Playlist: It’s Good to Be In Love

I love how pop songs seem profound
when we’re in love,
though they wound us too sweetly,
never seriously enough.
I love the good home
cliches can find in an authentic voice.
Stephen Dunn, “Loves”

Someone who’d just spent an entire day reading my blog in order to create this situation for my 30th birthday reminded me of this post which contained a Valentine’s Day themed playlist I wrote on February 14th 2008, which honestly is really a fucking bizarre time to have constructed a playlist like this. But it also makes perfect sense, as I’d kinda accidentally acquired two girlfriend-type things that winter so clearly if anyone had lots of love to give, it was me. It became a really beautiful spring then, afterwards, and summer.

What about now? My heart knows exactly where it is now but I still don’t have this vocabulary. I know the words for darkness and feeling ambivalent about death and for wanting something so badly that I had to shut down every feeling I’ve ever known just to keep breathing without it. For when waking up felt like walking into traffic, for loving something I kept on eating knowing full well that it was already scaling the walls of my liver/soul, marking its territory. I know the words for loving something that, by all accounts, seemed to hate me. I know the words for not needing love at all.

But for this? For falling in love and wanting to scream about it? It seems like anything that could ever be said about love has already been said.

Love is just simple, ultimately, isn’t it? Dark is a problem and it’s complicated but maybe part of what makes love so fucking awesome is how simple it is. It’s easy once you have it. Like heartbreak is an overflowing storage closet and love is just a really fucking sunny day. Simple as that, though often deeper and fuller than dark will ever go.

If I had this vocabulary, dear reader, I would’ve told you about it already.

Instead, we have music.

[this list was made in 2008, but i added a few more recent tracks to it for this post]

Love Song– The Cure
It’s Good To Be In Love – Frou Frou
Baby You Got Me -The Roots
Always On My Mind (2003 – Remaster) – Pet Shop Boys
Underwater – Tegan & Sara
I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
Might Tell You Tonight – The Scissor Sisters
Late At Night – Buffalo Tom
L.O.V.E. – Jessie J
This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
Tonight – Stars
Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
From The Morning – Nick Drake
Parentheses – The Blow
First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
Goodnight and Go – Imogen Heap
Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix
Songbird (Glee Cast Version) – Glee Cast
Green Eyes – Coldplay
Maybe I’m Amazed– Paul McCartney
On & On – Erykah Badu

listen to the playlist streaming on

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3212 articles for us.


  1. Ooh, this is a good one!

    Here are some of mine:

    “Valentine” – SJ Tucker
    “Make You Feel My Love” – Adele
    “Crazy Faith” – Alison Krauss
    “Shameless” – Ani DiFranco
    “San Dimas High School Football Rules” – The Ataris
    “Just Another Magic Moment” – The Bomb Bassets
    “To Find You” – Bonnie McKee
    “Yellow” – Coldplay
    “Angels at Play” – Common Rider
    “Pale September” – Fiona Apple
    “The One I Want” – Green Day
    “If It Kills Me (Casa Nova Sessions)” – Jason Mraz
    “Love at First Sight” – Kylie Minogue
    “You’re the Only One” – The Mr. T Experience
    “New” – No Doubt
    “Hey Pretty” – Poe
    “Totally” – Screeching Weasel
    “Ultimate Devotion” – Strung Out
    “Glimmer of Hope” – Stubborn All-Stars
    “Not With You” – Tegan & Sara
    “Shiroi Iro Koibito no Iro” – W (Double You)

    And one to grow on:
    “Dominated Love Slave” – Green Day

    • “San Dimas High School Football Rules” was probably the ultimate love anthem of my high school experience.

      • It was the ultimate love anthem of my freshman year of college! My friends and I all agreed it would be the absolute pinnacle of romance to have someone write such a song about us (since we were all tone deaf and hoplessly untalented musically, it’s not like we could hope to be the ones writing such a song).

  2. her space holiday – a small setback to a great comeback
    edward sharpe-home
    jenny owen youngs- if I didn’t know
    regina spektor-us
    the mountain goats- international small arms traff
    bruce springsteen-if I should fall behind
    ben harper-not fire, not ice
    jack Johnson-angel
    sigur ros- staralfur
    adele-make you feel my love
    dean and britta- our love will still be there
    angus and Julia stone-mango tree
    ani difranco-as is
    ben harper-forever
    cat power-sea of love
    city and colour- the girl
    iron and wine-lions mane
    jenny owen youngs-here is a heart
    josh ritter-bright smile
    joshua radin-id rather be with you
    the lucksmiths-guess how much I love you
    slow club-when I go
    stars- the aspidistra files
    sufjan stevens-to be alone with you
    angus and Julia stone- wedding song
    the album leaf-always for you
    eels-fresh feeling

  3. Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton is so perfect. This may come off sounding super wierd, but one of my high school teachers loved Eric Clapton, and so he played us this song, and it’s been one of my favorite ever since.

    • Dude, “Just Like Heaven” is the greatest love song ever. Next to “Punk Rock Girl” by the Dead Milkmen, of course.

  4. Great playlist!

    But the omission of “At Last” by Etta James is pretty nuts. Also Billie Holiday’s “I Can’t Believe You’re In Love with Me” is so lovely.

    Also more contemporary songs that I love: The XX “Islands,” Best Coast “When I’m With You,” and Cat Power’s version of “Wild Is the Wind” is insanely gorgeous.

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