Nothing beats getting in that cubicle and listening to some of your favorite hits knowing that all your co-workers are probably just listening to Bob fumble with the stapler or trying to hide their Stranger Things Netflix binge. You’ve got the world at your fingertips when you break out the rebellious jams at work, but these highly expressive songs can actually inspire us the most when it’s just another day at the office.
1. “I hate u, I love u” by Gnash ft. Olivia O’Brien
Nothing feels more empowering than letting someone know just how conflicted they really make you feel. And the best power ballads come in the form of duets, so the pop/spoken word twist on that classic formula makes this song the perfect secret work jam.
2. “Closer” by The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
With catchy beats and rhyming lyrics, this song never fails to surprise (who knew a DJ could sing?). Now everyone wants to take that Rover to Tucson and steal mattresses from their roommates in Boulder.
3. “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots
Only one word describes this song: dark. In the workplace, you’re probably used to keeping a smile on your face and greeting your neighbors, but put your earbuds in and reflect on how everyone around you may just be out to hurt you. Yeah, sometimes we all just need those moments.
4. “Hymn for the Weekend” by Coldplay (Seeb Remix)
If you loved the song “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” (and who didn’t?), you’ll love this DJ’s application of the same beats to a… Coldplay song? That’s right, folks. If Coldplay can get remixed and sound damn good, you can storm right up to your boss with your bright ideas or ask out that guy at the next desk over.
5. “Make Me…” by Britney Spears ft. G-Eazy
Britney’s new smash doesn’t feature a whole lot of words, but it sure doesn’t fail to catch our ears. The princess of pop never fails to be blunt about her sexuality, and even though some years have passed since she was a teen icon, she still shows off her body in the music video. Check it out on your lunch break because this shit is NSFW.
6. “Never Be Like You” by Flume ft. Kai
You might not be able to tell your boss how much you hate them or tell your co-worker to stop wearing orange ties to work, but you can sure jam in your rolly chair and swear to “never be like them.” Taking ownership of your mistakes but still calling out others on theirs never fails to make you feel like a boss (pun intended).
7. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” by Adele
Adele has a bit of a potty mouth, and her sass is on point with her latest hit. Check out the psychedelic music video in which you can see about 1,200 Adeles hoping that her (their?) ex treats his new love better. This not-so-subtle jab and sincerity proves that Adele isn’t only clever with killer chords, but a strong independent woman.
8. “One Dance” by Drake ft. Wiz Kid and Kyla
Break out Drake’s single if you just want to completely forget you’re at work. The rhythmic melody of this song takes over your ears and never lets go. You can ask my co-workers how many times I randomly sang “front way, back way” in the office without continuing on with the song. Whether we’re bonding or just being weird, it’s still a great work song.
9. “Work Song” by Hozier
The title literally says it all with this one. Hozier soulfully sings about a man working as hard as he possibly can during the day for his bae and still crawling home at night to see her. Talk about romantic. This song provides the perfect escape and ups the ante for your own bae, or just allows you to melt into the smooth sounds of Hozier’s voice.
10. “You & Me” by Marc. E Bassy ft. G-Eazy
About five minutes into your shift, you picture that glorious moment when you can step out into the sunny street after a productive day at work. Bassy can give you that high while while you get work done with his reggae-infused pop track about bumping into your ex on the street as strangers. Think “Somebody That I Used to Know” but somehow more feel-good. You’ve never heard anything like it. And who knows, that weird inspiration just might get you that raise you’ve been hoping for.