Jan. 1, 2017 symbolizes a new start — a chance to absolve 2016 for all of its wrongdoings. (Sorry 2016, but you were a huge disappointment. You know that already though, don't you?) While a majority of the population will be looking forward to 2016's end, we'll all need an extra dose of inspiration to start 2017 off on a high note. That's where music comes in. Whether you want to wind down from this past year, or get yourself amped up for what's to come, the right New Year's playlist can be there for you in a way 2016 wasn't.
From some of this year's best songs, to inspirational classics of years past, there's a slew of tracks on here to put you in the right, forward-thinking mood. An inspirational song doesn't have to come in the form of an upbeat jock jam. If the lyrics or message resonate with you and leave you feeling hopeful or make you look at things from a different angle, then consider yourself inspired. Art that energizes and incites you will surely make the beginning of your 2017 better. So, on Jan. 1, 2017 (if you're not too hungover) blast these beats as loudly as you can. Then, go take on the world.
1. "Formation," Beyoncé
Sing the phrase "I slay. Ok, I slay" enough times in Bey's voice, and you'll start to believe that you do, indeed slay. Take home this message too: "Always stay gracious / Best revenge is your paper."
2. "Redbone," Childish Gambino
Childish Gambino's newest album came out late in the year, but this particular jam will remind you to "stay woke" when you need it most.
3. "Needed Me," Rihanna
"Needed Me," with its cold lyrics and slower tempo, might not seem like the most encouraging song you've ever heard, but listen to the lyrics. Surely, you'll glean some insights from one of RiRi's most empowering tracks.
4. "Father Stretch My Hands Part I," Kanye West
Make "I just want to feel liberated" your mantra.
5. "Pink & White," Frank Ocean
Though Frank Ocean might be known for sad songs, "Pink and White" actually offers an upbeat(ish) message. "That's the way everyday goes / Every time we have no control /If the sky is pink and white / If the ground is black and yellow / It's the same way you showed me." Basically, Frank's telling us surrender to all the things we can't change. It's a freeing idea to take into 2017.
6. "Unstoppable," Sia
Just take a look at the lyrics: "I'm unstoppable / I'm a Porsche with no brakes / I'm invincible / Yeah, I win every single game." There's a reason this song was remixed as the 2016 Olympics anthem.
7. "All We Got," Chance the Rapper
You won't be able to get the chorus ("Music is all we got / So we might as well give it what we got") out of your head. The message that art reigns supreme in times of distress should also stick.
8. "Hype," Drake
With lyrics like "Everything I said it happened" and "Look what I've done in my life / I had to count it and count it again / To make sure the money was right," "Hype" is basically the updated version of "Started From The Bottom."
9. "Cranes In The Sky," Solange Knowles
The tempo won't make you want to get up and dance, but the lyrics are especially relevant for the turn of a new year. "Cranes In The Sky" is about self-empowerment, perseverance, and evolution.
10. "Burn The Witch," Radiohead
"Burn The Witch" has a powerful political message that will get even the most depressed of us fired up.
11. "Rebel, Rebel," David Bowie
With an unstoppably catchy beat and the repetition of "rebel, rebel," this David Bowie classic will have you feeling all sorts of roused and renewed.
12. "Sorry," Beyoncé
Yes, yes I know. This is the second Bey song on the list because to be totally honest, you could just listen to Lemonade for inspiration and be completely satisfied. There's something about "Sorry" though — the anti-apology song of 2016 — that feels especially important right now.
13. "Free," Prince
Start the year with some gratitude (and some Prince). "Be glad that you are free, free to change your mind / Free to go 'most anywhere, anytime / Glad that you are free, there's many a man who's not." No one said it better than he did.
With the right end-of-year playlist, 2017's already looking up.