A January Playlist That You Need to be Listening to

New year, new music. Even though it’s mid January, there’s still time to introduce yourself to something new. If you’re getting bored with your playlists, want to expand your horizons or need musical inspiration for your resolutions, these eight songs will give you a taste of different genres and styles for upping your music game.


  • "Like Real People Do" -- Hozier

January needs a moody, contemplative song to match the weather. Any Hozier song could work for that mood, but Like Real People Do delivers in a special way, delving into the idea of beginnings and endings. It’s perfect for January, which is a month of both beginnings and endings, and even though the song has a sad, bittersweet feel, it is ultimately hopeful about our ability to connect with each other - something we could all use more of this year.


  • "Sunflower" -- Post Malone and Swae Lee

First of all, if you haven’t seen Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse yet, you should go do that immediately. Sunflower is from the soundtrack and in the movie it really speaks to how important music is to young people today, as a form of expression, connection and our daily routines. If that’s too philosophical for you, don’t worry, because the song is a bop regardless. It’s got a pretty similar style to Post Malone’s other songs (why mess with something that works?) and is worth hitting repeat. And repeat. And repeat.


  • "Leavin’" -- Jesse McCartney

Every playlist needs a good throwback and it’s time for Jesse McCartney to shine. Leavin’ is a lighthearted pop tune, good for a midday pick me up, spontaneous dance party or reminiscing about 2008. Seriously, this song is 10 years old, but it’s still a good listen, although you might find yourself questioning your initial understanding of the lyrics.


  • "You Broke Up With Me" -- Walker Hayes

For a song that came out in 2017, You Broke Up With Me has been flying under the radar for too long. It’s a break-up song, catchier than it should be, and just the sort of thing to get stuck in your head. It’s got the kind of talking/singing combo artists like Sam Hunt have been popularizing in country music, which makes it easy to sing along to. If you want to feel a little closer to summer, this is the song for you.


  • "Here You Come Again" -- Dolly Parton

Like most everyone in the country, I watched and loved Dumplin’. Again, if you haven’t seen the movie, you should - female empowerment, body positivity, Luke Benward at his absolute cutest, and a Dolly Parton soundtrack all make Dumplin’ the feel good movie you need in your life. Here You Come Again is the perfect song for the Dolly Parton kick you will inevitably find yourself on post-viewing. Follow it up with Light of a Clear Blue Morning, Islands in the Stream and the ever classic, ever catchy Jolene to get your fill of the Backwoods Barbie. Even Applebee’s is hopping on the trend. All hail Queen Dolly.


  • "The One" -- Jorja Smith

The One is a track off Smith’s debut album Lost & Found, which came out back in June of 2018. Even though she is popular in Great Britain and has collabed with huge stars like Drake and Kendrick Lamar, her music hasn’t exploded in the US quite yet. That could change soon, as she’s nominated for a Grammy (Best New Artist) and her popularity will surely rise as a result. Get on board with her now and you can say you liked Jorja Smith ~before it was cool.~ In all seriousness, Smith has talent and a sound like no one else, which comes from fusing multiple music styles. If you like R&B, soul or simply great music, The One is the one for you.


  • "3 Nights" -- Dominic Fike

This song is...literally just so good. I’ve listened to it for two weeks straight. I made up my own dance routine for it. I played it for every member of my family. I don’t know if it’s the lyrics, the notes, the insanely good beat, the random vocalization, the singer’s voice, the insanely good beat or the fresh bouncy feel, but I’m addicted. Did I mention the beat? It’s insanely good. I learned how to snap just so I could snap along. I don’t even know if Dominic Fike has other songs - this is the only one I need. I can’t recommend 3 Nights enough.


  • "If You Want Love" -- NF

NF seems to be having a moment lately, so if you haven’t heard his music, it’s a good time to get introduced. He’s definitely worth a listen anytime of year, but If You Want Love has a drama and intensity that I think goes well with January feelings. With shorter days and longer nights, people stay inside, which leads to deep thoughts and deep emotions. That’s NF’s specialty, but I also find his music kind of inspiring for the gym, especially exercises that slowly build. Really, his music can match any mood, so give it a chance.


This is just a sampling of music; remember, there’s so much out there to discover and endless varieties of music to express yourself with! I hope you like my January picks, but if you’d rather get a second opinion, you can check out Barack Obama’s list of top songs from 2018. He’s got good taste - I second his picks Bad Bad News from Leon Bridges and I Like It from Cardi B. Happy listening!