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The Weeknd’s Dawn FM Has A Song For Every Mood

By Athena Serrano

The Weeknd, whose given name is Abel Tesfaye, knows the feeling of being stuck in limbo during a two-year pandemic, and of remaining in the dark for far too long. On his new fifth studio album Dawn FM, he steps boldly into the light.

“It’s the album I’ve always wanted to make,” Tesfaye teased GQ in August. Tesfaye delivers on this grand claim, filling the collection with so many psychedelic disco, dance-pop, and funk-pop party tracks that, listening to them, you feel absorbed in overwhelming emotion. And he’s also gotten some help from all-star rappers like Lil Wayne and Tyler, the Creator, as well as an unexpected appearance from actor Jim Carrey, who plays the role of a soothing radio host.

Tesfaye captures the disorientation of the in-between. As he explained to Billboard in November, he imagined the listener having an out-of-body experience, as if they are navigating the road from death to the afterlife.

“And they’re stuck in this purgatory state, which I always imagined would be like being stuck in traffic waiting to reach the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “And while you’re stuck in traffic, they got a radio station playing in the car, with a radio host guiding you to the light and helping you transition to the other side. So it could feel celebratory, could feel bleak, however you want to make it feel, but that’s what The Dawn is for me.”

Although Tesfaye still maintains his reputation for making music about sex, drugs, and partying, the LP is also an existential plea to free yourself from regrets and shame. Below, we unpack each song on Dawn FM track by track and mood by mood.

  1. “Dawn FM” (ft. Jim Carrey)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: ready to unwind.

    Key lyric: “We’ll be there to hold your hand and guide you through this painless transition”

    The intro and title track of the album begins with a hypnotic ambience and chirping birds, luring you as if you are traveling into another dimension. Tesfaye narrates in an echoey voice with a chorus about wanting to take the lead, this time by himself: “This part I do alone / I’ll take my lead, I’ll take my lead on this road / And I need something to hold / Make me believe in make-beliefs.”

    The track then transitions to the legendary Jim Carrey reporting in a low voice on the radio: “You are now listening to 103.5 Dawn FM / You’ve been in the dark for way too long / It’s time to walk into the light / And accept your fate with open arms.” This will not be the last you will hear from Carrey, but he and Tesfaye are here to assure you they will hold your hand and guide you through this ephemeral moment as you enjoy the music to come.

  2. “Gasoline”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: deep in your depressing thoughts.

    Key lyric: “It’s 5 a.m. and I’m feeling nihilist / I know there’s nothing after this / Obsessing over aftermaths / Apocalypse and hopelessness”

    On this funk-pop track, Tesfaye is awake in the early morning, feeling empty and getting high on his need for his lover to be there with him again. “I want you ’cause we’re both insane / I’m staring into the abyss / I’m lookin’ at myself again / I’m dozing off to R.E.M,” he sings. He voices that a physical presence would be comforting and make him feel safe. And his lover also keeps him in check (“I know you won’t let me O.D.”).

  3. “How Do I Make You Love Me?”

    Listen to it when you’re: begging to be loved.

    Key lyric: “How do I make you love me? / How do I make you fall for me? / How do I make you want me / And make it last eternally?”

    As many of his songs speak openly about earthly delights, you’d think Tesfaye wouldn’t care so much about what people think of him. But he admits he still craves approval from the one he adores on this dance-pop track: “I only want what’s right in front of me / It’s quite unusual / Seeking approval / Begging for it desperately.” Wealth and fame are not his top desires.

  4. “Take My Breath”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: hedonistic and kinky.

    Key lyric: “I know temptation is the devil in disguise”

    The album transitions smoothly into an extended version of the lead single of Dawn FM. On this retro ‘70s and ‘80s disco track, Tesfaye is willing to take your breath — and embrace his kinky fantasies. He describes his partner as someone who “loves to be on the edge.” Even the music video accompanying this track shows “nobody does it better” than she does while tightly pulling him in a consensual chokehold. Tesfaye wants her to make that decadent bliss “last forever.”

