So what I was able to do was install Percona, which is a drop in replacement for mysql. They have packages for 5.5, 5.6 and 5.7 available for Ubuntu 17.04. I installed version 5.5 and was able to bring up my database. From there I could upgrade to 5.6 and eventually mysql 5.7. However, somethings still were not working correctly, like emojis were not being stored correctly, so I attempted to fix that, and things broke again. I couldn't start the database and nothing I did seemed to help. Luckly, I made a backup of the data when I successfully had 5.5 running. I reverted everything back to 5.5 and have since upgraded to Percona 5.6. I'm staying here for now. Things appear to be stable and working.
I've got to say, Percona is fast. A few tables that mysql wasn't able to optimize properly, Percona did without any troubles. Right now I'm thinking I'll stick with Percona until I no longer can.