Do you fall into the camp of people who abhor Valentine's Day? Maybe the commercialism of it all grinds your gears? (Who actually enjoys eating those nasty chalk-tasting candy hearts, anyway!) Perhaps the presence of the holiday is emotionally upsetting to you in some way. Everyone's posting cute couples photos to social media, while you've been single for some time or have just experienced a terrible breakup.
There are many reasons to despise Valentine's Day. And if you do hate it...we totally get you. Nay, we respect you. In fact, we here at Live365 find enjoyment in rebelliously playing anti-Valentine's Day songs on February 14. We're talking songs all about self-love, moving on from exes, and just giving a middle finger to the concept of romantic love in general. Below you'll find 14 songs currently on our playlist for this year (mostly female-led!) and we hope they help you get through the day!
1. "Flowers" - Miley Cyrus
The most recent song on our list, we're pretty sure Miley dropped this one close to Valentine's Day on purpose (besides the fact it was released on ex-husband Liam Hemsworth's birthday). It interpolates Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man" and part of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" to create a disco-ready bop all about loving yourself. Whether you're single or not, we hope you use Valentine's Day to buy yourself flowers, write your name in the sand, talk to yourself for hours, take yourself dancing, and hold your own hand like Miley does.
2. "That Don't Impress Me Much" - Shania Twain
The Shania-ssance is back in full swing, and with it we present to you one of Twain's best tracks ever. If you've been in the dating scene for a while and have encountered hordes of stuck-up men, this is the song for you. In "That Don't Impress Me Much" Shania sings about how she's not impressed by know-it-alls, car guys, or even Brad Pitt. She just wants true love, which seems to be a pretty daunting ask in this day and age. If there's any song to convince us why going out on a Valentine's Day date is a bad idea, this one would be it.
3. "thank u, next" - Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande's playful indifference towards her list of exes on "thank u, next" never fails to pump us up. (Did she really just name drop her exes AND create a funny Mean Girls-themed music video?) She does give time to thank her past flings for their love, but then promptly moves on in a sugar-sweet and totally catchy chorus. "thank u, next" discusses themes of self-love, growth, empowerment, and the value of friendship after a breakup. If being alone – and nostalgic for your exes – on Valentine's Day has got you blue, this Ariana song goes down smoother than medicine.
4. "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is a song that works on a playlist for so many different situations. But of course, the main reason it was written was to empower people to stand tall after being wronged by a former lover. The definitive song of Gaynor's career, "I Will Survive" was actually recorded after the disco singer suffered a major fall on stage which left her with a broken back. She recorded the song in a back brace, and Gaynor said the experience changed her perspective. "I began to have a spiritual awakening and decided that I wanted to have more purpose to my singing than people just having a good time," she said. "That’s why I chose ‘I Will Survive’ and I wanted to continue as often as possible to give them songs that would have positive impact on their lives." We hope Gaynor knew this song would become a posterchild for the Anti-Valentine's day anthem.
5. "You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
“You’re So Vain” is an infamously mysterious song about someone’s arrogance. One known muse includes Warren Beatty, while two supposed inspirations include Mick Jagger (who sings backup vocals on the song) and James Taylor. Ultimately, no one truly knows who else Simon is talking to besides Beatty, which is why "You're So Vain" works so well as a diss track directed to the entire species of the self-absorbed. This one is truly made for the anti-Valentine's Day cynics. Similar to Shania's "That Don't Impress Me Much," Carly Simon's beloved track makes us realize having a good romantic relationship with a vain person is more improbable than clouds in your coffee.
6. "Kill Bill" - SZA
Perhaps it's an immature – yet completely human – habit to fantasize about killing an ex. Over bubbly, dreamy music production, R&B queen SZA sings about doing just that. "Kill Bill" heavily references the Tarantino movie it's named after – which may be one of the most anti-love films out there. Maybe SZA doesn't quite move on from her ex in this song, but hey – the homicidal fantasy is helping her heal.
