The very best music to listen to when you’re crushing hard

Growing up, I always had about a hundred crushes at once. I couldn’t help it: I fell in love with “like” from a young age, and until recently, I’ve always embraced it.

As long as I can remember, I’ve fallen for passing strangers on the street; for people who were just a little nicer than they needed to be in the Trader Joe’s checkout line; for the random person in my writing class who wrote stories so beautiful I had to copy down my favorite lines. I’ve been afflicted with crushes of all kinds — innocent and serious — and have watched all of them fizzle and grow. To this day, my mom rolls her eyes when I tell her I like someone, because when have I not?

But the older I get, the fewer crushes I seem to have. The stakes feel higher, and it’s become difficult for me to acknowledge my feelings quite so unabashedly. Crushes can be fun, but they can also be devastating. Vulnerability is hard to come by, and it can be tough to let people in when you’ve been hurt in the past.

And yet, we continue to fall again and again. With a crush, you can’t help yourself. You think about them constantly. Your heart beats just a little bit louder. You wonder where things will go. Reader, I confess: I have a crush, and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with myself. So instead, I listen to a lot of crush-y music and let someone else process my feelings for me.

Whether you’re pining after an unrequited love, or feeling the beginnings of something special, here’s a playlist for when you’re crushing hard.

(Image via 20th Century Fox.)

Quotes to help you get over that unrequited crush

How to calm yourself down when you’re crushing hard

What I did when I learned my crush didn’t like me back