A new year is upon us! We’re all counting down the minutes until 2020 blissfully comes to an end, but, let’s face it, coronavirus isn’t just going to go away when the clock strikes midnight on January 1. 
Still, we’ve got reason to be optimistic about what’s to come, and I’m happy to provide a soundtrack for the new year.

F*** 2020 — Avenue Beat

It’s the only sentiment that virtually everyone can agree with: 2020 sucked! A 90-second TikTok video featuring the band delivering the title’s message alongside images of the Australian wildfires, coronavirus, murder hornets, and more made the video go viral over the summer. This led to Avenue Beat writing a second verse and releasing the song as a single. It’s only appropriate that you turn this one up on New Year’s Eve before we officially kiss 2020 goodbye.

Long Story Short — Taylor Swift

When the new year begins, you may be tempted to look back on 2020 for lessons learned. Maybe you’re still feeling bad about Apple’s most recent weekly screen time reminder or remembering that you never did get around to making banana bread. But rather than spending time ruminating on the last several months of bad news and canceled plans, I suggest turning up track 12 of Taylor Swift’s second pandemic album, evermore. Technically the song is likely about Swift’s ill-fated dalliance with actor Tom Hiddleston while relitigating a very public feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but Taylor could very well be talking about 2020 when she croons “long story short, it was a bad time.”

Survivin’ — Bastille

The chorus to Bastille’s latest single sounds a lot like catching up with an old friend over Zoom. Who among us hasn’t said something along the lines of, “What can I say? I’m survivin’,” when cracking open another White Claw and putting yourself back on mute? Still, Bastille knows the key to a better 2021 is low expectations and a little optimism. 

Hold On — Wilson Phillips

The good news: vaccines are coming! First responders, essential workers, and the country’s most vulnerable will be administered the vaccines first. That means the rest of us need to stay patient and vigilant until we can safely reach herd immunity. Until then, listen to Wilson Phillips and hold on for one more day! Or you know, realistically, several more months.

Are You Bored Yet? — Wallows feat. Clairo

The answer to the question at the heart of this song is yes of course we are. Winter is here and the pandemic is still raging. We’re being told to hunker down without the promise of more Tiger King. Turn this one on when you need a reminder that we’re all in the same boat.

Body — Megan Thee Stallion

Remember the pandemic was going to inspire us all to get into better shape? If you’ve developed a brand new six-pack in 2020, DM me your secrets. If you haven’t, let Megan inspire you to do an extra push up or two before ordering some take out.

Shots — LMFAO feat. Lil Jon

Picture it: You’re at the doctor’s office seated six feet away from everyone else in the waiting room when the receptionist calls your name. You walk into the exam room, roll up your sleeves, and wait for the doctor to administer the vaccine that will get you one step closer to a new normal. There’s only one song appropriate for this moment and yes, it just so happens to be the song that was played at every frat party I attended in 2009. I’m in my 30’s now but I’m thrilled to have a reason to sing, “I’m ready for some shots,” in 2021.

The Rock Show — blink-182

Once the vaccine is widely distributed, we may finally see the return of live music, and don’t we all just desperately want to see a girl, a guy, literally anyone at a rock show in 2021?

Kiss Me — Sixpence None the Richer

The song is probably best known for playing when Rachael Leigh Cook finally ditched the glasses and walked in slow motion down the stairs into Freddie Prinze Jr.’s arms in the 1999 rom-com, She’s All That. In 2021, I hope we all have our own She’s All That moment. Only instead of ditching our glasses, maybe we’ll be able to drop our masks and jump into the loving arms of our friends and family. Pre-COVID, I didn’t even think of myself as a hugger. Now? I’m ready to accept a hug and a kiss on the cheek from my most casual acquaintances. 

Never Let You Go — Third Eye Blind

This crowdpleaser may be turning 21 this year but I’m already picturing myself turning it up at every outdoor gathering I throw this summer. And seriously, beware of the hugs, I might never let go.