  5. “Sacrifice”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: selfish about your needs.

    Key lyric: “I don’t want to sacrifice / For your love / I try / I don’t want to sacrifice / But I love my time”

    Backed by electric guitar, Tesfaye warns potential lovers and friends with benefits against catching feelings due to his lack of interest in a committed relationship. He references the harsh winters in his hometown of Toronto as a metaphor for his coldness in romance: “I was born in a city / Where the winter nights don’t ever sleep / So this life’s always with me / The ice inside my veins will never bleed.” Tesfaye doesn’t deny he enjoys company, but he isn’t up for monogamy at the moment.

  6. “A Tale By Quincy” (ft. Quincy Jones)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: contemplative about the implications of your past.

    Key lyric: “Looking back is a bitch, innit?”

    On this synthesizer-heavy interlude, producer Quincy Jones reflects back on his childhood and upbringing. This track is a relatable parallel to Tesfaye’s own narrative. Jones discusses how an ill, absent mother and an abusive stepmother majorly impacted him, bleeding into his later familial and romantic relationships. “Whenever I got too close to a woman, I would cut her off,” he admits. “Part of that was vindictive and partially based on fear. But it was also totally subconscious.” It’s amazing how your earliest memories can shape how you perceive others.

  7. “Out of Time”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: regretful of the hurt you’ve caused.

    Key lyric: “I look back and now I realize”

    With a smooth transition back to ‘80s synths, Tesfaye sings of his desire for a second chance. He admits to being responsible for the cause of a breakup: “The last few months, I’ve been workin’ on me, baby / There’s so much trauma in my life / I’ve been so cold to the ones who loved me, baby.” His ex was originally the one begging “with drowning eyes” to stay, but now that she’s found someone else, it has reversed. Tesfaye tells her that if things don’t work out with her current partner, she knows his line.

    Carrey makes another appearance at the end of the track, reporting on 103.5 Dawn FM radio that you are out of time but you are almost reaching your destination. He assures the listener with a nod to one of his iconic film roles in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: “Before you’re completely engulfed in the blissful embrace of that little light you see in the distance / Soon you’ll be healed, forgiven, and refreshed / Free from all trauma, pain, guilt, and shame.”

  8. “Here We Go… Again” (ft. Tyler, the Creator)

    Listen to it when you’re: falling in love again but wary.

    Key lyric: “But you’d rather love and lost with tears / Than never love at all”

    On this slow track, Tesfaye and Tyler, the Creator tell a cautionary tale of what it’s like to be in love while also having fame and wealth because of potential users: “Your girlfriend’s tryna pair you with somebody more famous / But instead you ended up with someone so basic, faceless / Someone to take your pictures and frame it.” Tyler even raps about how love may not be unconditional: ​​“Although this love is strong to me / Some things can change, go wrong with me / We don’t know how it’s gonna be / Forever is too long to me.” But regardless, Tesfaye thinks it’s better to risk heartbreak than never love at all.

  9. “Best Friends”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: friend-zoned.

    Key lyric: “I love you so / But we can’t get close / You’re my best friend now”

    With repetitive heavy bass to emphasize the drama, Tesfaye is stuck in a friends-with-benefits situation where he secretly wants more than sex. But he also doesn’t want to lose his partner: “Oh, I don’t want to be responsible / For your heart if we fall / ‘Cause I’ll get clumsy and tear it apart.” He reminds her to not take it further and just focus on the friendship, but boundaries were crossed (“I thought you weren’t like that”).

  10. “Is There Someone Else?”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: suspicious of an unfaithful partner.

    Key lyric: “Oh, is there someone else or not? / ‘Cause I wanna keep you close / I don’t wanna lose my spot”

    Since their relationship has been straining, Tesfaye has a bad feeling that his partner is cheating on him (“I felt it creeping up every day”). He admits he wasn’t always an honest person in the past (“’Cause I used to be the one who was lying”), but he cares deeply for his lover and wants to be with her forever. But if she’s betraying him or the guy she’s cheating with, it’s going to hurt everyone.

