Get through the Mercury retrograde with an out-of-this-world playlist


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Photo: Getty Images/Martin Dimitrov

Bad news, guys. Mercury goes retrograde on November 16. And you know what that means? You’d better prepare yourself for mayhem concerning all things logistical and communication-based. Holiday travel plans are going to get screwed up. Your laptop is going to be on the fritz. You might get dumped. Or laid off. The long and short of it is that things are about to go haywire—and there’s not much you can do to stop it.

Mercury goes retrograde roughly four times a year when, thanks to the way Earth orbits, the smallest planet in the solar system seems to travel backward. During these phases, it’s smart to not make any important moves. I’m talking engagements, big financial transactions, and huge trips. Communication and honesty are really put to the test, as are technologies and formal contracts, since these are all the areas of your life that Mercury rules. So when the planet is on the fritz, it’s best to let these sleeping dogs lie.

But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence: I’ve put together an entire playlist to help you get through this trying and stressful astrological time. Apologies in advance if your noise-canceling headphones break trying to listen to it. That Mercury is a tricky minx after all….

Give a listen to the Mercury retrograde playlist below.

1. “Mercury” by Bloc Party
Let’s kick this off on a literal note, shall we? This Bloc Party song is a refresher into the idea of Mercury retrograde. With lyrics like “This is not the time to start a new love / This is not the time to sign a lease,” it’s a essentially just a guideline for how to handle the astrological phase. Plus, the chorus is catchy as hell.

2. “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” by The Dream Academy
Is this not the thing we wail into the universe while our messenger planet is moving backward? This cover of the classic song by The Smiths will speak to your soul on days when you missed a train, sent an email full of typos to your boss, and swiped left on that person on Tinder who really deserved a right swipe.

3. “Telephone” by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé
Since Mercury is the planet of communication, it’s only natural that things like phone calls and text messages will throw us off. So when Beyoncé and Gaga sing “Stop calling, stop calling / I don’t wanna talk anymore,” it speaks to our soul.

4. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
Listen, we all need a mantra to get through the trying time. And if Gloria Gaynor’s crooning isn’t it, I don’t know what is.

5. “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit
When you can’t get your head on straight, and the universe seems stacked against you, it can start to feel like you can’t get out of your own way. This bop by Lit speaks to that in a big way.

6. “Starboy” by The Weekend, Daft Punk
Sure, there’s a cosmic connection between what’s going on with the planets and the name of this song. But if you listen to the lyrics, it’s really an indictment on how buying lots of things won’t make you happy. Consider it a reminder to Kondo your wish list and hold off on huge purchases until Mercury goes direct.

7. “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac
This song was written when all of the singers in the band were going through breakups, and it speaks to the issue of communication. Pus, the lyrics “damn your love, damn your lies” is pretty much the general ethos of Mercury in retrograde.

8. “In My Feelings” by Drake
Emotions run high when the planet of communication is out of whack. And who better than Drake to sing us through all the feels?

9. “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
Al Green is the king of trying to smooth over miscommunication. So if Mercury’s mission of madness wreaking havoc on your love life, play this tune for your S.O. to set things right before the planet goes direct.

10. “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks
It’s a mood.

11. “Try A Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding
Remember, just because things are tough doesn’t mean you should be beating yourself up for forgetting to call your mom back. Follow Redding’s lead and try a little tenderness on yourself.

12. “Communication Breakdown” by Led Zeppelin
Honestly, this should just be the theme song of retrograde periods.

13. “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” by Geto Boys
Can’t sleep? Think someone’s following you? Are you absolutely certain you paid your credit card bill, even though you just got slapped with an overdue notice? The Geto Boys get you.

14. “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles
“Woke up, fell out of bed / Dragged a comb across my head / Found my way downstairs and drank a cup / And looking up, I noticed I was late.” Yep—that’s pretty much every morning during retrograde.

Speaking of the power of the planets, here’s how astrology may have predicted Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande’s breakup. And here’s your go-to glossary for all the astrology terms.

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