Why you should care

Because good music can take away the suck of Valentine’s Day.

It’s here and you dread it: Valentine’s Day, when that giddy excitement envelops the coupled-up members of society with the promise of flowers, chocolates, a night out on the town, maybe even a sparkly ring in a tiny box. It’s all well and good to celebrate love, but if you’re single, Valentine’s Day can be the absolute worst — you might even feel compelled to call in sick to work. It’s far better than having to feign excitement over a co-worker’s overpriced roses while refraining from pointing out that their partner could likely buy them flowers once a month all year for the price paid on Cupid’s holiday.

So don’t. And, singles, there’s no need to turn off all the lights so your neighbors think you’re on a date or disconnect from social media to avoid the lovefest. Ditch the society-bred shame (and tub of ice cream), own your independence and rock out to a kick-ass playlist that celebrates being single.

1. Nina Simone, “Marriage Is for Old Folks”

“One husband, one wife, what have you got? Two people sentenced for life.”

When your married friends gush over how great it is to go home to the same person every night, turn to Nina Simone for a dose of reality. Her imperfect bluesy vocals, dripping with sarcasm, deliver a harsh truth: Marriage is overrated. Her lyrics will make you happy to not have to share the remote with anyone else.

2. Stone Poneys, “Different Drum”

“I ain’t sayin’ you ain’t pretty, I’m sayin’ I’m not ready for any person, place or thing to try and pull the reins in on me.”

True story: I quoted this song during a drawn-out breakup conversation — “We’ll both live a lot longer, if you live without me.” He didn’t get the reference. Originally recorded by the Greenbriar Boys with a male narrator, Linda Ronstadt switched up the gender roles to create this liberalizing rendition for women who know what they want and don’t plan on anyone holding them back from getting it, regardless of how pretty they may be.

3. Kesha, “Woman”

“I buy my own things. I pay my own bills … I do what I want. Say what you say. I work real hard, every day. I’m a motherfu**in’ woman!”

Valentine’s Day can be frustrating. Belting out Kesha’s empowering anthem of self-sufficiency in the car with the windows down will help ease your vexation. Sing it proudly and don’t be surprised if your enthusiasm is contagious. Traffic-bogged four-lane-highway singalong? Yes, please!

4. Joan Jett, “Bad Reputation”

“I don’t have to please no one.”

So what if your dating life is a revolving door — you’re just weighing the options. Who cares what people say or think about how you live your life? There are worse things than a bad reputation, like being the person who’s always smiling, oozing creepiness at every turn. (Note: Joan Jett’s version is not on Spotify, so we’ve swapped in Avril Lavigne’s).

5. Demi Lovato, “Confident”

“I run this show.”

Lovato’s finger-snapping groove celebrates confidence and damns those who would seek to tell you it’s a negative trait. On Valentine’s Day, it may provoke thoughts of past amorous relationships and press you to remember why leaving them behind was a good thing. It takes confidence to know that being alone is better than being with the wrong person.

Have your own ideas?

Here’s a second playlist — a selection of requests from OZY readers for how to enjoy the single life on Valentine’s Day. If you have any requests, let us know in the comments.

Some more suggestions:

  • Bon Jovi, “It’s My Life”
    “I just want to live while I’m alive.”
    It’s your way and the highway.

  • Sweet Spirit, “The Power”
    “I got the power here inside of myself. Come feel the power!”
    Combat the feeling of not fitting in by rejoicing in the unique power to stand out.

  • Lesley Gore, “You Don’t Own Me”
    “Just let me be myself, that’s all I ask of you.”
    Be your own arm candy.

  • Ani DiFranco, “32 Flavors”
    “Some day you are going to get hungry and eat most of the words you just said.”
    Stick your nose up at those who are threatened by your independent nature.

  • Natasha Bedingfield, “Single”
    “I don’t need another half to make me whole.”
    Being single is a choice, not a punishment.

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