  11. “Starry Eyes”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: protective.

    Key lyric: “Let me be there / I can be there ’til you’re whole”

    On this sympathetic track, Abel wants to stand by love interest and make her feel appreciated: “Let me be there / Let me be there for your heart / Let me love you / Let me love you like you need.” He is also empathetic of the pain she’s felt in the past: “It’s OK, baby / I promise that I felt worse / Back then, I was starry eyed / And now I’m so cynical.”

  12. “Every Angel Is Terrifying”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: lured to enter a different world.

    Key lyric: “You will enter a world beyond your imagination”

    Tesfaye speaks about the terror of beauty on the second electronic interlude of the album, noting that the angels we see in pop culture are more frightening when reading their actual Biblical depictions. An advertisement accompanies, marketing “the exotic, bizarre and beautiful world of ‘After Life’” with “a future out of control / And an experience you will never forget.” If you’re interested, you can dial 1-800-414-4444, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

  13. “Don’t Break My Heart”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: afraid of being hurt again.

    Key lyric: “I can’t take another heartbreak or I’ll end it all”

    This dreamy track will make you feel as paralyzed as Tesfaye felt. He sings about how he’s mesmerized by someone he sees in the club. He instinctively knows she is right for him and “keeps coming back for more,” but he is afraid. “Just don’t break my heart / Don’t let me down, please,” he sings. “Don’t you break my heart / I don’t know if I can take it anymore.” He doesn’t want the past to repeat (“And the girl I used to love / We broke up in the club / And I almost died in the discotheque”).

  14. “I Heard You’re Married” (ft. Lil Wayne)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: deceived.

    Key lyric: “And I thought you were someone I could be with / And it kills me that I’m sharing you”

    Tesfaye sings about his shame in being involved with a married woman in this rhythmic track (“You manifested this, but girl, I blame myself”). Although he usually may not be interested in committed relationships, he ended up catching strong feelings during the fling and was deceived to find out the truth about her. Tesfaye still maintains his dignity by telling her off: “If you don’t love him / Then do yourself a favor and just leave him / Your number in my phone, I’m gon’ delete it / Girl, I’m way too grown for that deceivin’. Lil Wayne appears in the third verse with a line that hits like a truck: “That shit ain’t fly, bitch.”

  15. “Less Than Zero”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: not feeling enough.

    Key lyric: “I’ll always be less than zero / You tried your best with me, I know”

    In this electronic track mixed with guitar-pop strings, Tesfaye sings about how he does not feel worthy because of the trauma and darkness he holds. “’Cause I can’t get it out of my head / No, I can’t shake this feeling that crawls in my bed,” he sings in the chorus. But it doesn’t mean he wants to be stuck with his demons forever: “I try to hide it, but I know you know me / I try to fight it, but I’d rather be free.” He begs for his partner to be understanding to no avail (“Now you’d rather leavе me / Than to watch me die in your arms, oh”).

  16. “Phantom Regret By Jim” (ft. Jim Carrey)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: in need of wisdom to feel free.

    Key lyric: “Heaven’s for those who let go of regret”

    Carrey returns to close the album with an encouraging poem on which to reflect (“It’s time to look back on the things you thought you owned”) on your life. He asks you several open-ended questions: “How many grudges did you take to your grave? / When you weren’t liked or followed, how did you behave? / Was it often a dissonant chord you were strumming? / Were you ever in tune with the song life was humming?” Carrey says that to feel free from pain, you must learn to let go of your regrets. “You gotta unwind your mind, train your soul to align. In other words, you gotta be heaven to see heaven.”

Why The Weeknd Looks Like an Old Man on the Cover of His New Album

The Weeknd released his fifth studio album, Dawn FM, on Friday, January 7, and it’s an incredible listen. The record is an electric-yet-cohesive collection of slick, macabre dance-pop—narrated, interestingly, by actor Jim Carrey

Also interesting is the album’s cover. On it, The Weeknd is wearing makeup and prosthetics that age him almost 40 years. His hair is grey, he has liver spots, and his skin is wrinkly and withered. See the look for yourself, below: 

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So what is the inspiration behind The Weeknd’s look? He hasn’t explained explicitly, but nuggets on the album give hints. Voiceovers from Carrey confirm much of this album is about death—seeing a light at the end of your time on Earth and walking toward it. It’s possible that, with this album cover, The Weeknd is portraying himself at the end of his own life. 

