A friend of mine was having a tough day at work and asked me to cheer her up with a playlist to boost her mood. I immediately thought of 90s music, the soundtrack to a decade when MTV was alive and cassette tapes were our treasures. 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! There is no better soundtrack to a feeling of enlightenment (or your grade school / high school performance) than The Sign.

That’s the Way It is by Celine Dion

That’s the Way It is is a refreshing uptempo track from one of the biggest balladeers in the 90s. I distinctly remember watching this on MTV constantly before the new millennium, setting us up to accept the change that was out of our control!

Tubthumping by Chumbawamba

For some reason, night clubs play this at around 3AM and people are drunk enough to party and dance to it that it makes sense alongside all the EDM and hip-hop music.

You Gotta Be by Des’ree

Before Des’ree gave us Life, she gave us a simple track on empowerment and affirmation. But it is the uplifting beat and her comforting motherly voice that make it a pleasure to listen to.

I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis

Oh, how sweet and innocent 90s love used to be! Donna Lewis makes us believe that love is all butterflies in your stomach and none of that shit you can’t take out of your system.

MMMBop by Hanson

Who would have thought a phrase as senseless as MMMBop can be a source of positivity? When the Hanson brothers came back a few years later with Penny and Me, they showed a more mature and serious side. 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 reminds me of a period in life when all you do is hangout at your friend’s place, talk about brainless stuff and enjoy the thought that tomorrow is still break time.

Wonder by Natalie Merchant

It’s difficult to not be infected with the vibrant and upbeat energy surrounding Wonder. You’re tempted to wander the city mindlessly, except you’re reminded of the pollution and petty crime surrounding you.

You Get What You Give by New Radicals

Am I the only one that had high hopes for the group when they broke our hearts by splitting up and going behind the scenes to do songwriting? I love Lost Stars but here’s to that part of us that still believes!

How Bizzare by OMC

Many people consider OMC a one-hit-wonder. That might be true but this is one hit that can do wonders to your otherwise bland or unpleasant day.

I’ll Be There for You by The Rembrandts

I still watch Friends when I’m bored or in need of some comfort. Along with it is probably one of the most memorable theme songs for any television show.

All Star by Smash Mouth

The 2000s had Pitbull and Flo Rida but the 90s had Smash Mouth and The Barenaked Ladies. Except the latter two did not depend on heavy beats and sex to sell their music.

The Beautiful Ones by Suede

Nowadays, I don’t hear a stark difference between European and American music. I used to and one of those that distinctly stood out was Suede’s sound.

Every Morning by Sugar Ray

Am I the only one that used to crush on Mark McGrath? He was the cool, down-to-earth, relaxed guy with a band countering your uptight, defensive and tense personality.

Say What You Want by Texas

Relentless and resilient, in the hands of James Blunt or John Mayer, it would sound depressing and hopeless. In the hands of Texas, it’s uplifting and inspiring.

Playlist Link:



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