One of the most comforting forces in my life has always been food. Food is something that can bring friends and families together, or help us recall fond memories, or distract us from life, if only for the moment. I think we could all use some of that right now. It’s not much, but here’s my little list of cheap and simple comfort foods that soothe me.

1. Ice Cream

Yes, this is a vague suggestion of comfort food, but that’s because everyone has their own brand loyalties and favorite forms when it comes to ice cream. For example, I find milkshakes most comforting, and the Blue Bell brand is where my allegiance lies. Perhaps that’s not the same for you, but that’s okay. Ice cream is ice cream – it’s pretty much all good.

2. Baked potato

Perhaps it’s the Irish in me, or the fact that this was my mom’s go-to food any time I was sick as a child, but there is something inherently comforting to me about baked potatoes. They’re warm, full of carbs, and filling all on their own. Plus, they can be as dressed up or dressed down as you like. Eating a baked potato with just butter and salt can be just as satisfying as getting a loaded baked potato. The comfort in this dish is the versatility.

3. Soup

This is a classic cheap and simple comfort food that I think everyone can get on board with. This is another versatile dish, and my favorite forms include homemade hamburger soup or tomato. Soup literally warms you from the inside, and that’s always such a cozy feeling.

4. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I think the comfort I derive from this dish is purely psychological. Eating a fresh, toasty, melty grilled cheese takes me back to a more simple time in my life, a time in which I thought this sandwich was the pinnacle of culinary excellence, and I didn’t have to worry about adult things like college, work, or bills.

5. Orange Juice

Maybe it’s the vibrant color that tricks my mood into brightening, or the fact that OJ literally tastes healthy, but a cold glass can always improve my mood no matter the time of day. Technically this would be a comfort drink, not a comfort food, but it’s so good I had to include it anyway. (And, for the record, I prefer pulp).

6. Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

This dish was a staple in my home growing up, because it’s actually really easy to make and can yield a lot of portions. I prefer meat sauce, but this meal could be just as good with a hearty marinara. If you’re cooking for multiple people, this is the dish for you. And, if not, there is nothing wrong with having some leftovers. This is a cheap and simple comfort food that is really hard to mess up, and carb-packed so that after you finish eating, you can drift right off to sleep.

These are just a few of my favorite comfort foods. Comfort foods are personal to everyone, so I hope you enjoyed this little peak into my soul, and that at the very least it’s gotten you thinking about what foods could comfort you right now. If you're looking for something else to read during this time, try this article about immune-building foods.