“You’ve been in the dark for way too long/It’s time to walk into the light/And accept your fate with open arms/Scared? Don’t worry/We’ll be there to hold your hand and guide you through this painless transition,” Carrey says at the end of the album’s title track. 

On another song, “Out of Time”—an apt title for this theme—Carrey says, “Because like the song says, you are out of time/You’re almost there, but don’t panic/There’s still more music to come/Before you’re completely engulfed in the blissful embrace of that little light you see in the distance/Soon you’ll be healed, forgiven, and refreshed/Free from all trauma, pain, guilt, and shame.” 

By the end of the album, on a track called “Phantom Regret by Jim,” the “light” is no longer in the distance. Life is coming to a close. “When you’re all out of time, there’s nothing but space/No hunting, no gathering, no nations, no race,” Carrey says. “And Heaven is closer than those tears on your face. When the purple rain falls, we’re all bathed in its grace.” 

The Weeknd is clearly thinking a lot about death and mortality on this record. That, naturally, comes with thinking about age. And the cover of Dawn FM reflects that. 

Following his After Hours era, which saw The Weeknd wearing bloody bandages on his face to convey a message, it seems the artist has another concept album on his hands. One that’s very fun to dance to. Stream here.

30 Face Masks for Kids They Won’t Mind Wearing

As we enter the third year of the pandemic, the Omicron variant has proven especially contagious—meaning face masks for kids are still a good idea. Even though the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children ages five and up, children are being hospitalized with the coronavirus in record numbers as the U.S. contends with another variant-driven spike in overall cases. And while boosters have just been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for those 12 and older, they’re still not available for kids between the ages of five and 12.

To complicate matters further, some school districts have opted to continue remote learning, while others are back full-time in their classrooms. All to say: Children heading back to school after the holiday break still need to wear the best face masks to protect both themselves and those around them.

However, if you’re a parent, you’ll know it’s not exactly that simple. Getting your older kids to wear a face mask might be easy, but the real challenge is finding something for younger children: Not only do you have to get a washable mask that fits properly, but it also has to be something they’d like enough to wear without constantly trying to pry it off their face.

Curious about what to look for when shopping for a kids’ face mask? “The primary concern is that the face mask be well-fitting on your child,” says Kelly Fradin, M.D., a pediatrician, writer, and public health advocate working in the Bronx. “If there are gaps around the mask, it defeats the purpose. Although elastic may be easier for kids to manage, it may not achieve the same seal as a mask that ties depending on the mask and the child’s face.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that a kids’ face mask should be put on the same way as an adult face mask, in that it “should securely cover the nose and mouth and stretch from before the ear to the other side,” according to the organization’s website. An adjustable nose wire and adjustable ear loops can also help ensure the perfect fit. (A nose piece that can be tightened over the nose bridge can also keep glasses from fogging, in case that’s a consideration.)

Besides fit, parents should also consider the mask’s material. Fradin recommends something soft and breathable, like a cotton face mask. “We know that less breathable materials like denim may be slightly better at blocking viruses from going through the mask, but these will almost certainly be intolerable for children,” says Fradin. “Children are more active than adults and breathe more per minute so we should allow them to wear a mask they can breathe through easily. This will also increase the likelihood they will wear the mask.” A few layers of fabric that’s more lightweight will often do the trick.

Fradin says that most kids ages two to six will find it difficult to wear masks without touching it often for long periods of time. “In truth, if your child is touching their face often while wearing it, it may do more harm than good,” she says. She recommends washing the mask after every use. And she has one more tip: To keep kids from tearing the thing right off their face, make a game out of it. “Putting a mask on a stuffed animal or drawing masks on pictures of people may help demystify masks,” suggests Fradin. “Also training children to tolerate wearing it for brief periods and building up to longer sessions might be effective too. There are even children’s books about masks.”

