Songs To Make Friends By

Where belated summer recaps and finalized study cards can fail to sustain Saturday small talk, impassioned lip-syncing triumphs over the most blaring of music and the dimmest lights, transforming meaningless back-and-forth between strangers into jovial revelry among friends. Below, five songs guaranteed to inspire heartfelt participation—soulful singing and outrageous hand motions mandatory.

“I Want It That Way” by The Backstreet Boys

The epitome of sappy boy band ballads, this song will instantly situate acquaintances in the kind of trusting relationship that can only emerge from acknowledging someone as your fire and one desire.

“Lean On Me” by Bill Withers

This song will make you remember the people you can depend on, even if you only met them four minutes ago. There’s nothing like swaying along to this one with your eyes closed and your arm around a (new?) friend’s shoulder.

“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey

Everyone from small town girls to city boys has a soft spot for this classic. With a chorus of only 12 words that repeats again and again, there’s no excuse for not belting along with this timeless party favorite.

“Help!” by The Beatles

If you’re not feeling so self-assured, this song will both verbalize your insecurities and win you friends of superior—if generically nostalgic—music judgment.

Any country song. . .

I mean, they’re all about tractors and dirt roads and ponies anyway, right? How hard can it be?

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