Photo by Prixel Creative

Another year over, and another great list of songs, albums, and artists that made the year amazing. From Taylor Swift officially achieving world domination with her international 1989 tour, to Adele making us all cry while listening to “Hello” on repeat, to the success of Justin Bieber’s comeback album that is making Beliebers out of many… 2015 has been yet another great year for the music industry.

With all of the tragedy that went down in 2015, both in the US and abroad, music can serve as a beautiful reminder that things will get better, that we are strong, and that we are not alone. Like our playlists from 2013 and 2014, below we highlight the songs that inspired us in 2015.

This American Idol winner continues to blow us away with each single she releases. Off of her newest album, Storyteller, “Smoke Break” has a blue collar country rock vibe and talks about working-class vices that are easily relatable no matter what your situation may be. As Rolling Stone put it, Underwood’s song is “a homage to hard working people in need of a breather.” Amen, sister.

Though her debut album came out in 2013, few knew Rachel Platten’s name until her single, “Fight Song” came out last spring. The ultimate power track, “Fight Song” was written by Platten about her struggle to make it in the music industry and served as a reminder to believe in herself. The moving lyrics and powerful chorus make it the perfect workout song, not to mention the official theme song for the “Rise Above Cancer” campaign from October 2015. Platten also performed “Fight Song” with Taylor Swift during a Philadelphia performance in Swift’s 1989 tour… the ultimate sign that she’s made it in the music industry.

English singer/songwriter Frank Turner is known upbeat tunes and distinctive British vocal sound. On his 2015 album, Positive Songs for Negative People, each song brings an energy that can’t help but put you in a good mood. “The Next Storm” makes for the perfect song to get you through winter, with lyrics calling for us to get outside, face the sunshine, and rejoice. Looking for some uplifting, feel-good music? Frank Turner is your guy.

It was hard to pick just one Meghan Trainor song to put on this list, since so many tracks from her 2015 album, Title, have topped the charts this year. This pop singer brings an old-school doo-wop sound to her songs, many of which focus on self-acceptance and embracing what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. “Dear Future Husband” illustrates this theme, as the song talks about the importance of woman being treated as equals in their relationships.

A 2015 playlist wouldn’t be complete without Adele. And while “Hello” will continued to be played well into 2016, the other tracks on 25 deserve recognition as well. “Remedy” is one of several hauntingly beautiful songs on the album, and was the first song Adele was able to write after suffering from writer’s block in early motherhood. Adele told Rolling Stone that “I wrote [“Remedy”] about my child. But I sang it for everyone that I really love. When I wrote it, I got my confidence back in my writing ’cause I believed in myself.” Yet another tearjerker, “Remedy” is a song about unconditional love and support… something we could all use as we enter the new year.

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