So it’s another working week, and I don’t know about you but I’ve certainly had my share of ups and downs. There’s only one thing that can help a rotten mood sometimes, and that’s music. Specifically, there’s nothing like a good country playlist to boost our spirits.

We’ve still got a whole month to wait for Carrie Underwood’s new album Storyteller, and we don’t even know when The Band Perry’s album is due out this year, so in the meantime let’s go back a couple of decades.

There’s a certain level of happiness that can only ever be gotten from some good old 90s cheese, and what cheesier (in a good way!) a genre is there than 90s country music?

Crush – Lila McCann

“It’s just a crush I’m feelin’
Walkin’ on the ceilin’
My whole world’s upside down
It’s just a crush, I know it
Don’t know where we’re goin’
But I like it where we are right now.”

It was nearly impossible to choose just one song from this exquisitely cheesy and cheerful album, but I finally settled with “Crush.” I mean, who hasn’t had a crush that’s made us want to dance on the ceiling like we were in a sappy rom-com? The charm of the song isn’t just lyrical either, the video is as 90s cheese as it gets; Lila is jumping on her bed and singing into a hairbrush like we’ve all done at one point or another as love-struck teens. Actually it gets pretty bizarre…she is literally walking on the ceiling too. Crush may not be a motivational classic aimed to make us feel better about life, but it does remind of us of those carefree moments where our biggest priority was the cutie a few tables over, and the bouncy tune will make you want to dance straight out of the sad mood you’ve become trapped in.

Come On Over – Shania Twain

“Come on over-come on in
Pull up a seat-take a load off your feet
Come on over-come on in
You can unwind-take a load off your mind.”

No 90s country list would be complete without the queen of country Pop; Mrs Shania Twain.
They say the most relaxing songs are the simplest ones, and Come On Over is pretty darn simple: it’s literally about coming over to her house to chill, that’s it. It’s about taking a load off and unwinding, which is the perfect thing to do while listening to the song. The upbeat tempo is a great motivator for those days you wake up sluggish and irritated , it’ll wake you up and make you feel bouncy without demanding you go into full party mode. It’s a nice reminder that whenever you feel down, you can just head on over to a friend’s house and relax.

You Go First – Jessica Andrews

“And what could be worse than never saying it at all
Is never knowing the feeling never feeling the fall
Whats it gonna take to get us both there
Cant you see what I’m suggesting it’s a double dare.”

Another sickly sweet tune about crushing, and crushing hard. You Go First brings us back to an innocent time in music when people wrote songs just about hanging out and kissing – not that there’s anything wrong with going further of course! The song talks about taking a chance and just going for what you want, so if your mid-week blues are being caused by low confidence in a potential relationship, then maybe this is the song to give you a little nudge in the right direction.

Somebody Must Be Prayin’ For Me – Tim McGraw

“Sometimes she stares out the window
And wonders about her Hollywood dreams
But when she tucks her kids in bed
She softly whispers as they fall asleep
Somebody must be prayin’ for me.”

Even if it doesn’t seem like it, at some point or another, someone will have your back, even if it’s just the faceless hand of fate. Somebody Must Be Prayin’ For Me is a reminder that no matter how hard things get, something good is always due round the corner, and that all we can do is carry on until it arrives. It also reminds us that even if things aren’t going the way you want right now, it’ll work out for the better later; in ways you may not even expect.

Silver & Gold – Dolly Parton

“Silver and gold might buy you a home
But things of this world
They won’t last you long
And time has a way of turning us old
And time can’t be bought back with silver and gold.”

This is a song for those random days when we feel down for seemingly no reason; acting as a reminder that sometimes we just have to think about what we have when we have it, and appreciate it for what it is. Dolly prefaces the song by telling us that though money is a necessity, it can’t buy time or love. I’ve always had a pet peeve for when people say “money can’t buy happiness” because quite frankly, financial stability does sound like happiness to me; health and safety, a comfortable home, education, and funding for our hopes and dreams. These are so important. That being said, Dolly, and the old man in her tale, are completely right; dreaming of excessive amounts of money won’t bring you pure happiness, but building priceless relationships will. Songs like this cheer me up on a rotten day because I realize that there is so much more to life than not getting what I want. But let’s not demonize our financial dreams, once you realize all of this, there’s nothing wrong with chasing a little bit of paper now and again.

The Light in Your Eyes – LeAnne Rimes

“People make you promises they’ll never keep
Soon you’ll know why people say talk is cheap
And life resembles one big compromise
But don’t ever lose that light in your eyes.”

No matter how hard life gets, and as little control we wind up with, we can’t let it destroy us. The Light in Your Eyes is all about not letting the world defeat you, and keeping that light flickering deep down inside of you. The song points out that we also can’t let people get us down either, because inevitably someone is going to let you down, and you can’t let them destroy your faith. How do we do this though? It’s different for everyone, some people just have to tell themselves over and over that it’s all we can do, some prefer to hear it from a loved one or even a pop star (Thanks LeAnne!) but if neither work for you, then just bury yourself in what you love, and the rest will follow.

Some Days You Gotta Dance – Keith Urban

“Some days you gotta dance
Live it up when you get the chance
When the world doesn’t make no sense
And you’re feeling just a little too tense
Gotta loosen up those chains and dance.”

If kind words can’t cheer you up, if tough love isn’t working, and if inspiring poetry just won’t change anything; then all that’s left to do is dance. Afterall, it’s been scientifically proven that dancing can actually improve your mood. Try it now, stick on this song or pick your fave, and have a twirl around your room; at the very least it should release some adrenalin inside you, if not make you laugh. So loosen up those chains, and dance!

8. Walkin’ by Cleve Francis

“Losing the rat race
I need a little change of pace
I’m gonna put on some different shoes
Get out and get away
I’m walkin'”

Sometimes you just need to get outside and take a good long walk to cool off, and that’s exactly what this song is about. Getting away from the stressful city noises, and stretching your legs not only improves mood, but it also just keeps you generally fit; after all, a healthy body often means a healthy mind. It’s just plain fun too; if the weather’s nice then you could find yourself in some beautiful parks and forests, or even beaches if you live by the coast. There’s no telling what you’ll find, and what stresses you can nip in the bud while you’re at it. The song is so innocent and mellow that even just watching the video will probably satisfy a little wanderlust inside of you.

Better Days by Faith Hill

Everyone needs to be reassured that one day soon the hurt will end and that things will get better, so luckily Faith Hill has some kind words for us on that subject. Sometimes a bouncy happy song is not what we need when we’re feeling down, actually depending on the mood they can be downright annoying, but Better Days has a low-key tune that fits perfectly with a lingering sad feeling that wants to fade. Some days we may find ourselves stuck on a seemingly never-ending slope, where there’s just one bad thing after another hitting us on the way down, but no matter how hard things get, there’ll always be a better day to look forward to.

Wide Open Spaces – Dixie Chicks

“Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone.”

We all have dreams that don’t feel nearly as close to us as we’d like, and maybe some of them won’t pan out the way we want, but have no doubt that we will get where we want to be eventually, whether we know it now or not. If you’re waiting on that dream, or if you’re getting there, then this song’s for you. The Chicks sing of moving on from childhood, and letting dreams take centre stage as the young girl enters a wider and more exciting world.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]