So 2021 still definitely wasn’t the fantastic comeback year we thought it would be. Sure, it wasn’t as devastatingly disastrous, and it seems like the country is slowly going back to normal… Buuut need I remind you that the Capitol Hill riots happened this year. And then there were those huge wildfires and hurricanes. There’s also a little thing called the Delta variant. Still, we’re not gonna let this dumpster fire of a year stop us from popping the champs and shooing it out the door—in a safe and responsible way, of course.
Just because you won’t necessarily be sweating profusely at some dive bar trying to find a face to make out with at midnight or smushed in a crowd of people in Times Square while freezing your toes off or counting down ’til 12 a.m. with all your friends at some house party doesn’t mean you can’t have a dance party in your room with a bunch of bangers to set off all the right ~vibes~! You gotta stay manifesting.
As sh*tty as this year has been—and wow, has it been sh*tty—there are still things to be grateful for. So ahead, I’ve gathered all the songs you MUST add to your playlist so you can bid 2021 adieu in the most littiest fashion, even if it has to be over Zoom.
1.”WHAT’S POPPIN,” by Jack Harlow feat. Dababy, Tory Lanez, & Lil Wayne
If you don’t film a TikTok to this song on NYE, you didn’t do it right. That’s all.
2. “Dynamite,” by BTS
I know you’ve probs had this on a constant loop for the last couple months, but what’s a few more times on the final night of the year? You know you have to!
3. “Kings & Queens,” by Ava Max
We’re all royalty here! Sure, we might not go home to a grand castle or have an HRH before our name, but we’re still on our regal sh*t aka being true to ourselves, always. Flaunt that vibe with this bop. You better sing it at the top of your lungs!
4. “Blinding Lights,” by The Weeknd
I’d do anything for my vision to be skewed by the cheap, flashing gleams at a clerb. Since that can’t happen at the moment, I plan to let this song figuratively take me there. (Yes, I know it’s about being blinded by love, but let me live, sheesh.)
5. “Ice Cream,” by BLACKPINK feat. Selena Gomez
Still hype about this iconique collab and I’m not sure I’ll EVER get over it. Bless this year for giving us this wondrous creation. I shall show my thanks by blasting it on Dec. 31st as I lay in my childhood bed eating ice cream. Only seems appropriate.
6. “Midnight Sky,” by Miley Cyrus
Miley’s divine voice on your NYE playlist? An obvious must. Next!
7. “ICY GRL,” by Saweetie
Ah, the dream would be jumping around to this song with my squad at a house party with tequila shots in hand while wearing silly “Happy New Year” headbands. Zoom party, PJs, and my Alexa speaker will have to do, though.
8. “Watermelon Sugar,” by Harry Styles
I mean, what’s a celebration without a glorious musical contribution from THE Harry Styles? I’ll gladly ring in the year to that!
9. “Taki Taki,” by DJ Snake feat. Selena Gomez, Ozuna, & Cardi B
Personally, any time this song plays, I find that, um, my body just moves in its own way?? The need…the WANT that my whole self possesses to dance to the beat of this song cannot be fought. And I think I can speak for everyone when I say that this is the exact feeling NYE calls for.
10. “If I Can’t Have You,” by Shawn Mendes
Don’t we all loveee singing about love? Even if some of us may be bae-less? If you’re cuffed on the 31st or not, I guarantee belting out this tune will be a good time. Trust me.
11. “I’m Coming Out,” by Diana Ross
It would just be wrong and disrespectful if you didn’t include this great American classic in the NYE musical line-up.
12. “Shake It Off,” by Taylor Swift
The overall ~vibes~ of this jam encapsulate exactly how I want to say goodbye and good riddance to 2021.
13. “Feeling Myself,” by Nicki Minaj feat. Beyoncé
2021 was a nightmare, which is all the more reason to celebrate the fact that we pushed through it! Proud of us, y’all. Turn the eff up (safely and in adherence with public health recommendations, please) and serenade yourself with this Nicki and Queen Bey gem.
14. “Mood (Remix),” by 24kGoldn, Justin Bieber, J Balvin, & Iann Dior
This song, a sparkly dress, (or some sweats, whatever’s most comfy) and a spiked bev of your choice? Nothing more is needed to set the tone for New Year’s Eve.
15. “bad guy,” by Billie Eilish
Dance that lil heart of yours out in the middle of your living room to this Billie banger before the clock strikes 12. You deserve it!!
16. “Rain on Me,” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
Anybody with me when I say that this song just makes me feel so…ALIVE?! All I wanna do when I hear it is jump up and down with my hands in the air. And personally, this is how I want to feel when I’m listening to music on NYE. Alexa, play this sh*t!!
17. “WAP,” by Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
If you want to twerk your way into 2022 (*ahem* who doesn’t?), this piece of musical perfection is the way to go. Thank you, Cardi and Meg, for gifting us with this masterpiece.