If you’re looking for where to buy face masks for kids online, you can start by shopping the options below. Whether you’re looking for a mask set for several kids or searching the web for fun patterns, there’s something here to keep every child happy—and as safe as possible. 

LittleMiaBella Kids’ Reusable Face Mask

ABG Accessories Boys Reusable Fabric Face Mask (Three-Pack, Ages 4–14)

Ilandistyle Organic Cotton Kids’ Mask

As news about the novel coronavirus pandemic rapidly evolves, Glamour is committed to bringing our readers the most accurate and up-to-date facts. As a result, information in this story and others like it may change, and we will update when necessary. For the most recent news about COVID-19, please visit the CDC, the WHO, and your state’s department of health.

Kanye West and Julia Fox: A Complete Relationship Timeline

Kanye West may still be navigating his split from Kim Kardashian, but he’s starting 2022 caught up in a new whirlwind romance. West and actor Julia Fox have started dating. She recounted their week together in a January 6 blog for Interview magazine. 

“Everything with us has been so organic,” Fox wrote of the budding romance. “I don’t know where things are headed but if this is any indication of the future I’m loving the ride.”  Here’s the story so far. 

December 31, 2021: The 31-year-old Uncut Gems actor met the 44-year-old rapper on New Year’s Eve at a surprise Miami performance. Fox described West’s energy as “fun to be around” and wrote that he kept her and her friends “laughing, dancing, and smiling all night.”

First week of January 2022: Having kicked things off so well on New Year’s Eve, Fox and West decided to keep things going with a second date in New York City. The two went to see Slave Play together on Broadway, and they dined at Italian-American restaurant Carbone afterwards.

While at Carbone, West directed a photo shoot for Fox, with people at the restaurant as an audience for the couple. For the romantic and intimate shoot, Fox wore Miaou thong pants and a Balenciaga turtleneck and coat. The photos show off the physical chemistry between the two, and judging by West’s smile in the pictures, he’s pretty happy with how things are going.

And just to cap this off as the world’s most extravagant second date: West surprised Fox with a hotel suite full of clothes.

“It was every girl’s dream come true,” Fox wrote of the surprise. “It felt like a real Cinderella moment. I don’t know how he did it, or how he got all of it there in time. But I was so surprised. Like, who does things like this on a second date? Or any date!”

Jennifer Lopez’s Perfect Curtain Bangs Are Distracting Me From Her Big Announcement

As a fellow wearer of curtain bangs, I couldn’t help but remain completely mesmerized by the sight of Jennifer Lopez’s wispy curtain bangs in a recent announcement for Sephora Mexico. The Latin American branch of the French beauty retailer shared some major developments regarding Lopez’s namesake skin-care line, JLo Beauty, in a video posted to its Instagram on January 5. 

In the 8-second video, the singer reveals in Spanish that the wait for JLo Beauty’s arrival in Sephora Mexico’s stores is coming to a close and will officially become available for purchase beginning on January 7.  

Now, let’s go back to JLo’s gorgeous curtain bangs, shall we? They’re nothing new, of course (hairstylist Chris Appleton gave Lopez the trendy fringe back in May of 2021), but there’s no doubt that they were one of 2021’s most popular hairstyles. Fellow celebrities such as Lily Collins, Rihanna, and Anne Hathaway decided to give the stylish bangs a try last year as well. 

If you’re just itching to get some curtain bangs yourself, you might want to keep these tips from New York City-based hairstylist Jordi Martinez in mind before making the cut. Trust me, I’ve had curtain bangs for almost three months now, and the products you use — combined with the way you style them — make a world of a difference in keeping that style intact. To reiterate what Martinez previously told Allure, prepare to befriend three things: a leave-in conditioner or serum, a hairspray, and a blow-dryer because these products are key to locking that style in place. 

