A Disney Valentine's Day Survival Playlist
Feel Good Disney Songs to Illuminate Your Valentine's Day
Confession Time: I love Valentine's Day. I know that for someone of my romantic categories, namely single, a virgin and no one's Valentine, this is an extremely unpopular opinion. However, think about it, the wine and chocolate are on sale at the grocery store, Netflix releases a bunch of painfully bad romcoms AND restaurants have a ton of two-for-one specials that we perpetually-single folk can benefit from. Sounds like a win to me! Maybe it's the fact that my default setting is single or that I don't have the experience of ever being in a relationship but my perspective on Valentine's Day is decidedly positive. My Valentine's Routine typically involves preparing myself dinner, washing my hair, putting on a face mask and tucking in to enjoy Disney Movies which are my guilty pleasure.
After sifting through Disney+ for hours, it dawned on me just how many of its songs and movies centre around romance and finding your one true love. I imagine that today (Valentine's Day), these topics can be particularly harrowing if you're experiencing a rough breakup or, like me, romance has never touched your life. For this reason, I thought I'd compile a playlist of feel-good Disney songs perfect for surviving the holiday!
As always, if you liked this story, please don't forget to like this story :)
Cinderella - The Cheetah Girls
I don't wanna be like Cinderella
Sittin' in a dark old dusty cellar
Waiting for somebody, to come and set me free
I don't wanna be like Snow White waiting for a handsome prince to come and save me on a horse of white
This song radiates single energy. I'm single, I'm thriving, I'm happy and I don't need a man (or woman)! The Cheetah Girls movies were my whole world growing up and this song was and still is my anthem. Dances were choreographed with friends, matching outfits were worn, group members were chosen. I love that at its core, the song doesn't completely disparage romance but forwards the idea that while relationships are awesome, you are not broken if you are not in one.
She's So Gone - Lemonade Mouth
Insecure in her skin
Like a puppet, a girl on a string
Learned to fly
If you want her back, gotta let her shine
Was the movie Lemonade Mouth a fever dream that we collectively decided not to acknowledge ever? Because I adore this film and no one talks about it! So I'm going to talk about it! This song tackles the issues surrounding change and outgrowing people you used to love. Loyalty and history often see us trapped in relationships (romantic and aromantic) that no longer truly serve us. She's So Gone compels us to shake off the dead weight and embrace who we are 150% even if it means losing someone we used to love.
Hakuna Matata - The Lion King
It means no worries
For the rest of your days
It's our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata brings a smile to my face every time I sing it. Childhood nostalgia is real with this one. Shake off your worries, dance, laugh and spend some time thinking about the aspects of your life you are grateful for and just be. Hakuna Matata!
Let it Go - Frozen
It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
This is embarrassing but I've never actually seen Frozen or the sequel. I know all of the songs though because there was one point in time where everyone and their momma were obsessed with Frozen. The lyrics I highlighted above stand out to me. Valentine's Day (and most holidays in general) can be great times of sadness for people because it shines a spotlight on everything missing in your life. In times like these, it's important to take a few steps back and gain some perspective. You're not going to care about this one, random Valentine's Day in 2021 2 years from now. You won't even remember what you did or how you felt. Deep breathe, let it go!
Gotta Go My Own Way - High School Musical 2
I've got to move on and be who I am
I just don't belong here, I hope you understand
We might find a place in this world someday
But at least for now, I gotta go my own way
9-year old me was bawling my eyes out when Gabriela broke up with Troy in this HSM 2 scene. I couldn't understand why she'd break up with him. He. Was. So. CUTE. As I'm older now, I get it. Sometimes, you have to make decisions based on what's in your best interest. You have put your mental health and well-being first, even if that means axing relationships with teen heartthrob, Zac Efron while he professes his undying love to you.
The Bare Necessities - The Jungle Book
Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature's recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life
Ahhhhhh, I love this movie so much! And this song is everything. In a sea of craptastic moments, disappointing interactions and lacklustre romance, look for the bare necessities in life. They keep you grounded, they fill your life with joy and we don't appreciate them nearly as much as we should.
Potential Breakup Song - Aly and AJ
The type of guy who doesn't see what he has until she leaves
Don't let me go
'Cause without me, you know you're lost, wise up now or pay the cost
Soon you will know
Potential Breakup Song wasn't technically in a Disney movie (not that I remember) but it was released during a time when Aly and AJ were regular features on the Disney Channel. Plus, it would play periodically during commercial breaks on Disney so I'm including it! This was a banger! An early 2000s gem! Get your act together or I will leave you AND tell the world how crappy you are. I love it! Know your worth and accept nothing less.
