Hey there! I'm Vivian. Sometimes I write about life and sometimes I write about teaching.

This post was inspired by Julieanne’s story about how music can take you back.

A couple of years ago while cleaning out the garage, I found a mixtape that one of my oldest friends made me when we were in high school. So many memories came flooding back as I read the song titles handwritten on the insert inside the plastic case. I wanted to make a mixed tape for today’s post, but I guess now we make playlists.

This playlist is not made up of songs associated with the most important memories of my life, nor is it the “best” music of each time period. If you’re a music aficionado you may even be insulted by some of my choices. They’re just songs that take me back, back to happier times, sadder times, times of stress, times of pure joy.

Here are some of the memories that these songs conjure up for me. Which songs go with which memories? I’ll let you make it up.

• trying out inappropriate songs for the talent show in elementary school
• calling KIIS-FM to request the same song over and over again
• first concert ever
• high school dances
• my high school sweetheart’s mixtapes
• teaching aerobics at the Wooden Center
• going to concerts with my sisters when they were finally old enough
• taking swing dance classes
• getting divorced
• going to concerts with my husband
• going to the Pantages Theatre
• running the Los Angeles Marathon with Students Run LA
• feeling the freedom of turning 50

If you want to take a listen you can click here for the Spotify playlist. Enjoy!

  1. I LOVE your song choices! I won’t lie.. I was totally sitting here singing all the words and dancing in my seat!

  2. arjeha says:

    It is interesting to see which songs people pair with events in their lives. I like that you left the paring of songs and events up to the reader.

  3. I love this idea! And I appreciated the throw backs with memories attached. I might have to try this, too. I’ve been thinking about you all week, and I loved your post yesterday on the story of your names. As you know, I exalt name stories ceaselessly…they’re so important. TY so much for sharing these parts of yourself. Hoping you have a restful weekend. XOX

  4. That Bonnie Raitt songs is one among several of your that call to me. That song is one of the most heartbreakingly true songs ever, and I know it’s connected to getting divorced, or at least for me, to the painful end of a longterm relationship.

  5. Man, I love a good playlist and many of these tunes take me back. I can hear so many of these and start my own retro journey!

  6. Lainie Levin says:

    I have vivid memories connected with each and every one of those songs: places I remember sitting and listening to them, music videos, roller skating anthems, rip-and-tears to get on the dance floor. Thanks for this welcome piece of nostalgia today!

  7. britt says:

    Omgosh I stinking love this idea! And the list of memories….even though we’re left guessing the matches 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  8. Tim Wheeler says:

    Songs can take you back…to good , bad, and just meaningless memories! I love it. A fun idea for a post. Recently I put an old playlist on and my 12 yr old said “Dad…that makes me think of that coolmathgames game I played in your classroom when you listened to that every morning. 🤷🤣

  9. This is the list of my youth! 🙂 Metallica and Dee-Lite on the same list?? This speaks to a person who knows, period. I love this list and I love the words that you shared with it.

    Thank you for your honesty, both here and throughout. 🙂

  10. I love your song choices too and this is definitely the list of my youth as well! Now I’m singing Depeche Mode in my head…. Also love this idea for a post. Bookmarking this one for later!

  11. JenniferM says:

    Isn’t it just incredible how even a snippet of a song can absolutely transport us back to a certain moment, season, or year in the past? I love that you included this playlist and the set of memories it brings! This is one reason I decided to include songs in all my slices this March!



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