Childhood · Music Monday · Nostalgia

Reliving My Teenage Years Through Music | Yolanda @ Inspire and Wander

Reliving My Teenage Years Through Music | Inspire and Wander | The Nostalgia Diaries Blog

For a lot of us, our teenage years are some of our most formative. They are the years where we really start growing into ourselves—we begin to develop our own tastes, discover the things we really love, and make special memories that end up lasting a lifetime. And although some of the memories we make during those years are better than others (because let’s face it, these years often are some of our most awkward, too), no matter our experiences, we all seem to have fond ones of the music that carried us through them. Yolanda from Inspire and Wander brings us our Music Monday post today, where she relives her own teenage days through the music she loved during those years, music that she shares with her own teenage son today. Enjoy!

Reliving My Teenage Years Through Music | Yolanda @ Inspire and Wander

The other day I was sitting down with my teenager. He just turned 13 and recently purchased an iPhone with some of the money he has saved up. (It’s all the rage, right?) As we were looking through our phones, I told him I was going to get an Apple Music plan so we could share our music and he could find any music he wanted.

Fast forward a couple of days: We were on our way to his soccer practice, which was a good 20 minute drive and provided the perfect opportunity to talk to him about the little things—eyes on the road, relaxed atmosphere, short conversations. I told him I noticed he had made a playlist, and he gave me a big smile. We turned on his music and off we went. A few songs into it, Bust A Move by Young MC came on. “You put this song on your list?” I asked grinning. “Yeah, it’s a good song!” he answered. I couldn’t help but laugh as I explained to him that I listened to that song when I was his age. We laughed and sang all the way to the field.

Later that same night, we settled in on the couch to relax and watch the newest Netflix movie we had just received. It was The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock, a movie that none of us had seen before. Interestingly enough, there is a scene where the older boy (the football player) and a younger boy are out driving and the song Bust A Move comes on. We all looked at each other and laughed—the irony was definitely not lost on us.

This chain of events got me thinking about all of those songs I used to listen to when I was 13, those songs that came on the radio while I was waiting for my curling iron to warm up. Ah, those were the days…

Some of those songs remind me of specific events, while some just remind me of an era, but you know the feeling: they are the songs that bring back your younger, free, and youthful self.

Here are 7 songs that take me back to my early teenage years:

1) Bust A Move – Young MC (1989)

2) Nothing Compares 2U – Sinead O’Connor (1990)

3) U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer (1990)

4) Vogue – Madonna (1990)

5) Love Shack – The B52’s (1989)

6) Pump Up the Jam – Technotronic (1990)

7) Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty (1989)

Let us know: Are you nostalgic for any of these songs? These songs were popular in the late 80’s and early 1990s — is this the type of music you were listening to then? What music or song makes you relive your teenage years?


Yolanda is an artist and family travel curator. She documents travel and everyday adventures through art and photography. You can visit her blog, Inspire and Wander, or find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you, Yolanda!
Want to submit your own song or playlist to be featured on a Music Monday post? Email us today! We can’t wait to hear your own nostalgia-inducing tunes.


At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


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34 thoughts on “Reliving My Teenage Years Through Music | Yolanda @ Inspire and Wander

  1. Oh my, I so remember Nothing Compares 2U… and how we would talk about the video at lunch, and pop up video’s version was a big deal too once I was alittle older…

  2. Haha isn’t amazing how music works! Incredibly mysterious lol I sure do rather listen to 90s music than today’s songs. Well written post!

  3. I know Free Fallin’ and Can’t Touch This. I grew up during the N’sync, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears era 😉 And I still love N’sync 😉

  4. I am honestly dying laughing. This is the best mini soundtrack ever! My son actually doesn’t mind my old…ahem…I mean vintage songs. He digs Beastie boys. But then again, I don’t think they’ll ever get old.
    I agree with Kristin above here though, Backstreet Boys needs a nod!

  5. Great list. I love it when an old school number comes on the radio – one that’s from my teen years. I still sing old numbers like “I don’t want nobody, I don’t want nobody baby, but you” almost every day lol

  6. Haha yes total throwback! My mom actually just showed me the “Nothing Compares 2U” song the other day because I was singing a song that sounded similar.

  7. Oh I remember all of these for sure! Bust A Move is great! My son’s favorite thing right now is when I create a Pandora station of all my favorite old songs, we started with Jump by Kris Kross and he loves it. SO much fun.

  8. Oh man!! Thanks for bringing me back my friend!!! Love love classic rock! xo~D

  9. Omg, Nothing Compares 2 U is my jam. I loved that song so much. 🙂 I also loved Nirvana and Green Day. I was in a weird grunge phase in my teens haha.

  10. What a fun series! This is a whole another kind of nostalgia we’re talking about! I think I used to like Nothing compares to you… I was crazy about One Direction and Taylor Swift in those teenage years.. Naive times.. 😊

  11. I know all of these, but I was actually born in 1990. My high school music was the whole craze people liked to call “emo” but honestly, it’s just “emotional” and all music is emotional. I love my high school music though! 🙂


  12. Great picks! Free Fallin’ is my favorite song of all time. Love me some Tom Petty!

  13. I LOVE all these songs Yolanda!!! They take me back to my teen years and yep… all these songs are currently on my iPod 🙂

  14. Yes, to all of those songs, I totally remember them. I love how music can connect us all and it can be such a mood lifter. I love the shared moments she is having with her son, I hope that I will get to do the same with my boys! Cheers

  15. I love all these songs! Late 80s/early 90s music is the sounds of my childhood… I hope when my kids are teens they will consent to listen to some of that!

  16. Free Fallin’ brings me back, too! Such a great song for driving around with all of the windows down in the summer!

  17. Yes! All of those songs you listed are ones I used to listen to growing up. I love to Google some of these artists sometime to see what happened to them. My son is 11 and it’s just so different nowadays for kids! It’s hard to remember the days before the iPhone!


  18. Nothing compares to u is one of those songs that always bring back such memories. I cannot believe I was in primary school when I first heard it – SO long ago!

  19. What a great list! My teenage years involved listening to a lot of random stuff- Collective Soul, Goo Goo Dolls, and country music!

  20. I LOVE hearing a song and having it transport me back to a certain place & time. It’s amazing how music can do that <3

  21. Ahh, memories. I can’t tell you how but of a smile it puts on my face hearing old tunes from back in the day. Like, The Cranberries or Live, or those pop/dance hits that were always so catchy. Or back in the era when Bush was still called Bush X.
    Do you still have all of your old music? I’ve kept most of mine but haven’t pulled it out in ages, only to dust it off. Ha! I’m gonna try to pull some out to listen to this weekend on my driving to and from pet visits. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

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