7. "10 Things I Hate About You" - Leah Kate
Another song title that references a movie! This time it's 10 Things I Hate About You, which is a rom-com teen flick based off Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. However, the song version of "10 Things I Hate About You" is nothing like the movie's lovey-dovey ending. It's a raunchy, unapologetic slamming of Leah Kate's toxic ex, and it's a song that would totally make Kate Minola proud. Even the music video for "10 Things I Hate About You" screams anti-Valentine's Day vibes, with Leah Kate singing in a ring of rose petals while a huge conversation heart with the words "I Hate You" looms above her.
8. "Don't Speak" - No Doubt
Written by both Gwen and Eric Stefani, "Don't Speak" by No Doubt details a breakup...and finally getting your ex to shut up about why things aren't working out. While moody in tone, "Don't Speak" is ultimately a track about moving on. The ambiguous line "Don't tell me 'cause it hurts" could mean "Don’t tell me because telling me would hurt me," or alternatively (and in a more anti-Valentine's sense) could mean, "Don’t tell me the reason is because it hurts! It doesn't hurt you!” The latter meaning is emphasized in the final chorus, as Gwen sharply croons, "I know you're good."
9. "Tainted Love" - Soft Cell
One of the only songs on our list to feature a male vocalist. (The men really need to step up in writing anti-Valentine's Day songs). Anyway, "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell is a classic 80s diss track to love, told from the perspective of a man enduring a toxic relationship. The couple's love "seems to go nowhere," and now all Marc Almond can think to do is run the heck away. This song makes the concept of love seem poisonous, and that's why it's the best track to blast in front of lovebirds on Valentine's Day.
10. "Nobody" - Mitski
Mitski's most popular tune, "Nobody" is an anthem to being alone. The song touches on sad themes of alienation and estrangement, but over a disco-paced beat, it’s hard not to want to dance to it by yourself. Mitski wrote the piece at a time when she was overcome with sadness due to her loneliness, but she turned her gloom into something extremely relatable and, dare we say, "happy." "Nobody" is a bittersweet ode to being single, we'd also like to believe that Venus, planet of love, was destroyed by global warming.
11. "Picture to Burn" - Taylor Swift
CLASSIC Taylor Swift. Maybe "Shake It Off" and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" are more common anti-Valentine's choices, but we can't help it...this track is so juicy. "Picture to Burn" is a fun country song all about Taylor's redneck heartbreak ex with a stupid old pickup truck he never let her drive. Mischievous and full of teen angst, this was the "good 4 u" of the early 2000s. Like other songs on this list, "Picture to Burn" is a perfect listen for anyone getting over a breakup. It'll make you realize there's no time for tears: only time to sit and plan your revenge.
12. "That's What You Get" - Paramore
This song celebrates the power of the rational mind over the flaws of the romantic heart. In "That's What You Get," Hayley Williams chipperly sings about a broken relationship with a past lover. The song has a pretty self-explanatory message. "That's what you get when you let your heart win": disappointment and pain. A perfect message for the anti-Valentine's Day cynics. When you play this out loud, it'll have everyone asking themselves, "why do we like to hurt so much?"
13. "Single Ladies" - Beyoncé
We couldn't make this list without stuffing in some Queen Bey. There are a few Beyoncé songs that fit into the anti-Valentine's Day genre, including "Irreplaceable" and "Sorry." But nothing in Beyoncé's anti-love catalogue is more iconic or dance-worthy than 2008's "Single Ladies." This club banger was a cultural reset when it was first released, and for years, it's been helping keep single women everywhere happy, independent, and strong. Thank you, Beyoncé. Thank you for making not only one of the best self-love songs ever, but maybe even one of the best songs ever, period.
14. "You Give Love a Bad Name" - Bon Jovi
We wanted to end this list with a classic hard rock song, and we couldn't think of a better anti-Valentine's rager than "You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi. It's pretty perfect for the holiday, considering the "shot through the heart" line in the chorus could be a reference to Cupid's arrow. You could simply view this song as a curse to an ex, or – if you're really feeling spicy – as a big "you suck" to the entire Valentine's Day industry. They promise us heaven with cards, flowers, and chocolates, then give us hell with high prices, wilting petals, and stomach aches! Valentine's Day gives love a bad name.
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