It’s the end of the year. Between all of the things you may have on your plate and the harsh realities of daily current events, take a moment for yourself. Whether or not the finish line is in sight, take that moment. On the NPR podcast, Code Switch, they round-out every episode with a song that is “giving them life.” That really stuck with me. Art, music, and creative expression is a lifeline for many. Through the days that make us soar and the days that give us pause, there is often a soundtrack.

Personally, I take every chance I get to share the art that has made an impact on me with the SLM community. Whether that’s making weekly song submissions to the in-office “Happy Friday” emails, playing music so often in my cubicle that a colleague has tried (operative word: tried) to give me the nickname “Jukebox”, or pressing play on my carefully curated “work appropriate” playlist as new folks walk through our doors for info sessions every week.

Music keeps me going every day at SLM. So here’s a year-end gift to you: A roundup of some of the local artists who have helped me get through the year and make each day just a little bit better. Massachusetts is home to so many incredible voices and sounds; this list just skims the surface with six great artists. Settle in, press play, and enjoy. I hope these songs give you life too.

“Lights Out” – Cliff Notez feat. Oompa

“Hexagons and Other Fun Materials” – Sidney Gish

“Variations On Aria” – People Like You

“Loaded” – Lilith

“Everybody Knows” – Mal Devisa

“If You Met Her” – Palehound