in the little sign-in journal, as proof of your undying affection. Why are gazebos so romantic? I don’t know, but all the best romance movies have one. 

“Sweet Nothing,” Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” is full of gems, but “Sweet Nothing” is by far the most underrated. This song is pure comfort, a vision of domestic bliss. It’s like waking up to rain outside your window and a couple more hours left to sleep. The dreamy piano riff sounds more like a lullaby than a pop ballad, which makes it perfect for listening to on a quiet night in. 

To optimize your experience, curl up in bed with a hot cup of tea and your favorite squishmallow. Imagine slow dancing with your (possibly imaginary) partner à la “All Too Well.” I promise you’ll cry a nonzero amount of times. 

“I’m Not In Love,” Kesley Lu

So, you’re in denial about your feelings? That’s alright, these things take time. “I’m Not In Love” is definitely the moodiest song I have to offer. It’s all about trying very, very hard not to have a crush on that specific person I know you’re thinking of right now. Hey, I’m not here to judge your situationship — but if your inner dialogue sounds anything like the chorus of this song, consider confessing your feelings this Valentine’s Day. I can’t guarantee good results, but at least it’ll enhance your listening experience. 

Now, here’s some picks from my anti-Valentine’s Day peers:

“Break my Heart Again,” FINNEAS

For Chase Harvey ’25, the 14th is just another day. When asked what the holiday meant to him, he said, “It usually means cheap chocolate the next day [but] I just find it a bit overrated.” 

Despite his overall ambivalence, Harvey — who both plays and composes his own music — had some great song suggestions to get you through the day. His first pick, “Break my Heart Again” is the perfect heartbreak ballad for any mood. 

For peak enjoyment, Harvey shared some tips.  

“The timing is most important. I love it when it’s midnight or later… I don’t have to be in any mood to listen to it, but it makes me feel emotion,” he said.  “It’s also relaxing, especially when you’re walking alone at night. I’m a person who doesn’t like walking alone, but whenever I listen to [“Break my Heart Again”] I could walk anywhere on this campus at night and feel like I’m not going to get murdered.” 

If you need more of this death-defying confidence in your life, here’s some similar songs that Harvey keeps on repeat: 

“Turning Page,” Sleeping at Last

“Two Slow Dancers,” Mitski 

“Loving is Easy,” Rex Orange County

“White Egret,” Wu Bai

The most notable thing about Valentine’s Day for Robert Boxwell ’25 is the fact that it’s the day before his birthday. 

“There’s a bit of anticipation, but not much else,” he said. 

Boxwell, who plays tenor sax in the Dartmouth Marching Band, grew up listening to classic music from the 60s and 70s. Nowadays, his music taste has shifted to include an eclectic mix of early 2000s pop punk and non-English rock tracks. 

This Valentine’s Day, Boxwell has the perfect (English and non-English) songs for anyone pining after their current love interest. His top choice, “White Egret” by Taiwanese rock singer Wu Bai, encapsulates the highs and lows of missing out on the one.

Boxwell said that the song is about someone who moved away from his hometown without “making things official” with a budding romantic partner. 

“It’s just a song about regret and wishing to make things better — looking down at the ruins of a bridge where they parted ways and being like, ‘I could have done something,’ but it never panned out,” Boxwell said.  “But at the end there’s a hopeful shift… It’s not the happiest song, [but] it’s a bit optimistic.” 

If you’re looking for more pop and slightly less angst, here’s some more recommendations courtesy of Boxwell: 

Still Into You,” Paramore

“You Belong with Me,” Taylor Swift

‘Stacy’s Mom,” Fountains of Wayne 

For my full Valentine's Day Playlist, click here.