With midterms rapidly approaching, I find myself reverting back to my pop-punk/emo days of middle school. There's something about intense drum beats and rather dark lyrics presented in poppy manners that pumps me up. If midterms and stress are getting you down put on some headphones and listen to these songs.
1. Hands Down— Dashboard Confessional
This song isn't as upbeat as many of the songs I will list, but this is one of the quintessential early 2000s songs that I can't stop listening to. From the typical emo lyrics "why won't you kill me" to the tortured male vocalist, this song is everything I wanted from life in middle school. Finals week stress makes me want to revert back to that middle-school self and this song puts me right back in that place. Weirdly enough, the nostalgic listening to this song always cheers me up, even when stressed.
2. Cute Without the E— Taking Back Sunday
This song gets stuck in my head. It makes me feel like I'm 14 and so "tortured" by a first crush. I will probably still be singing/slightly screaming the lyrics to this song when I am 80 years old. This is one of my dance-around-the-room and scream the words songs. I feel like if there was a nightclub that only played Taking Back Sunday and other such bands, this song would have a similar reaction to the Top 40 hits being played. The beat, the lyrics, and the sentiment behind the song all merge, creating a song that is great to bop around to.
3. Jaime All Over— Mayday Parade
From the first beat of this song, I'm ready to sing "I had a dream last night we ended up in Las Vegas" at the top of my lungs while dancing around my room. This is ultimately my favorite Mayday Parade song. I love the lyrics and the guitar and most importantly I love to sing this song and get lost in the moment. While midterms and stress and business seep in, it's easy to listen to this song and forget the stress for a few minutes.
4. Ocean Avenue— Yellowcard
If you don't know this song you're probably too young to have been alive when Yellowcard was actually somewhat popular, or you have no taste. I loved this song when it came out and I love it still. It brings a sense of nostalgia about that makes me want to just stop what I'm doing and listen.
5. Dear Maria, Count Me In— All Time Low
While 2008 may not count as "early" 2000s, I can't talk about pop punk without including All Time Low. This song is one that I will also probably be singing well into my 80s. This melody is the perfect way to assuage the midterm week stress.
6. My Friends Over You— New Found Glory
This song is a different type of nostalgia. It makes me want the smell of hot pavement in the summer and my feet on a dashboard. The opening guitar riff makes me want to be in a good mood listening to music bopping, or banging, my head around. The lyrics may not match the upbeat melody but I appreciate them just the same.
7. 7 Minutes In Heaven (Atavan Halen)— Fall Out Boy
While I could have just made this whole list from "From Under the Cork Tree" this song feels more relevant when I'm trying to read for classes and pretend that I've paid attention to early American literature for my midterms. Singing "the only thing worse than not knowing is you thinking that I don't know" feels a little more relevant when studying. There's something about trying to study that makes me want to stand on my bed and jump around singing "I keep telling myself I'm not the desperate type" even more. While this song is from one of my favorite albums of pop punk music, this song makes the cut because of how it feels.
8. I Miss You— Blink-182
This song will never get old. It doesn't matter my mood or my location if this song comes on I am instantly in a better mood. I will sing every lyric to this song without even consciously realizing that I still know every line. I don't think I'm alone in the better mood this song puts me in.
9. Always— Bowling For Soup
Bowling for Soup is my guilty-pleasure band. They are the music I listen to on walks and the music I tend to belt in the shower when I think my roommates aren't home.
10- Bouncing Off the Walls— Sugarcult
I think the lyrics of this song embody my mood during stress. Bouncing off walls and looking like a fool are two things I do pretty well. This attitude about being slightly crazy but still keeping on may be about a relationship in the context of this song, but it fits for being stressed out as well.