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Otherwise, if you’re not willing to put in the effort towards styling them, let’s just say that your hair will not look anything like J.Lo’s. As long as you style them in place and use the right products, then your hair will be on its way to looking oh-so-J.Lo-chic.  

This story originally appeared on Allure. 

Ashley Graham Just Gave Birth to Twin Boys

It would not be a new year without some new celebrity babies.

The year 2021 delivered some surprise babies we absolutely didn’t see coming, including John Mulaney and Olivia Munn’s child, Malcolm Hiệp Mulaney, whom the couple welcomed in November 2021. Other celebs who had babies last year include Christina Ricci, Amber Heard, and Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender.

In 2022 we can probably expect other surprises on the level of John Mulaney and Olivia Munn’s surprises, as well as some expected babies from expecting celebs including Kylie Jenner, Jennifer Lawrence, Ashley Graham, and Julia Stiles.  

Here is your number one source into the celebrity babies we welcomed in 2022. 

These Playful Accessories Will Take Your Winter ‘Fits to the Next Level

Cocooning yourself in winter accessories like cable knit beanies and fringed cashmere scarves may be a no-brainer during the cold months, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to play around with your looks—and right now there’s a new crop of winter accessories ready to step up your outfit game in a major way. We’re talking about balaclavas, snoods, and dickeys, which editors and style influencers are swaddling themselves in en masse to stay snug and take their ‘fits to the next level. 

After embracing a number of offbeat trends over the last two years—silk headscarves! teeny-tiny bags! grandpa knits!—we’re not at all surprised to see these playful pieces taking off right now. Equal parts practical and on-trend, balaclavas, snoods, and dickeys are a great way to conquer unpredictable weather—and a mood-boosting alternative to the traditional cold-weather staples that already live in your closet. 

Whether you’re looking for a new trend to get excited about or simply experimenting with your seasonal layering system, get ready to burrow yourself in the best balaclavas, snoods, and dickeys below.

Balaclavas and Knit Hoods

Once a staple among a skiers, now a mainstay on the runways, balaclavas are perfect for snowy days when your average pom-pom beanie, fleece headband, or faux fur earmuffs just won’t cut it. Not only will this full face mask protect your ears from harsh winds, but the cute babushka vibes will help you stay snuggly without having to burrito yourself in excess fabric. Best part? You can make this wintery essential work in milder temps too. Simply pull down the hood and wear it as a neck warmer. 

Snoods

Chilly temps are here to stay—and snoods, which are essentially a less fussy version of infinity scarves, are just the kind of versatile accessory you want living in your handbag or coat pocket. You can find snoods in all kinds of sizes and materials—from a cable knit neck warmer to a sherpa style that’ll keep you supremely toasty. Snoods are also effortless to style, playing well with most sweaters and outerwear already in your wardrobe, whether it’s a merino wool half-zip, quilted puffer jacket, or trench coat. 

Dickeys

First cousin to the snood, dickeys similarly eliminate the need for wearing bulky scarves or turtlenecks by shielding your neck from bitter winds, while also serving as a mini sweater vest that looks on-point during Zoom meetings. Opt for a classic neutral style to throw over button-ups or base layers, or pick one up with a hood for max warmth and protection. 

Britney Spears Radiates ‘Free Woman Energy’ in New, Fully Naked Selfie

Britney Spears is a free (nude) woman, baby. 

The pop icon, who loves a topless selfie, took to Instagram on Thursday, January 6, to post her most revealing photo yet. Spoiler alert: She’s fully naked—with emojis covering certain areas—and loving it. 

“Free woman energy has never felt better,” she wrote in the caption. 

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For Britney Spears, these nude/topless selfies, not to mention her dancing videos, seem to be how she’s visualizing  her freedom. (Her 13-year conservatorship ended on November 12.) Recently she’s been dancing to deep-cuts from Madonna’s Music album, just one of many things she’s calling an “indulgence.”

