Resolutions: Songs to be a Better Person By

by Sarah Gray


Welcome to 2015.  I’m sure you’re all promising to join new gyms, lose weight, eat right, stop being such a dick to your significant other, call your mother more, open a savings account, not completely disregard this list like you did last year because you, for real, really mean it this time.

I never really make resolutions.  I am not going to try to be a better person this year. Mostly because I don’t want to be a better person.  I don’t ever really think about being a better person.  I figure, you know, I’m about as nice as I have any desire to be and I already go to the gym all the time.  Save being a better person for people who go home and beat their kids.  I am going to savor my badness like a gem.  Plus, I really only set goals in five year intervals, like Mao.

But, if like many, you are starting off this year with lofty goals of self-improvement, I have compiled the below list of upbeat songs to be a better person by.  At the very least, they should put you in a good mood while you are failing at turning your life around this year.


1. “The Middle” – Jimmy Eat World


Don’t be discouraged by the one hit wonder status of Jimmy Eat World, which is super depressing.  No one wants to peak early and start the long, slow slog to death and one hit wonders are the perfect metaphor for that sort of thing.  But that’s not you!  You’re getting better.  2015 can eat your dust.  As the song says, everything’ll be all right.  And it probably is.  And even if it isn’t, it probably is.


2. “Float On” – Modest Mouse


Sometimes a slew of unfortunate mishaps happen all at once, but Modest Mouse has the right attitude about that sort of thing.  Float above it.  Getting angry about every little thing that doesn’t go your way is part of the reason you are such an asshole.  Let it go – it will make you nicer.  As they say, “sometimes life’s okay.”


3. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams


This song is what it claims to be; happy.  I don’t love this song, but I find it impossible to hate even though it is the sort of song I would usually hate.  It is just so upbeat and catchy that I can’t help but have some affection for it.  And, I mean, happy is what you want to be, right?  Don’t let the fact that happiness is a modern cultural obsession cultivated by TV and manufacturers of anti-depressants get in the way of your dreams.


4. “Feeling Good” – Nina Simone


“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day,” it’s a new year.  Every day is a new opportunity to change your life.  Which sounds, and is, incredibly cheesy, but happens to be true.  So, decide what you want and just do it.  If you are thinking to yourself, “it is not that simple,” you are wrong.  It is exactly that simple.  It only feels complicated because you don’t want to commit to doing it.


5. “Hey Ya!” – Outkast



It is virtually impossible to be in a bad mood listening to this song.  It is like trying to be in a bad mood while jumping on a trampoline.  It can’t be done.  Have you ever seen someone scowling on a trampoline?  And being in a good mood is where you want to be.  2014 was the year of the bad mood.  Fuck 2014.  We’ve moved on.  2015 has better hair and a nicer complexion.  We are so done with 2014 and its constant griping.  Plus, this song has the added benefit of containing my favorite line from all of music history, “Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor.”  Which is clever and hilarious to me in ways that are too convoluted to get into here.  Suffice it to say, I am a big fan of subtle allusions to ‘70s soft porn.

You’re probably never going to feel really excited to get out of bed in the morning and go to work and eat whole grains and work out.  And so what?  Not minding being alive isn’t the worst place to level out.

Good luck with that pottery class and eating kale.  I’ll be enjoying my 2015 by continuing to drink 3-5 nights a week and smoking on my work breaks.  Happy New Year.


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