Are you there, spring? It’s me, Chicago.

I’ve decided the only way I can continue coping with the brutally cold, snowy weather is simply to ignore it entirely. Now that I’ve sacrificed all sanity, I’m able to delude myself into accepting a new reality: It’s spring! The leaves are starting to fill the trees that line a slush-less sidewalk as a warm breeze blows off the lake.

In celebration of winter being over (in my mind), I’ve drafted a playlist—almost entirely of female pop and pop rock artists—to help others transition into the new season. Let’s break it down track by track.

Leave (Get Out) — JoJo
Due to the fact that I willingly live in Chicago, I’m aware that winter is a prominent season. Like all relationships, sacrifices and compromises have to be made. Flaws have to be accepted. As Chicagoans, we learn to co-exist with everything winter throws at us. But sometimes we reach our breaking point, and it’s time to call it quits. Who better to vocalize our frustrations with this winter than JoJo? Get out, winter! Leave right now. It’s the end for you and me, and I truly can’t wait for you to be gone.

Breathe — Michelle Branch
Now that I’ve  liberated myself from winter’s brutality, I can finally breathe. I’m free. No longer am I stuck in a loveless, unbalanced relationship. Let the calm rush over your face.

Soak Up The Sun — Sheryl Crow
Civilization has all but crumbled in Chicago these past few weeks. The never-ending cold and snow started to strip us of our humanity, and if my morning commutes on the bus and subway were warning signs of anything, we’re damn near close to turning on each other. But we don’t have to worry about that anymore. The people of Chicago are reunited as they welcome the sunshine back into their lives. Lighten up, everyone, and soak up the sun.

Perfect Day — Hoku
The feeling in our feet and hands is starting to return, which means it’s time to really enjoy this perfect spring day. Grab your friends, hop on a bike and laugh in unison as you ride off into the sunset together, which is setting after 6 p.m. You’re invincible. There’s nothing holding you back.

Anything Can Happen — Ellie Goulding
What’s this feeling? Is this…happiness? I had almost forgot what that felt like. Suddenly I’m not dreading the moment I step out of my heated apartment and out the door, because you know what? There’s no bitter cold hawk winds awaiting my arrival. The air is filled with the smell of flowers, possibilities and the will to live. Without those heavy winter boots you remember that pep you had in your step back in September. Dance down the street, pop and lock it on the train, do whatever you want because anything can happen.

Go Outside — Cults
Beside the literal message this song delivers in the context of what this playlist is all about, this particular selection also attests to my mental state as a result of this ridiculous winter. “Go outside and live your life, don’t stay inside and sleep the day away,” I sang in the middle of the street in a snowstorm as onlookers inform the authorities.

The Sweet Escape — Gwen Stefani ft. Akon
This song is a musical (and abstract) version of a conversation I would have with Chicago regarding this winter. If I could quit you, I would, and I’m sorry I’ve been in a bad mood. But it’s “your fault you didn’t shut the refrigerator,” Chicago, so can you really blame me for being so bitter and angry? We can make it better, Chicago.

Shut Up and Drive — Rihanna
Here’s where things switch up a little bit. We’re warm, we’re on good terms with Chicago, and we’ve had the absolute perfect day. But as Chicagoans, we’re more than smiles and sunshine. The cold made us hold back, it make us dormant and stale. No longer. The top’s down and we’re taking back the night. Lake Shore Drive, here we come.

I Love It — Icona Pop
If you’re wondering if the previous song was chosen simply to make a joke regarding the lyrics of “I Love It,” you aren’t wrong. Maybe the warmth went to my head and I crashed my car into a bridge after repeatedly being told to “shut up and drive,” but you know what…I don’t care, because I love it. This playlist is officially a success.

Steal My Sunshine — Len
This song is included for two reasons. One, it is perfect and will never get old. Two, I literally don’t know how to make a playlist without including one of the greatest contributions to the music industry. Hop on your orange Vespa blasting “Steal My Sunshine” and live your post-winter life.

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