18. “Dura,” by Daddy Yankee
Break out your dancin’ shoes (let’s be real, *socks*) because you’re going to get a workout while listening to this one. This feel-good song will get you on your feet and feeling the music on the last day of the year.
19. “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams
We may not have had the, er, happiest times this past year, but doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the fact that we are entering a brand new chapter in the book of life. Turn up this song because we all deserve to be happy. 2022 could finally be The One™️, people! Optimism!!
20. “New Rules,” by Dua Lipa
Went through a breakup this year? I feel you. It happens! Play this song on Dec. 31st and into Jan. 1 to remind you that you got new rules for your love and anybody who wants you has to follow them.
21. “Roses,” Imanbek Remix by SAINt JHN
You know you’ve been listening to this jam nonstop thanks to TikTok. Sooo why not add it to the NYE queue? It’s a guaranteed mood booster and it’ll get you moving and grooving and attempting to learn TikTok choreo.
22. “Congratulations,” by Post Malone feat. Quavo
Legit, we *all* deserve kudos for getting through this year. Go ahead and belt this song at the top of your lungs. TBH, I’ll be keeping it on a constant loop.
23. “Death By Sex,” by Kim Petras
Cheers to you getting freaky (in a responsible, socially-distant way or else I’ll be mad at you!!) on NYE this year.
24. “Sorry Not Sorry,” by Demi Lovato
NYE is a time to reflect on all the good times—and the bad—that have happened over the last 364 days. Maybe you did something that you wished you could re-do. NYE is not the time for regrets, bb! Turn this song up and remember that everything happens for a reason!!
25. “For the Night,” by Pop Smoke feat. Lil Baby and DaBaby
We were all jamming out to Pop Smoke’s hits this year. Celebrate the legendary rapper and turn this one up to max volume.
26. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” by Whitney Houston
Whether you’re having a celebration with your S.O., roommates, parents, or just you and your bowl of pasta, blast this song and let go! If you just wanna have a dance party and feel happy, jamming to Whitney Houston is the way to do it.
27. “Give Me Everything,” by Pitbull
Like the song says, “we might not get tomorrow.” On that note, let Mr. Worldwide remind you that you should be living life to the fullest because we only get one!
28. “Suit and Tie,” by Justin Timberlake feat. JAY Z
Even though we def won’t be dressing to the nines and heading to a swanky NYE party this year, we can still try to make it *feel* like we’re doing something festive. No one said you can’t put on a cute ‘fit, do your makeup, and hang a disco ball in your living room! Do you.
29. “Savage Remix,” by Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé
If you’re not hitting the TikTok choreo to this absolute bop all night, then I just don’t think you’re giving any respect to Meg and Yoncé.
30. “I Gotta Feeling,” by The Black Eyed Peas
Like all of us are, if you’re just trying to put all the good energy and juju into the world for what’s to come next year, I’d have this song start your NYE night off.
31. “On the Floor,” by Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull
I honestly expect everyone to be dancing their lil booties off on New Year’s Eve—how else are we going to pass the time?! And if you’re in search of a song that will get you goin’, I highly suggest it be this one.
32. “Best Life,” by Cardi B feat. Chance the Rapper
Guys, the whole point of this holiday is to celebrate your life. Nope, it’s not about all the dranks you can down or worrying about who you’ll be smooching when the clock strikes 12. Turn Cardi up to the max volume and give yourself a toast.
33. “thank u, next,” by Ariana Grande
Whether you had the greatest year to date (asking for a friend, how??) or one you’d like a total refund (hi, it me), it’s always good to find things to be grateful for.
34. “Truth Hurts,” by Lizzo
If you had a man recently who you know didn’t deserve you (they all don’t, just sayin’) because he was a total d-bag, bump to this song with your gal pals (Lizzo still sounds great over Zoom, just sayin’).
35. “Dancing Queen,” by ABBA
I’ll just come out and say it: I love hearing this song after I’ve had a few glasses of bubbly in me. It never disappoints.
36. “Mr. Brightside,” by The Killers
If you already know you love this dive-bar fave when you’re surrounded by strangers who are scream-singing every word (ah, those were the days), then it has to be on your NYE playlist, right?
37. “Countdown,” by Beyoncé
It ain’t New Year’s Eve if there’s no countdown! Say sayonara to the last moments of 2021 with some help from Queen Bey.
38. “Always Be My Baby,” by Mariah Carey
I may be biased, but this is definitely one of the best throwbacks ever. It never fails to put me in my feels, reminiscing on past loves and whatnot. Whether you’re bae-less or boo’d up, throw this one on the playlist because it’s a crowd favorite. Bet mom and dad know it, too, if you’re partying it up with them this year.
39. “Bye, Bye, Bye,” by NSYNC
’90s boy bands *have* to make an appearance on NYE, it’s just a rule. Moving on.
40. “Break Free,” by Ariana Grande feat. Zedd
Let go of all the negativity and heavy energy that’s been weighing you down and let loose, even just for the night. If you wake up with a hangover on January 1, so be it.
