Upbeat songs to ring in the new year


Graphic by Alex Toth

Brooke Jones, Reporter

One of the first things on my list at the start of every new year is to completely revamp my playlists: creating space for all the new music I’m going to discover in the upcoming year. For at least a little while, I attempted to steer clear of playing the same ten depressing songs on an endless loop by going through my recommended songs from Spotify. However, Spotify thinks that I enjoy listening to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Swedish rap, so I have to do some serious digging for any remotely good songs.

According to a study by Reuters, listening to positive music can automatically make people happier and more willing to cooperate with others. This can be especially helpful when it comes to staying focused near the beginning of a new semester.

99 Red Balloons by Nena-

Nena’s 1980s cult favorite, “99 Luftballons” was originally performed in German, making them a one hit wonder in Germany. Although the American translation wasn’t as big of a hit, the lyrics almost bring the song to life. The constant change of pace and psychedelic rhythm make it the perfect song for a mini-rave in your room. Picture any 80s movie dance montage and this song will perfectly match.

Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi

‘Pursuit of Happiness’ has a more extraterrestrial feel to it but brings it down to earth with a classic piano tune and occasional electric guitar solos. The heartfelt message, while cheesy at times, can be a significant mood booster. The song can’t be confined to one singular genre, making it the quintessential track for any upbeat playlist.

Sidekick by Walk The Moon

This upbeat song is one of many for the alt-rock-pop band Walk The Moon. The lively intro followed by an increasingly mellow chorus makes it just like a good book, with enough changes to leave you wondering what’s to come. As soon as I hear the beginning, I immediately think of days spent driving to the beach and the feeling of a seemingly never ending summer.

What You Know by Two Door Cinema Club

This song has been featured in just about every YouTube vlog I’ve ever seen, yet every time I listen, it feels just as new. From the very beginning, it starts off when an exciting melody, perfect for those early mornings when you need something to wake you up.


This is what I’d call a “transition song”. When you’re just about ready to venture out of your fifteen oddly specific sad playlists, this is a peaceful shift into a more uplifting vibe without the harsh vocals or headache inducing beats. The message of the song is very clear and one that everyone should hear: if you want change, you have to change.

Most people have bigger goals for the new year than revamping their playlists, but starting your mornings with a few high-energy songs could change the whole course of your day. While positive music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it can be beneficial in the ways that it stimulates creativity, promotes teamwork, and boosts your overall mood.