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Songs that have permanently altered my brain chemistry

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

Have you ever had a song that has completely changed your life, or made you stop dead in your tracks? I made a soundtrack list of every song that has ever done this to me.

No matter how many times I listen to them, I still feel the same way each time. They can live rent free in my head any day of the week.

“Don’t you (forget about me)” by simple minds

Have you ever seen “The Breakfast Club”? If the answer is no, stop what you’re doing right now and watch it.

Then, tell me how you feel about this song.

I love 1980s music, but this one will always stick out to me because of the lyrics and the way it makes me feel. I feel like I’m the main character in an ’80s movie.

It plays at the beginning and the end, but each time it plays it has a different meaning for the characters. It’s the perfect love song. The music, the words, the way it flows— it’s incredible.

“snow at the beach (Feat. lana del rey)” by taylor swift

I can’t talk about the “Midnights” album enough. I know this being my favorite song on the album can be an unpopular opinion, but I’m obsessed with it and nobody can change my mind.

I’m just as mad as you that Lana Del Rey barely sang on the song, but this track makes me feel some type of way— specifically, I feel like I’m at Taylor Swift’s Rhode Island house with a bunch of snow falling when I’m listening to this.

It’s as if time stands still when I press play on this song. It’s so delicate and powerful at the same time.

“waitress song” by first aid kit

This is probably my favorite song of all time and it has altered my brain chemistry for good. The violins and the harmony of the two sisters, Clara and Johanna, is perfection.

This song makes you feel like you are exactly where you need to be in life. It’s about finding your own path and feeling OK with it.

When I drive at night I like to put this song on full blast and it’s the greatest feeling hearing nothing but the lyrics and music. It drowns everything else out.

“GIMME! GIMME! GIMME! (a man after midnight)” by abba

Do I even have to explain myself? Embarrassingly enough, I fell in love with this song when I was about 10 years old because of the game “Just Dance!”

Now, I feel like I need to party at the club whenever this comes on. I get the best of both worlds with this song because I’m obsessed with the movie “Mamma Mia!”, so I always want to be in Greece performing the exact scene from the musical when it comes on.

At the same time, like I said, I could dance to this song at full blast with a drink in my hand and I would be at my happiest. If you’re single, I’m sure it would sound even better.

“only if for a night” by florence + the machine

If you have never listened to Florence + The Machine, you need to. Her music is beautiful and it hits all the right spots.

The song “Only If For A Night” lives in my head rent free. The piano and her voice move in a symbiotic rhythm that I can’t even describe.

“on the level” by mac Demarco

I never thought that I would like this song, but I heard it recently on TikTok and it gave me night time driving vibes. This has altered my brain chemistry and I can’t explain why.

The deep tone of his voice makes it so much better, too. I always want to sit in the back seat of a car and stick my head out the window with this song playing so it drowns out the rest of the world.

“versace on the floor” by bruno mars

Can I afford a Versace dress? Absolutely not— but Bruno Mars makes me believe that I can.

Again, this song makes me think that I’m in a movie. I get romantic movie vibes when listening to it.

Now I want the most perfect, black Versace dress just so I can reenact this song.

“out of time” by the weeknd

This is my favorite song ever by The Weeknd and no matter how many times I listen to it, it never gets old. The music is just pure gold.

I don’t know what he put in this song, but it makes me tune everything out when I press play.

“everybody wants to rule the world” by tears for fears

This is my probably my favorite song in the entire world. It makes me think of the 1980s as a whole and how if I could choose any decade to live in, it would be this one.

I want to wear the ’80s outfits and go to high school in this time period. It just seemed so amazing— I would do anything to experience it.

Do I have more songs that need to go on this list? Probably. Picking songs is so hard, but I feel like these are the songs that I listen to the most and that have changed me in so many ways.

I am a senior at Penn State University majoring in digital and print journalism with a minor in digital media trends and analytics.