You've Got a Friend in Me - Toy Story
And as the years go by
Our friendship will never die
You're gonna see it's our destiny
You've got a friend in me
Everyone has their opinion on "Galentines". Personally, I think the name is super cheesy but the principle underlying it is solid. Lean into your friendships this Valentine's Day and all year for that matter. Romantic relationships are not the only form of love that matters. There's family love and friend love and job love and pet love and art love and music love. Celebrate love in all its various forms and tell the people you love that you do, in fact, love them. Damn, I said "love" a lot. Love!
Let's Get Crazy - Hannah Montana
Take a swing, do your thing
If we're taking a chance
Let's get crazy!
Yeah just kick up your heels
Don't miss out, time to shout
Always keeping it real
Let's get crazy!
Couldn't create a Disney playlist without including Hannah Montana. That's near blasphemous. Let's Get Crazy calls on us to toss our inhibitions out the window, relax and go crazy. Dance, jump around, drink entirely too much and have fun without being bogged down by concerns about what you should and shouldn't be doing.
How Far I'll Go - Moana
See the line where the sky meets the sea?
It calls me
And no one knows
How far it goes
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I'll know
If I go, there's just no telling how far I'll go
We never know where life will take us. Today, we're alone on Valentine's Day feeling sorry for ourselves and maybe tomorrow we'll meet our special someone while shopping for eczema cream in Walmart. Or we'll find out that we were awarded our dream job at our dream company. Or we'll finally try that new restaurant we've been meaning to. Life is mysterious and weird (damn, I'm a philosopher). We don't know what our life will hold so we shouldn't dwell too much on the present. Focus on the here and now, on being the best and brightest version of yourself that you can be. The universe will take care of the rest.
I've Got a Dream - Tangled
She's got a dream (he's got a dream)
They've got a dream, we've got a dream
So our differences ain't really that extreme
We're one big team
Call us brutal, sick, sadistic
And grotesquely optimistic
'Cause way down deep inside
We've got a dream
Tangled is my favourite Disney movie and it should've gotten a sequel and more hype. I included this song on my list to give me an excuse to say that there's nothing inherently wrong with desiring romance. Normally conversations surrounding romantic love on Valentine's Day are framed as either "It's amazing" or "It absolutely 1000% sucks". I sit somewhere in the middle, toeing the line. I don't think romantic love is the be-all and end-all of the human experience but I have aspirations of experiencing it for myself one day. It's one dream in a sea of other dreams.
S.O.S - Jonas Brothers
Oh this is an S.O.S.
Don't wanna second guess
This is the bottom line
I gave my all for you
Now my heart's in two
Early 2000s Jonas Brothers...peak musical content! Joe was always my favourite. No one was asking but I thought I'd make that clear. S.O.S is a breakup song or, at least, an unreciprocated love song but it's not totally depressing. Fun, upbeat, makes you want to belt all the lyrics until your throat feels raw. There's no way to feel sad while listening to this.
Don't Forget - Demi Lovato
And at last
All the pictures have been burned
And all the past
Is just a lesson that we've learned
I won't forget
Please don't forget about us
By contrast to the last song, this one is a tad depressing. It wasn't my intention to end the playlist this way but this is one of my favourite Demi songs and I couldn't NOT include it. In my humble opinion, people slept on this era of Demi Lovato. Her music back then was sooooo good. The perfect mix of pop and rock. Her entire Don't Forget album was amazing but this song in particular always gets me in my feels. Forget your ex, he's already forgotten you. It's sad but you'll be fine. A message for the generations.
To reiterate what I said at the beginning of this story, I'm a forever single 22-year old that loves Valentine's Day, if only for the discounted candy, wine and cringe-worthy romantic comedies that the day brings. I'm also an avid Disney fan but I realize that most of their movies revolve around the notion of finding and needing another half which is both problematic and painful for people going through romantic rough patches. I hope you enjoyed my list of anti-Valentine's Day Disney songs. You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to find them amidst the vast ocean of Disney love songs.
N.B. "Cinderella" by The Cheetah Girls wasn't on Spotify. Sorry! I usually listen to it on SoundCloud or Youtube.