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The SM Ballad Mix Tape - 10 Essential Songs for 2022

Grab a cup of coffee and relax with the must-have ballads from your favorite artists. By Adriana Chavez   There’s nothing better than a song that can describe exactly what...

Grab a cup of coffee and relax with the must-have ballads from your favorite artists.

By Adriana Chavez


There’s nothing better than a song that can describe exactly what you’re feeling. From getting over a heartbreak or finding love, ballads can make you sway and hit you right in the heart. If you need all the must-have ballads to get you in your feels, then you came to the right place.


1. TAEYEON - Can’t Control Myself (Single, 2022)

What better way to start a ballad playlist than with the vocal queen Girls Generation TAEYEON. Can’t Control Myself highlights that love can hurt but sometimes you have to take the chance to see what happens. Set to become a new classic, it’s the perfect ballad to start a playlist.

Further listening: Dear Me


2. NCT U - Timeless (Single, 2018)

NCT’s JAEHYUN, DOYOUNG, and TAEIL come together for the piano ballad Timeless. A different take from NCT’s usual dance anthems, the song, combined with their voices, tugs at your heartstrings.

Further listening: 지금처럼만 (Be There For You)


3. EXO - Universe (from “Universe Winter Special Album,” 2017)

Combining a piano with a soft electric guitar, EXO brought us the rock ballad Universe.     Describing the determination to find love even if it means traveling to the end of the universe to find it, it’s the perfect song to unwind with a cup of coffee.

Further listening: Promise, First Snow


4. Red Velvet - Hello, Sunset (from “Queendom,” 2021)

Reminiscent of an 80’s love ballad, Red Velvet’s latest comeback featured the cutesy love ballad Hello, Sunset. Bringing the group’s known playfulness, the song is a fresh fun take of a love song.

Further listening: Remember Forever


5. SHINee - Selene 6.23 (from “The Misconceptions of Us,” 2013)

Taking it back to 2013 with the princes of Kpop. SHINee’s Selene 6.23 has become a fan favorite for its message about being far away from the one you love and wishing you can be with them.

Further listening: Our Page


6. KYUHYUN - Coffee (Single, 2021)

As part of Super Junior’s KYUHYUN’s 2021 PROJECT: Season, Coffee is a bittersweet reminder to always make sure we confess our feelings. Telling the story of two lifelong friends, the song ends up as an unrequited love reminding us to take the chance.

Further listening: Home


7. BoA - Gravity (from “Better,” 2020)

No playlist can be complete without BoA. With her warm vocals, Gravity will become your go-to song when you need to feel like someone is there for you. There is no better ballad than the one that reminds you that someone will always be by your side.

Further listening: Implode


8. aespa - Forever (Single, 2021)

Monster rookies aespa gave a fresh take to Yoo Young Jin’s classic ballad Forever. The R&B ballad mixed with an acoustic guitar will have you promising a loved one that love is forever.

Further listening: Lucid Dream


9. Super Junior KYUHYUN, SHINee ONEW, and NCT TAEIL - Ordinary Day (from “Winter SMTOWN : SMCU EXPRESS,” 2021)

Super Junior KYUHYUN, SHINee ONEW, and NCT TAEIL team up for Ordinary Day, a ballad that is reminiscent of decades passed. Ordinary Day stands out as a song that brings together three vocal powerhouses as you stare out of the window like the main character of a movie.

            Further listening: SuperM - Better Days



10. D.O. - My Father (Dad) (from “Empathy,” 2021)

There is no better way to wrap up a ballads playlist than with D.O. His solo mini-album Empathy was full of charming songs that are perfect for a bike ride in spring. But his touching track My Father (Dad) which is dedicated to his own dad gives the perfect sweet emotion that ballads are all about.

Further listening: That’s Okay


Must-Have Ballads Playlist

  1. Taeyeon - Can’t Control Myself
  2. NCT U - Timeless
  3. EXO - Universe
  4. Red Velvet - Hello, Sunset
  5. SHINee - Selene 6.23
  6. Kyuhyun - Coffee
  7. BoA - Gravity
  8. aespa - Forever
  9. Super Junior Kyuhyun, SHINee Onew, and NCT Taeil - Ordinary Day
  10. D.O. - My Father (Dad)


*All opinions stated are the author’s own

Sources: (1) (2)

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