“I’m sure it looks weird me dancing to @madonna  so much 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️…” she wrote. “I see it … it’s like I’m not trying as much like I’m INDULGING 😂 ….. well thats exactly what her music does to me 🤪 !!! I mean I had my first glass of red wine 🍷 last weekend !!! I’ve waited 13 years … that’s long enough !!! The sarcasm of me me me … my family taught me well by their actions … to be selfish and love thyself … play on 🌹🌹🌹!!! In a world where we all have the right to speak … drive … buy alcohol … party … have cash … I apologize for INDULGING in front of the masses … and dancing a touch slower !!! I mean what was I thinking 😂?? Nobody’s perfect !!! Pss… Yes I read the comments and people are absolutely hateful.” 

It’s unclear what the year ahead has in store for Spears. In a since-deleted caption, she mentioned there is a “new song” in the works, though details around that are vague. Regardless, I think I speak for everyone when I say Britney Spears should have a year doing…whatever the hell she wants. 

The Best Guided Sleep Meditations to Cozy Up With Tonight

The best guided sleep meditation audio will help relax your mind and body and facilitate a faster onset and duration of sleep. Sounds good, no? Worries and fears always seem to creep into our minds in a major way right as we settle into bed. But if you’re tired of waking up with anxiety, there is something you can do to combat that. 

“Any meditation that is focused on sleep will generally be helpful,” says Abhinav Singh, M.D., and the Medical Director of the Indiana Sleep Center. Although, the doctor adds, “not trying to hard is the key.” 

It’s cause and effect, simply put. According to Dr. Singh, most guided sleep meditation promotes relaxation which in turn helps anchor a busy mind. “Anytime you can achieve this, you will be in a better position for allowing sleep to come to you.”

There are a lot of different sleep apps out there, but guided meditation for anxiety is a unique—and incredibly low-lift—way to try and get a better night’s rest. So, how do you choose the best guided sleep meditation for you without, as Singh says, trying too hard? 

Here are 10 of the most recommended, highly rated, and accessible ones. Relaxation meditation apps can be helpful for a variety of things, but the ones below will be especially useful around bedtime. Sweet dreams.

Mindful

The recommendation for Mindful.org comes from Tamara Teragawa, registered yoga teacher and lead yoga teacher for Xponential+. Before bed, she’s a fan of self-guided mindfulness meditation and short body-scan meditation (a practice that brings attention to your whole body as a way to focus the mind). She finds both on the site, but here is a free example of a night meditation created for sleep specifically.

“Good sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising regularly to achieve optimal health,” Teragawa explains. “When your body tells you it needs rest, slow down, and make a solid sleep routine priority, and notice how much better you feel and perform in other areas of your life.”

In addition to the bedtime meditation, she recommends also exercising, getting into a bedtime routine, and avoiding your phone and television before you hit the hay.

Headspace

Teragawa also recommends Headspace for deep sleep guided meditation. There’s a 12-minute one you can sample here.

“These types of meditations can be a short, three- to five-minute routine or stretch out to 45 minutes or longer, depending on what you are looking for,” she says. “They allow you to slow down, connect to your breath and body, and recognize what you need to truly help relax.”

A free trial for Headspace lasts two weeks if you select the annual membership for $69.99. A monthly membership, which comes with a seven-day trial, costs $12.99 each month.

Calm

Calm is a free-to-download app that offers a free week-long trial membership and then costs $69.99 a year or $14.99 a month. (There are also lifetime memberships available for a one-time fee of $399.99.)

Bop Shop: Songs From Halsey, Armaan Malik, Fleet Foxes, And More

Last month, as an entire year wound to a close, Tierra Whack ramped up her creativity. The impossible-to-box-in Philadelphia artist released a trio of EPS — Rap?, Pop?, and R&B?, all as curious as their interrogative titles suggest. Nine songs total, spanning country and soul-pop and even ’70s riff rock, can’t contain Whack’s boundless energy. “Body of Water,” one of the Pop? cuts, surges with mid-aughts electroclash nostalgia and one hell of a music video. But this is Tierra Whack; once the song ends, she’s on to something else entirely. —Patrick Hosken