41. “Raise Your Glass,” by Pink
Bottoms up, baby!!! Play this oldie but goodie with a drink in hand, ready to cheers away the past year.
42. “The Edge of Glory,” by Lady Gaga
First of all, can we just have a moment of silence for the fact that this song came out NINE years ago?! I AM NOT OKAY. If you’re trying to signal to your boo that you don’t want the night to end after just a NYE kiss, this song will make sure they get the hint. 😉
43. “In the Name of Love,” by Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha
A good one to tell all the people who made this year tolerable, “I LOVE YOU GUYS.”
44. “I Don’t F*ck With You,” by Big Sean feat. E-40
A lovely ode to all the *ahem* haters you’re glad to leave in 2021. Bye-bye now.
45. “Sicko Mode,” by Travis Scott feat. Drake
If you want a full-on mosh pit happening in your teeny apartment, this is your winner. Everybody knows this song and everybody WILL go bonkers, guaranteed, if those are le vibes you want on NYE.
46. “We Found Love,” by Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
So if 2021 is the year you found love, then I say why not sing this song as loud as you freaking can? It’s the perfect song to remember all the stuff that led you up to this moment with your one and only.
47. “Sucker,” by the Jonas Brothers
Aw, remember how the best thing to happen in 2019 was the JoBros reunion?! What a quaint time.
48. “24K Magic,” by Bruno Mars
We know you’re worth much more than 24K, but for the sake of the song title, you gotta have this playing during your NYE celebrations. Dance it up and remember how much of a baller you are!
49. “Old Town Road,” by Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
You’re lying if you say you don’t know every single word to this hip-hop-country-hybrid hit. Don’t forget to bring your cowboy hat to your NYE festivities (ahem, your living room) so you can pull it out when this hit comes on.
50. “God’s Plan,” by Drake
Drizzy has all the hits, that’s for sure. This classic Drake song is probably already on all your party playlists, so it def deserves a spot among your NYE tunes.
51. “Money,” by Cardi B
Fingers crossed you and I both secure alllll the bags in 2022. But just to be safe and manifest million$, I’m adding this song to my NYE queue.
52. “Hot Girl Summer,” by Megan Thee Stallion feat. Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
Okay, yeah, we get it, it’s not summer anymore. But this song will bring you back to a simpler time and for that reason, it deserves some real estate in your eardrums on NYE.
53. “Rather Be,” by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne
I’m not a fortune-teller but I am comfortable predicting that this song could be a bit of a stretch circa NYE 2021. Even if the lyrics don’t resonate at the moment, at least it’ll make you think of better times?!
54. “Mo Money Mo Problems,” by Notorious B.I.G. feat. P. Diddy and Mase
A legendary crowdpleaser to remind you that life isn’t always about the moola.
55. “Run The World (Girls),” by Beyoncé
’Nuff said. Forever and always, we know who runs this world.
56. “I Don’t Care,” by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber
If you’re planning to spend a cozy night at home with just your boo, this is basically the musical version of romance and candlelight.
57. “Dancing With a Stranger,” by Sam Smith and Normani
‘Twas the collab we all needed. Maybe you’ll meet the love of your life on NYE over…Zoom? Never thought I’d say this but someone needs to bring back chat roulette.
58. “Don’t Stop Believin’,” by Journey
Sorry, but I’m gonna be a cheeseball one last time. This is the ideal jam to play on NYE because, well, who TF doesn’t know it. It’s a solid nudge to always see the good in everything, and we’re definitely going to need all the positivity we can muster for 2022.
59. “Permission to Dance,” by BTS
This song is just oozing with positivity and good vibes, and is basically telling us all that we don’t need permission to be happy! There will always be things standing in the way, so why not just find ways to enjoy the moment as much as we can?
60. “Skate,” by Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak)
One of the truly wonderful gifts this year has brought us is Silk Sonic. A Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak collaboration is something we never knew we needed. And now that it’s here, we hope it never goes away
61. “Kiss Me More,” by Doja Cat feat. SZA
IDK if a lot of people will be smooching strangers this year… but this song is still a bop!
62. “Up,” by Cardi B
There’s nothing like another chart-topping track by Cardi to get people twerking. Also, let this song help manifest a better 2022. I mean, we have nowhere to go but up, right? Right?!
63. “good 4 u,” Olivia Rodrigo
You don’t have to be getting over a recent breakup to scream this Olivia Rodrigo masterpiece at the top of your lungs. The song’s angsty, “burn everything to the ground” attitude is also very appropriate for the year we’ve all had.
64. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” by Lil Nas X
Not sure you can call it a party if this song doesn’t come on in full blast. Major brownie points if there’s a dancing pole somewhere in the vicinity.
65. “STAY,” by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber
IDK about you but this irresistibly catchy song has been stuck in my head ever since it came out. The only way to get it out of your system is to jump up and down, and leave it all on the dance floor!
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