1. Foo Fighters, "Everlong"
"I was 12 when I first heard it. It was no o'clock in the morning, and I was up recording all the weird metal videos they'd play on MTV when 'Everlong' came on. It was the perfect love song for an angsty, weird turkey like me. It made me remember how much I loved just wanting to be in love. To this day, it's one of my favorites, and I haven't lost the feeling since."
2. Faith Hill, "This Kiss"
"This song reminds me of every middle school dance I ever went to. All of the girls would be in a big circle dancing and belting out 'It's the way you love me, it's a feeling like this!' It will always be a time in my life when part of me was enjoying the last bit of childhood while part of me couldn't wait to grow up."
3. The Temptations, "My Girl"
"This song was the first track on a movie soundtrack cassette that was permanently in the tape deck of my mom's car when I was little. I sang the lyrics 'I've got the month of May' as 'I got the muffins made' like an idiot."
4. Queen, "Under Pressure"
"It came on the radio while I was at my best friend's house while we were just chilling. I started singing Bowie's part and he went in as Mercury. We were SUCH dorks, but we were having a blast. That was when I realized I liked him as more than a friend and we kissed — my first kiss."
5. Nelly, "Ride Wit Me"
"I remember sitting in the back of the bus with my friends during a field trip and singing this song. I guess some other kids got sick of us singing 'Hey, must be the money' over and over, and one yelled out, 'You don't have any money.' He was right. We were 12 and did not have any money."
6. Eddy Grant, "Electric Avenue"
"When I was 15, I got my first job working at the boardwalk making waffles and ice cream in this open-air shack thing connected to a sweet shop. No more than 5 feet from my station was a huge booth with the water gun game. That booth blasted 'Electric Avenue' 24/7 for reasons I can't imagine other than to turn the brains of both the dude working the booth and myself into pudding.
"I eventually fell for that dude working the water gun booth. Didn't quite get the fairytale memory of a beautiful song reminding me of my first job and first love though. I got 'Electric Avenue.'"
7. Sugar Ray, "Fly"
"My parents blessed me with a trampoline when I was 10, and I spent an entire day choreographing an elaborate trampo-dance routine to this song. I insisted that my family eat dinner on the porch and watch my performance. Dinner theater."
8. Eminem, "My Name Is"
"Because I was a white teen in a semi-suburban town when this song came out and everyone in my high school suddenly felt like we understood rap music in a way that we never had before. This was mostly because we were young and stupid and had not listened to enough A Tribe Called Quest yet."
9. The Cars, "Moving in Stereo"
"It reminds me of the summer before ninth grade when my best friend and I snuck out of the house late at night to hang out these two boys we met at the beach that day. One boy and I bonded over our love of The Cars (his screen name was 'Mov1ng in Stere0') and we ended up holding hands while we all watched the sunrise together.
"When my friend and I successfully snuck back into my room at 6:30 a.m., he texted me that I was the most beautiful girl he's ever met, and as a 14-year-old girl, that's kind of all you're dying to hear a boy say. I listened to that song like every day for the rest of the summer."
10. Bob Marley, "Redemption Song"
"It's the first full song I learned to play on the guitar. My dad taught it to me just a few months before he died. I'm so glad he got to hear me play it perfectly. He was so proud."
11. The Cardigans, "Lovefool"
"I had the biggest crush on this boy in my sixth grade class. Let's call him David. Every night before bed, I would play 'Lovefool' by The Cardigans. I would just lie there and cry because I liked David so much."
12. The Misfits, "Horror Business"
"This was my anthem every autumn when I was in middle school and early high school. The Misfits were my first show, and I ended up wrecking it in the pit (especially when they played 'Horror Business') and leaving with some gnarly bruises."
13. *NSYNC, "Bye, Bye, Bye"
"I spent my summers at the Jersey Shore growing up, and spent nearly every day on the beach with my friends Syd and Mandy. One day we brought a boom box, put it on a towel, and made an amazing (by our tweeny standards) dance routine to 'Bye Bye Bye' that I still know. I miss the days where the beach was the least self-conscious place in the world."
14. Bon Jovi, "You Give Love a Bad Name"
"It's weird not hearing this through a wall on vinyl, because that's how I heard this song about 200 times one year in the '80s. My older brother, then in eighth grade, apparently found solace in this song when his crush since kindergarten started going out with his friend. I just remember thinking, 1.) I hate this song 2.) I can't wait to get my heart broken one day!"
15. Chumbawamba, "Tubthumping"
"I was obsessed with this song growing up. Back then, we didn't have computers, and I was only allowed to watch TV at certain hours. Our only way to hear a song was to either buy the CD or hear it on the radio. Every Saturday, my neighbor Nathan and I would sit outside with my boombox and call MIX 102.9 nonstop to request the song until it was played."