A friend of mine was having a tough day at work. She asked me to cheer her up in the best way I know how – create a playlist to help boost the mood. No doubt in my mind that the 90s decade would be the source of music. This is a decade when MTV was alive and kicking, cassette tapes were treasures, and EDM played less of a role. Here are 15 tracks designed to turn your day around.
The Sign by Ace of Base
The Pitch Perfect rendition is no match for the original! Being enlightened doesn’t feel as good without a soundtrack to accompany you on the journey. “The Sign” is a sure bet.
That’s the Way It is by Celine Dion
“That’s the Way It is” is an uptempo track from one of the biggest balladeers in the 90s. I distinctly remember watching this on MTV constantly before the new millennium. The song aptly played in the background to set us up for the coming change that was out of our control!
Tubthumping by Chumbawamba
For some reason, night clubs play “Tubthumping” at around 3AM. At that hour, people are drunk enough. Playing the classic makes sense alongside all the EDM and hip-hop music DJs had blasting from the speakers moments back.
You Gotta Be by Des’ree
Before Des’ree gave us “Life“, she gave us an anthem for empowerment and affirmation. The beat is uplifting beat. She has a motherly voice that is strangely comforting.
I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis
Oh, how sweet and innocent 90s love used to be! Donna Lewis serenades us with her delicate voice. She traps us into believing love is all butterflies in your stomach and none of the shit people go through in real life.
MMMBop by Hanson
Who would have thought a phrase as senseless as “MMMBop” can make you feel good. The Hanson brothers came back a few years later with “Penny and Me”. They gave us an adult version of the boppers we used to love. Who wants that?
Only Wanna Be with You by Hootie and the Blowfish
“I’m such a baby cause the dolphins make me cry” is the best 90s line ever! Hootie and the Blowfish is the laidback hangout song. When your at a friend’s place, this is playing in the background while brainless stuff happens.
Wonder by Natalie Merchant
The vibrant, uplifting and infectious energy of “Wonder” immediately owns a room. My mind wanders and takes me to a place far from the reality we live in.
You Get What You Give by New Radicals
I had high hopes for the New Radicals. They broke our hearts by splitting up too soon and going behind the scenes to do songwriting. I love “Lost Stars”. But in my heart, three great songs were insufficient.
How Bizzare by OMC
Many people consider OMC a one-hit-wonder. That might be true. But this one hit does wonders to an otherwise bland and unpleasant day.
I’ll Be There for You by The Rembrandts
I still watch Friends when I’m bored or I have no clue what to do. But the show’s theme song is as integral to the experience as the rest of all episodes. Skipping it on Netflix is a crime!
All Star by Smash Mouth
The 2000s had Pitbull and Flo Rida. But the 90s had Smash Mouth and the Barenaked Ladies. However, the latter two relied on simple beats and made less contact with EDM and the subject of sex to sell music.
The Beautiful Ones by Suede
Nowadays, I don’t hear a stark difference between European and American music. There was a time the sound was distinct. One that clearly belonged to the former was Suede. The contrast is too obvious to ignore.
Every Morning by Sugar Ray
Am I the only one that used to have a crush on Mark McGrath? He was the cool, down-to-earth, relaxed guy. He was in a band. He was easy on the ears (and eyes) and forces you to let your guard down.
Say What You Want by Texas
“Say What You Want” is for the relentless and resilient. If James Blunt or John Mayer sang the song, I would find the version depressing and hopeless. But since Texas delivered it with a heavenly voice, I cannot think of a way that this won’t cheer you up.