There are certain songs that, no matter the time or place you hear them, will transport you back to very specific moments in your life. If you grew up during the early 2000s, these songs are sure to remind you of your childhood and young adulthood, and make you feel nostalgic for simpler times.
1. “Complicated” – Avril Lavigne (2002)
“WHY DO YOU HAVE TO GO AND MAKE THINGS SO COMPLICATED!” – be honest, we’ve all sung this during particularly angsty moments.
2. “This Love” – Maroon 5 (2002)
It’s honestly weird to think about how long Maroon 5 has been around. Not gonna lie, I have been singing along to their catchy tunes since the early 2000s.
3. “Toxic” – Britney Spears (2003)
Although this song slaps on its own, for me, “Toxic” will always remind me of playing (and losing) “Just Dance” with one of my best friends.
4. “Hey Ya!” – Outkast (2003)
Even though this song came out before I was listening to the radio, somehow I heard this it SO MUCH!
5. “Yeah!” – Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris (2004)
A true classic… It’s still nearly impossible to not dance along to this song.
6. “Hey There Delilah” – Plain White T’s (2005)
Such a cute song! Fun fact: I actually sung this song in choir in the seventh grade… It was disastrous…
7. “Pocketful of Sunshine” – Natasha Bedingfield (2007)
This is another song that was regularly played YEARS after it was released.
8. “Girlfriend” – Avril Lavigne (2007)
This is another song that I was introduced to through “Just Dance”. It’s actually crazy how well that choreography sticks in your brain.
9. “Love Song” – Sarah Bareilles (2007)
This song is so savage, I love it so much.
10. “Low” – Flo Rida ft. T-Pain (2008)
“SHAWTY HAD THEM APPLE BOTTOM JEANS (JEANS)/ BOOTS WITH THE FUR (WITH THE FUR)/THE WHOLE CLUB WAS LOOKIN’ AT HER. I honestly have nothing else to say…
11. “Hot N Cold” – Katy Perry (2008)
I’m not sure it’s possible to have grown up in the 2000s and not learned the lyrics to the chorus.
12. “You Belong with Me” – Taylor Swift (2008)
This was legitimately my favorite song during the sixth grade.
13. “That’s Not My Name” – The Ting Tings (2008)
Being unable to understand anything the singer was saying never prevented us from singing along.
14. “Fireflies” – Owl City (2009)
A middle school classic, I cannot count how many times I heard this song.
15. “Boom Boom Pow” – The Black Eyed Peas (2009)
Honestly, what a great beat.
16. “I Gotta Feeling”- The Black Eyed Eyes (2009)
This is THE song that defines middle school, I think it played at every event.
17. “Right Round” – Flo Rida (2009)
This song probably wins the prize for “Songs You Didn’t Realize Were This Dirty When They Came Out”.
18. “Tik Tok” – Ke$ha (2009)
19. “Hey Soul Sister” – Train (2009)
I have another vivid choir concert memory of this song.
20. “Firework” – Katy Perry (2010)
A surprisingly wholesome song that we all definitely belted at the top of our lungs at some point.
21. “Animal” – Neon Trees (2010)
This song still gets stuck in head on the regular.
22. “Moves Like Jaggar” – Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera (2010)
Fun fact: I once learned a line dance to this song.
23. “Tongue Tied” – Grouplove (2011)
It is almost impossible to not sing along to this song.
24. “Love on Top” – Beyonce (2011)
There is nothing quite like 2010s Beyonce.
25. “Party Rock Anthem” – LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock (2011)
A true classic, with a memorable beat.
26. “Summertime Sadness” – Lana Del Rey (2012)
The original is much better than the weird remix they’ve been playing on the radio recently.
27. “Everybody Talks” – Neon Trees (2012)
Forget coffee, this is one of the best songs to listen to if you are feeling a bit low energy.
28. “We Are Young” – fun. Ft. Janelle Monae (2012)
Remember how you literally could not escape this song for like six months?
29. “Happy”- Pharrell Williams (2013)
It is scientifically proven that depending on your feelings towards this song, “Happy” will either cheer you up or fill you with incredible rage.
30. “Riptide” – Vance Joy (2013)
Who doesn’t love a great ukulele riff?
This list is by no means all-inclusive, there are so many artists and songs that could be added to this list, that I may need to write a follow-up article soon. In any case, these songs are sure to transport you back to a simpler (if likely cringey) time in your life. Happy listening!