2016 has been a tough year for many people.
"Bad memories, all the stuff happening in the world," said one visitor to Times Square on Wednesday.
"Oh my goodness: The election," said another.
Fortunately, Wednesday was Good Riddance Day.
Participants wrote down unpleasant, painful, or embarrassing memories from the past year and chucked them into an industrial-strength shredder.
Organizers said it's a good way to start the new year with a clean slate.
This is the tenth year of the annual Times Square event, rmodeled after a Latin American tradition in which New Year’s revelers stuffed dolls with objects representing bad memories before setting them on fire.
"It really is this need we have, even when the world is crazy, to say, 'You know what? I'm gonna let go of the things that have been dragging me down and going to look forward with a sense of hope and the possibility of change. Either for myself personally or the world.' So this is a chance to detox in a big way," said Times Square Aliance President Tim Tompkins.
The shredding took place at the Broadway Plaza between 45th and 46th streets.
"If it can help people just to clear their minds and say goodbye to bad thoughts or bad issues then I think it's great," one woman said.
"You're actually beginning to separate yourself from the event and move on from the event and I think it's a very good thing," said another participant.
In Times Square, there was no burning, but smashing was an option.
"We have a sledge hammer. Sometimes people come and they want to destroy something physically like an old cell phone that's driving them crazy," Tompkins explained.
For people who couldn't visit Times Square for Good Riddance Day, there was an alternative - kind of a virtual casting away of 2016. They could tweet bad memories with the hashtag #GoodRiddanceDay. Workers in Times Square printed those tweets, and threw them into the shredder.