Your New Year's resolution is easier to achieve if you just listen to the subtle, subliminal messages that your favorite artists put forth.
Seriously, no one actually listens to Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" while working out. Here are a few more subtle songs to get your resolution on.
It has long been rumored that The Stokes' Julian Casablancas has had problems with alcohol, and "Heart in a Cage" perfectly describes what it's like to be trapped by the drink. "Well I don't feel better when I'm fucking around/And I don't write better when I'm stuck in the ground."
We don't have to warn you about the adverse health effects of smoking. Neither does Wilco. Rather, Jeff Tweedy lays out a scenario where a smoker stays up all night thinking and puffing and considering moving on to harder drugs. Break the cycle, and listen to a pretty sweet ass song with "Shot in the Arm."
Ideally, you're starting to work out because you want to be healthy, not just because you want to look hot. "Keep the Car Running" by Arcade Fire is the perfect metaphor. Keeping your body running is a lot like maintaining a car, and pouring lard into the gas tank won't ever help. (As a plus, it has a great beat, so you can actually work out to it.)
Be More Positive
Most of Elliott Smith's repertoire is, well, obscenely depressing. "L.A." on the other hand, is a cheery contrast to the rest of his discography. It's a charming little ditty that's about emerging from the darkness into the Los Angeles sun and actually learning to appreciate what's around you.
Learn to Manage Your Money
Brother Ali preaches the grace in living within your means in "House Keys." "We don't really need all three of these bedrooms / If you really think about it, we could live without it / There's a vacant spot one floor beneath for more cheap / We could afford it easy / Wouldn't have to really pack / Borrow your granddad's van or no shit like that / Save a hundred fifty each month / Go to Red Lobster and eat what we want."
Editor's note: This article originally ran in 2012.