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2000s songs by mood (that are helping me get through the semester), by Allison Krivda

I found myself in a rut at the start of the semester, especially when homework started to pile up. Being a senior, I knew this problem needed to be fixed quickly. Being a recent Spotify Premium user, I was up for the challenge.


My music taste is generally made fun of by friends for its lack of variety. Most notably, people find Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. While I love my OGs, I decided to embark on a musical exploration through the confines of Spotify playlists. What did I land on? Early 2000s playlists for the win!


While most of these songs were familiar to me, I realized how much more respect they deserved than a few-times-a-year listen. As I dove into the world of early 2000s bops, it became evident that these songs can take us on an emotional rollercoaster — from teenage heartbreaks to high energy beats. Now, I have a go-to 2000s song for about every mood I go through while trying to get classwork done. Let me go on a little journey back to the early 2000s, when I was just a wee-baby.


Toxic by Britney Spears (2003)

Need I say any more than list this song? Of course I will, but the mere listing of the song “Toxic” probably emits a feeling of nostalgia and joy for many people. As I went through multiple 2000s playlists, this song always made me stop in my tracks and immediately start singing. The song is for the day on campus when I need a little empowerment and want a strut in my step. If doing homework seems like a drag and throwing in the towel seems like the best option, give this song a listen.


It’s almost impossible to feel sad while listening to young Britney Spears sing about her intoxicating feeling of love. While the subject matter is of no relevance to me, the song’s opening notes transform me for three minutes back to 2003. Instead of worrying about the task ahead of me, I’m ready to confess my feelings to a dangerous lover.


Apologize by OneRepublic (2007)

Now, we take a turn to a song that provides comfort for the day on campus when we feel sad and want to feel comfort in that sadness. “Apologize” is a classic song for those of us in our feels, whether we are heartbroken or just want to empathize with others. I find this song to bring joy in my sadness as I sit and do homework. While it’s a heartbreak song, it also is a reminder of those days that are just bad, and it validates feelings people may experience. The low, slow notes on the piano bring a beauty to this sadness and give listeners hope to keep on going.


As I do my homework and this comes on, I take a couple minutes to have a jam session and suddenly I am revived to power through my work. Give it a try sometime, trust me.


Love Song by Sara Bareilles (2007)

Admittedly, this next song has always been a favorite of mine. However, I seem to always forget about it for a few months and then have a miraculous rediscovery of the absolute bop that “Love Song” is. The upbeat melody and catchy lyrics are perfect for a good mood.


Funny enough, this is Sara Bareilles’ debut song. The thought of how her career and life has changed from debuting this song makes me also think of how I’ve changed from the time of the song’s release.


I have distinct memories of belting this song in the car with my mom as a young child despite not having any knowledge of what the lyrics meant. Now, I have a newfound love for the song that comes from a combination of nostalgia, appreciation for good music and an understanding for the meaning of the song.


If you aren't already in a good mood while doing homework, give “Love Song” a try and thank me later.


Mr. Brightside by The Killers (2004)

Now, we move on to a song that’s more out of my normal repertoire: “Mr. Brightside.” I like to title this song an anthem because it makes me feel like I’m being cheered on. This is the song for an empowering mood — whether already feeling empowered or needing a hype-up song.


The song moves into a rock-type beat that I don’t usually go for. I’ve realized this was a large mistake on my end. The fast-paced lyrics and the drum beat transport me to the front row of a rock concert … that I’ve never been to.


While I cannot relate to the lyrics directly, they portray the craziness of life and things happening all at once. All college kids can relate to this feeling on some level.


“Mr. Brightside” has me drumming on my laptop while I forget about whatever is stressing me out, even if just for a moment. Long story short, need a stress reliever? Look no further.


Bad Day by Daniel Powter (2005)

Sorry to end this on a bad note, but I never claimed to be a ray of sunshine all the time. Sometimes I have bad days, as I’m sure many others do. I also am confident that people understand how sometimes I just want to sit in the feeling of a bad day and not have it get better. Well, “Bad Day” is the song for sitting on a crappy day while finishing up work that I’d rather not be doing.


The song has no happy qualities to it. Rather, it feels and understands my pain. In some twisted way, this feeling of support does make the bad day a little bit better. To have the good days, we have to go through the bad. At least go through the bad days with a good song.



I’ve given a list to cater to just about any mood I face during my college days. Linked is a more extensive playlist of all the 2000s bops worth a listen. This includes much more Britney and many other notable artists that did not make it in the article. Whether feeling on top of the world, sad, mad or anything in between, music of the 2000s has my back.


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