We’re well over a week into the new year and while everyone is trying to tread lightly, some of the sentiments from the past two years linger in the background.
It can be hard to motivate yourself, especially when things change rapidly. You may have forgotten what it feels like to have hope, or just be motivated enough to get your work done and maybe make your bed. We often tell ourselves that a New Year’s resolution will straighten us out, but by week two, we’re lucky if we can even make it to the end of the day.
Music brings out the best of the moment during the worst of times.
If you are trying to stick to a resolution, silence the negative self-talk or just take a break from the doom and gloom of another pandemic January, here are 10 songs to keep you thriving and surviving.
“Golden” by Jill Scott
“Heat Seeker” by Dreamers ft. grandson
“Heat seeker, yeah, I’m looking for the way/I’d rather be lost than to stay the same”
Alt-pop-rock trio Dreamers offers a reality check in the form of this upbeat, angsty anthem. It’s an appropriate metaphor for wanting and welcoming a change in your life, even if you aren’t quite sure what that change needs to be. Embrace whatever comes your way when this is blasting through your pods.
“Greatest Enemy” by The Strumbellas
“I know how you want me/Nothing’s gonna stop me/And I know I’ve always been my greatest enemy”
Self-described as ‘alternative country’ and ‘gothic-folk’, the latest hit from The Strumbellas leaps from melancholy mellow to buoyant beat dropper every few seconds. Think of it as encouragement for taking on any task that you encounter-because only you are standing in your way.
“Run wild/I’m on a mission and I won’t stop”
Hit the ground running with Thutmose as he ramps and riles even the most hesitant listener into facing the upcoming challenge of the day. It’s impossible to sit still during a song like this, but even better is the fact that you’re being pushed to go past your limits and face the day, no matter how stressful it may seem. With this on your playlist, you won’t feel like you’re going at anything alone.
“Opportunities” (Let’s Make Lots of Money) by Pet Shop Boys
“You know there’s a lot of opportunities/If there aren’t, you can make them”
Nothing rings in the new year like the promise of good fortune and potential opportunity. The synth-pop sound practically pushes you to get up and get moving, while the lyrics remind you to be on the lookout for anything that can happen-be it a person or the possibility of more money.
“Seize the Power” by YONAKA
“As soon as you taste independence, you start living life in the present”
Let’s face it, not everyone is currently where they want to be in life. Maybe you thought you would be making more money, living elsewhere, or in better shape. Squash that negative self-talk and start living in the moment with YONAKA’s heart-pounding, in-your-face rally cry. If you’re truly in need of a boost, skip to the last minute of the song, where she repeats “This power is yours for the taking” till the end.
“TWINNEM” by Coi Leray
“Ain’t bringing nothing to the table?/Then you cannot sit with me”
One of the most important things to have when trying to achieve an important goal is a strong support system. With Coi Leray’s take, it’s about keeping your best friends tight and the toxic ones on the outs. Keep the bad energy at bay and the beats in your ears.
“I Don’t Wanna Talk” (I Just Wanna Dance) by Glass Animals
“I don’t wanna talk, no more living in the past, baby/Don’t wanna talk, baby, I just wanna dance”
“Out with the old, in with the new” could be the working title for this song, another hitmaker from Glass Animals’ wildly successful “Dreamland.” With “Dance,” you will feel inclined to part with the past and proceed to the present, while vibing with whatever the future may bring.
“Girl is a Gun” by Halsey
“Time is a blessing, with me it’s a lesson”
A new year means a chance to rethink about what makes you happy in life. Like Coi Leray, Halsey emphasizes that draining relationships and playing chase are only fun for so long, and cutting ties and living your best life is really what goes better in the long run. Whether you are trying to leave an unhappy relationship or looking for a powerful perk, ‘Girl’ and the accompanying album “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” will show you the way.
“Freedom” by Jon Batiste
“I hear a song that takes me back/And I let go with so much freedom”
Multi-talented musician Jon Batiste rang in 2022 with a record-breaking 11 Grammy nominations, many of them for his electrifying album “We Are.” “Freedom” is full of get-on-your-feet fun and flair, but also resonates with the soul by incorporating the message of breaking away, breaking down, and living with no restraints of any kind.