If you’re going to your relatives’ house for Thanksgiving dinner, don’t travel in silence. Whether you’re flying in, driving several hours, or strolling down the street, using a CD or iPod playlist, these 18 songs will set your holiday up for family, friends, and festivities.
Express your thanks
Thanksgiving is all about going out of your way to thank the people who have made a difference in your life, so let’s be cliché and shout out to them via song. Maybe thinking about all of these awesome people will prompt you to actually thank them in person.
“Thank You For Loving Me” by Bon Jovi
If you love someone, blast this rock ballad. Think of everything that person does for you. Just try not to cry.
“Thank You” by Led Zeppelin
This is a little less intense than Bon Jovi’s thank-you song, but just as emotional. Led Zeppelin tones it down to sincerely express a sense of appreciation that you can immediately empathize with.
“Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly and the Family Stone
Wait — since when is the title spelled like that? Give thanks to them who appreciate you for who you are.
“Thank You For The Music” by ABBA
Take a break from thanking people and be thankful for music itself! It inspires so many of us, and there’s nothing wrong with giving it a little appreciation.
“Thankful” by Kelly Clarkson
Kelly’s crooning about someone who truly knows her, and she’s thankful for his/her love. Aw… Listen if you have similar feelings for someone.
“Thank You” by Dido
Appreciate the little things a loved one will do for you. Check out the Deep Dish Vocal version for a faster beat.
Appreciate what you have
Aside from being straight-up thankful, take some time to appreciate all of the great aspects of your life. It’s easy to take things for granted, especially when you’re about to indulge on some awesome turkey and pumpkin pie.
“Without You” by David Guetta Featuring Usher
Belt out how much you need your significant other. Then, when the middle of the song breaks it down, go ahead and shake what your mamma gave you.
“Sexy And I Know It” by LMFAO
If you’re sexy and you know it, you might as well appreciate your good genes. Feel comfortable with who you are while jamming out to catchy LMFAO beats.
“Beautiful Day” by U2
Even if your family times get off to a rough start, this song reminds us that there’s stuff to be grateful for. Try not to lose that positive mentality!
“We Are Family” by Sister Sledge
You’re about to see your family members; why not remember how lucky you are to have them?
“All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled
Let’s be honest. You’re awesome. We give you permission to feel proud and epic while strutting up your grandmother’s driveway.
“Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
One of the most important things to appreciate is simply who you are. Think of all of your great characteristics, and be happy in your own skin.
Get revved up for the holidays
Okay, so it’s not culturally acceptable to start listening to Christmas music until Black Friday, but who cares? Get jazzed that the winter holidays are right around the corner, but don’t go overboard. These songs are fun and subtly about the holidays.
“Put a Little Love in Your Heart” by Annie Lennox and Al Green
This song is more about loving everyone more than the actual holidays, but it’ll seriously uplift you. We all need some inspiration to do good every now and then.
“Carol of the Bells” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Rock out to this awesome version of “Carol of the Bells” without feeling like you’re already diving into corny Christmas music.
“Winter Wonderland” by Ella Fitzgerald
Ease into stereotypical holiday songs with Ella’s beautiful voice. Listening to her will make you long for it to be wintertime!
“Jingle Bell Rock” by Randy Travis
Rocking out to the country version of this Christmas classic is a great way to get ready for the holidays.
“The Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler
Sing along and appreciate all of Adam Sandler’s pretty creative rhymes with “Hanukkah” (including “Veronica” and “harmonica”).
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey
Because this song feels more like pop music than Christmas music, you won’t feel too guilty playing it.
Conclusion: If you need even more songs, try to dig out some new ones about eating delicious food, or maybe add others related to all of the shopping you’ll be doing on Black Friday (“Material Girl,” perhaps?). Mix in your own favorite songs about thanks and appreciation and you’ll have an awesome Thanksgiving playlist to take with you on your travels.