I don’t think any of my blog readers will be surprised that this year was a hard year for me. It included a lot of big decisions, disappointments, and complete meltdowns. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that their were a lot of dark moments, days spent in bed crying myself to sleep, wishing I wasn’t so lost and things weren’t so hard.
Of course, holiday time and the end of the year in general can make you reflect on all sorta of things. Reflecting on my year was hard and even though I feel like I’m in a much lighter place than at certain points in 2015, I’m sad that things turned out the way they did. Maybe not quite regret but a grief that has stayed lightly looming over me with all that I lost this year.
And like every year I check out DJ Earworm’s End of year mashup of all the chart toppers of the year. In recent years I’ve been turned off by pop music, choosing instead to find solitude in older pop albums and alternative things I found here and there. While I appreciate the DJ’s clear effort in putting these video’s together it hasn’t been since his 2009 (Blame it On The Pop) that I truly enjoyed the mash up. Ironically 2009 represented my ushering into adulthood. It was a year that started with President Obama’s inauguration and followed the end of my freshman year of college and subsequent move to DC to attend George Washington University. It was my first year as a camp counselor at a place that ended up being a huge part of my life for the next few summers and introduced me to people I still talk to today almost 7 years later. The end of 2009 found me as a Congressional intern which shaped a lot of my internships for the rest of college. It was actually a great year and one clearly defined itself by the music I listened to me.
Which, is why I surprised when after 6 years DJ Earworm’s mashup 2015 (50 Shades of Pop) was easily one of my favorites. It took me through a year where even though things were hard was largely made better by the fact that it was filled with so many songs that pulled me out of my circumstances and brought me to joy. I spent a huge part of my year dancing, singing, and being all out silly when any of these songs came on the radio. In addition to the mash up my summer was largely defined by a rediscovery of my favorite band’s latest live album where at any given moment 3 or 4 songs graced my Top 25 Songs playlist on my iTunes. Even though most of the songs on the album were already favorites I couldn’t help but sing at the top my lungs to every lyrics, every beat, and every song.
With two very meaningful breakup’s also dominating my emotions for most of the year I was lucky to find not one, not two, but three songs that perfectly defined my every emotion when I felt heartbroken and alone. What was even more appreciated was each of the songs left me feeling more empowered, more like I was going to be ok, and were lyrics that took the words right out of my mouth.
Music is a powerful thing and dancing it out while singing to anything from mindless pop to deep cuts. Music saved my life this year. Overtime I felt like giving up, like I couldn’t move anymore I could put on my favorites and feel… better. What songs kept you afloat this year? Feel free to leave them in the comments and check below for a full list of songs that defined my year!
Save My Soul – JoJo After almost 12 years out of the mainstream JoJo came back with a three single album that was anything but young. This song brought me to tears during the worst part of my breakup and continues to be my most cathartic song for being in the feels.
Brothers – NeedtoBreathe Ft. Gavin Degraw My two favorite artist teamed up this year for a single really inspired by family and friendship. Honestly neither of these two could ever make a song I don’t like but this one is both soul touching and kind of an unexpected “dance it out” song.
You’re So Beautiful – Jussie Smollett Ft. Yazz One of the biggest things to come out of 2015 with no doubt is the juggernaut that is Empire. While Exceutive Music Producer Timbaland brought out the best in super star Jussie Smollett this is hands down the best song of season 1. It is both catchy and extremely danceable. My favorite moment of having this song on repeat all year was when myself and one of my students sang the chorus of this down the hall with so much delight I can’t help but love this song forever.
Thunder – Leona Lewis Ironically the last time this beauty came out with an album was the magical 2009 year that was also defined by music. This anthem was a nice return and most definitely my power song on the treadmill all fall.
Downtown – Macklemore I may be the only person who is all about Macklemore (I think The Heist is one of the best Hip-Hop albums of the last 5 years) but this silly and classic song brings him back into the spotlight and it’s fantastic. It’s also the song that defined me and most recent ex’s relationship and the moment I think we fell for each other so it has a very special place in my heart.
Here – Alessia Cara Easily she is my favorite new artist of the year. Here album has 2 other songs that defined my year and this, her first single, has everyone I know in love with it. Ironically it defines how I feel overtime I go out anywhere. #NotYOLO
Keep Breathing – Ingrid Michelson This is a re-find from a Grey’s Anatomy song I found years ago. Yet it took this year to fully know and understand what it’s about and was a saving grace in moments when I didn’t know what else to do but listen to this song and try to keep myself from falling off the deep end.
Life in Color – Onerepublic I’m pretty obsessed with this Colorado band (Ryan Tedder anyone?!) and this song really came to me at the end of the year that pushed me to be more optimistic about 2016. It’s kind of perfect anthem for coming out of dark times.
You & Me – Bassnector I’m not a huge dubstep person but this mix is almost the most amazing song I’ve ever heard. I think I listened to this at full volume with all the windows rolled down all summer.
Lost in The Light – Bahamas I dare you to listen to this song and not love it. This song makes me think of my ex so hard that it is actually amazing that I enjoy it. But again, how could you not it’s epically a great mix of great lyrics, great sound, and a voice that naturally relaxes you.