5 Breakup Song-and-Drink Pairings for Single People on New Year’s Eve

New Year's will be sad for a lot of us this year. Let's get sadder with these songs, and wash down our sadness with some drinks.
New Year's will be sad for a lot of us this year. Let's get sadder with these songs, and wash down our sadness with some drinks. Graphic House/Getty
As if 2020 weren't the worst year already, imagine the clock striking midnight on Jan. 1, and you have no one to celebrate with — not just because we’re in a pandemic, but because you’re single as hell, girl. That’s a different level of hurt, whether we choose to soberly acknowledge it or not.

The commercialized sensation that is Valentine’s Day has forced us to believe it to be the superior romantic holiday, but the optimism brought on by New Year’s Eve could give Feb. 14 a run for its money. A midnight kiss could help solidify that optimism, and yet, here we are. Single.

To get through New Year’s Eve, here are a few songs that can help you cope, with the added bonus of a special drink pairing that fits the mood — because you know you'll need one. And since you definitely won’t be driving anywhere on New Year’s Eve, pour two glasses or more, order takeout and cry your eyes out along with us.

“Spring” by Angel Olsen (with a Long Island iced tea)
Sometimes when you look back on a love that was, you’ll think of all the missed opportunities to simply cherish a moment. Angel Olsen’s “Spring” lyrics yearn for a love that she took for granted, not realizing how good things were until it was gone. (Sorta like the year 2019, despite all its problems.) “I’ve been too busy. I should’ve noticed,” is a solemn line of regret.

If you find yourself relating to this song, go ahead and treat yourself to a Long Island iced tea, which is a mixed drink of vodka, tequila, gin and rum and a splash of soda — because why not regret that in the morning, as well?

“Jealous” by Labrinth (with wine)
Try not to cry in a fetal position while listening to this song because, my dear, this writer literally can’t. In “Jealous,” Labrinth wishes his ex well, but mostly he wishes they one day come back and admit their life was incomplete without him.

Many of us fantasize about a scenario where the ex comes running back to our arms, and we live happily ever after. With the risk of projecting, Labrinth gives us that sort of validation even as the harsh realities of the world return after the song’s end. Find a bottle of red wine — merlot, pinot noir, zinfandel or preferably just one where the logo isn’t of a foot — and give yourself a generous pour.

“Lost One” by Jazmine Sullivan (with a sugary drink or, um, a White Claw)
Hitting the ground and running with our broken hearts, Jazmine Sullivan deals with the struggles of looking to find validation in different people while hoping that her former lover doesn’t go off and find life too exciting without her: “You know when you lost one. A good one, you know when you lost. You go out and fuck different people. To cope and ignore all precautions.”

Pair this song with a drink you’ve been too scared or reluctant to try. Whether it’s something as simple as an oddly flavored White Claw or a sugar-filled drink recipe you found on Facebook, expand your drinking palate this New Year’s Eve — and don’t forget to sob while consuming it.

“Jeopardy” by The Greg Kihn Band (with beer)

Changing up the tone a bit, The Greg Kihn Band’s 1980s bop amplifies the scared feeling of being left alone and depressed. Yet, at the same time, the song's retro guitar strums and rocker vocals can easily have you dancing along in a white button-up and underwear as the clock strikes midnight, Tom Cruise-style.

We can be depressed all we want, but if we get some moves in during the process, not all hope is lost and you can at least say you got to dance on your personal dance floor on New Year’s Eve. Grab yourself a Miller, Dallas Blonde, or hell, a Corona, shotgun it, and throw your hands up in the air.

“Liability” by Lorde (with an old fashioned)
When you finish off your previous drinks and begin to reflect on the void in your heart, remember how important it is to remember that after all the heartbreak and tragedies of 2020, you’re still here and can be better, no matter what your ex says. Lorde’s “Liability” shows that even though we are fragile, we can build our own narrative after heartbreak.

Our hope for 2021 is that, sure, it will get better, but also let it be a time where we can work on ourselves. It’s all we have. Nothing goes better with optimism than an old fashioned; it's a nice beverage to top off this incredibly sad and reflective year.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jacob Reyes is an arts and culture intern for the Dallas Observer. At his alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, Reyes was the life and entertainment editor for the student publication The Shorthorn. His passion for writing and reporting includes covering underrepresented communities in the arts.