A bit of rough: books, music, art and more to help with a hangover

You’ve had a big one, but what goes up must come down. From gentle piano to breezy laughs, our critics offer salves for sore heads


Scottish composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper is frequently lauded for his exploration of psychogeography: finding connections between place, memory and nature. If you have connected a little too hard with your night out, however, his soothing soundbaths also work detoxifying wonders. Over eight tracks of classical piano, the gentle beauty of his 2022 album, Music for Growing Flowers, unfolds with the same cathartic appeal of petting a quiet puppy in the middle of a duvet fort, asking very little of its listener as it soothes and swoons. Dim the lights, grab an ice-pop for slow, sugary hydration, and press play: this one will even out any lingering hangxiety in no time. Jenessa Williams



Tekken Bloodline
Tekken Bloodline. Photograph: Netflix

There is a balance to strike when watching television with a hangover, isn’t there? Anything that requires too much detailed focus might make your head explode; anything too passive won’t distract you enough from your thumping temples and churning stomach. This is why I think a low-commitment anime series is a great option. The recently released Tekken: Bloodline, a loose adaptation of the 1997 fighting game Tekken 3, requires just enough focus if you watch in Japanese but with English subtitles. Crucially, it is only six episodes long and doesn’t have an overly complex plot: demon kills protagonist’s mother; protagonist trains with grandfather to fight demon; fighting tournament begins; fighting tournament ends with demon v protagonist. There is more detail and mystery to it than that, obviously, but it’s not hard to grasp with a sore head. Jason Okundaye



Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. Photograph: -

“He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider crab on the tarry shingle of the morning.” If there’s one thing that Kingsley Amis understood, it was the hangover. Lucky Jim contains the finest descriptions of this pounding evil ever committed to the page. So long as the words aren’t blurring in front of you, this book will help you feel solace, companionship and understanding. “During the night … he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by the secret police. He felt bad.” It may even make you laugh yourself well again. Sam Jordison



Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. Photograph: Buena Vista/Allstar

Power-dressing in a business suit and claiming you invented Post-it notes to impress former classmates sounds like the type of haphazard plan cooked up in the hazy daze of a hangover, and the hijinks in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion are a perfect feelgood companion the next time you find yourself sprawled on the couch, head feeling like it’s trying to jump out of your skull. The best friends, played by Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino, are aimless 28-year-old roommates drifting on by in Los Angeles. When they realise that existence won’t earn them any plaudits at their 10-year school reunion, they get to work on an alternative one, to hilarious effect. Full of the sugary fun typical of 90s Hollywood comedies, there’s even a magical dance sequence to Cyndi Lauper. Rebecca Liu



The Hangover (Suzanne Valadon), by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1887-1889).
The Hangover (Suzanne Valadon), by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1887-1889). Photograph: Alamy

She is drinking alone in the morning, curing last night’s hangover with the hair of the dog. In The Hangover, her face is tough and resilient, typical of the Montmartre women portrayed with casual intimacy by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Yet she is not one of the doomed singers or sex workers in his bohemian circle. This is Suzanne Valadon, who was to become an acclaimed modern artist. While Toulouse-Lautrec died in 1901, Valadon lived until 1938, painting in a bold style shaped by fauvism and cubism. Here, she nurses her headache as Toulouse-Lautrec dapples a moment of unvarnished life on to canvas. Jonathan Jones


Jenessa Williams, Jason Okundaye, Sam Jordison, Rebecca Liu and Jonathan Jones

The GuardianTramp

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