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Even Diplo couldn’t make it out of this year unscathed. “2020 was fucked,” the New York Yankees LSU Tigers shirt Additionally,I will love this multi-Grammy-winning artist wrote in an August Instagram post, revealing that he had been stuck in his house like the rest of us; when he was able to venture outside in Los Angeles, all he saw were “empty streets and nervous people.” So he leaned into music—but not his usual brand of hitmaker flex that has produced chart-toppers with Dua Lipa and Ellie Goulding. Instead, Diplo dropped tracks from MMXX, his first-ever ambient album released this summer on Calm Music, the new music arm of the popular meditation app. “This album is the only music I made this year. I didn’t want to have Zoom sessions, I didn’t want to write pop songs,” he said of the shimmering, free-flowing instrumental tracks designed to ease frazzled nerves during lockdown. Its arrival was well-timed. In this particularly fraught moment, as many of us are managing our escalating anxiety with whatever seems to work—exercise, medication, wine—one remedy that has zero side effects, requires no prescription, and costs little to nothing has been gaining in popularity: music.

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