1. Choke – OneRepublic
I’ll be honest, despite what a huge fan I am of OneRepublic and Ryan Tedder, ‘Oh My My’ was not my favourite album of the year. This could change in the future as I listen to it more, believe me that’s happened with previous OneRepublic songs and albums, but it’s how I feel at this point. However, from the very first second I heard ‘Choke’, I was in love. It’s just an absolutely heart-wrenching and beautiful song, and exactly what I love about OneRepublic’s music and Ryan Tedder’s voice. It also rocketed up to my most played song as I couldn’t take it off repeat for a full day because of how much it reminded me of Stiles and Lydia’s Season 6 storyline in Teen Wolf. The imagery of the song just hits me every single time I listen to it and I'm not surprised it ended up being my most played of the year.
2. Love Myself – Hailee Steinfeld
This song didn’t even actually come out in 2016, it came out in 2015, but it’s still ended up being my 2nd most played of the year. It’s just honestly such an important song for feeling good about myself. Despite all the many love songs are out there in the world, they can very rarely ever be applied to my life. ‘Love Yourself’ is a song I will always come back to whenever I need a little boost of self-love. I am a strong powerful woman, and I (am learning to) love myself. This song always helps me remember that.
3. Gravel To Tempo – Hayley Kiyoko
My life was utterly changed when Hayley brought out 'Girls Like Girls' in 2015. From the moment Hayley announced that she’d be releasing the Citrine EP in 2016, I was desperately anticipating it, and it totally lived up to the hype. 'Gravel To Tempo' was a perfect lead single from the EP, another song on my list that focuses on being comfortable with yourself above everything else. 'Gravel To Tempo' is a tune you can groove to as well as use to embrace what makes you different, even if you have to do it alone.
4. Here’s To Us – Ellie Goulding
'Here’s To Us' spent most of the year on my ‘Currently Enjoying’ playlist. No matter how many times I updated that playlist, I just couldn’t take this song off. Every time I listened to it I fell in love with it all over again. It’s a really beautiful song and despite me not really being able to relate to the lyrics, it really made me feel. It’s very ‘love triangle’-esque, but a lyric like ‘I gave you all of mine but you gave it away’, just hits me in the heart every time.
5. You Are Free – Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World are my favourite band and have been for almost a decade, so when they released their new album 'Integrity Blues' I was so excited, especially because I wasn’t a big fan of their previous album. 'You Are Free' has become one of my favourite tracks of the album, just because it makes me feel free, like anything is possible if I really want it to be. Jimmy Eat World always manage to create songs that speak to the core of me as a person, they are poetical brilliance, and this song has been the one that’s particularly going to keep inspiring me in 2017 and for years to come. Freedom can sometimes mean both good and bad things, but I’m choosing to be inspired by the possibilities it presents me.
6. Road Less Travelled – Lauren Alaina
This is another song that’s been on my ‘Currently Enjoying’ playlist most of the year. 'Road Less Travelled' has been a driving force for me on more than one occasion when I’ve been doubting myself and what I want in life this year. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I don’t ever want my life to fall into a series of patterns of things that I don’t enjoy and don’t love doing. I need the things I love to always be apart of my life, even if my life doesn’t look conventional. I don’t want to be afraid of the ‘road less travelled’, I want to take it and feel good about it.
7. Let It All Go – Birdy
And we’re back with another song that wasn’t released this year! This song has always been on my radar, but I became particularly aware of it in the latter half of this year. This list wouldn’t be right if a Birdy song wasn’t on here somewhere, because her voice is just absolutely stunning and always leaves a lasting impression on me. This song particularly came to my attention when it was rumoured it was going to feature in Season 6 of Teen Wolf, that turned out to be a lie and it wasn’t featured, but the relevance between the lyrics and Stiles and Lydia’s (2nd time THAT’S been mentioned in this list, haha!) storyline this season is just too accurate and I couldn’t stop listening to it. This is such a beautiful song full of heartache, but it’s ultimately hopeful as well.
8. On Purpose – Sabrina Carpenter
This is the year that I got really into Girl Meets World, and with that I got into Sabrina’s music as well. 'On Purpose' is a great song, and while it’s the first one on this list that I’m probably not as into now as I was when it came out, it’s still a song I really loved in 2016. Sabrina’s voice is very velvety on this track and it really shows off her voice well. It's a tune I really enjoyed this year.
9. Best I Ever Had – Gavin DeGraw
Rewind all the way back to 2013 when this song actually came out! I’ve been aware of Gavin DeGraw for a long time (ever since he did the opening titles song for One Tree Hill back in the day), and listened to a few of his songs, but I hadn’t heard this one until this year. I think I ended up on his Greatest Hits album and fell in love. I can’t even tell you how many calories I burned to this song, it’s like a train running full speed down the tracks and it really gets you moving. I’m not surprised this ended up on my 'most played' list, whenever I needed inspiration to keep moving, I’d always go back to ‘Best I Ever Had’.
10. So Far Away – Mary Lambert
I think this song was on my Discovery playlist on Spotify towards the beginning of the year and I immediately fell in love with it. It ended up on my ‘Currently Enjoying’ for the majority of the year because I couldn’t bear to take it off. It’s just such a beautiful love song, and the emotions in it are so raw, poignant and easy to relate to even if you don’t have a particular someone to correspond it to. ‘Kiss me like the world is gonna disappear, I’m a better person when I have you here.’ are wonderful lyrics and I'll probably always love them.
Special mentions to other songs I loved in 2016, that didn’t make the top 10 most played:
Good Grief – Bastille
In My Blood – The Veronicas
Stand By You – Rachel Platten
Mine – Phoebe Ryan
First – Cold War Kids
Agape – Bear’s Den
Little Wonders – Rob Thomas
Sure and Certain - Jimmy Eat World
(There's a link to my Spotify at the top of the page!)