I remember my back-to-school playlists when I was a teen. While I was getting ready for school each morning, I would turn the TV on to watch music video countdowns. As I got older, my friends would make mixed CDs for everyone to jam to in the car. The sound of popular, upbeat songs would improve my mood, wake me up and get me excited for the day.
So when fall rolls around, and your teens have to wake up early and get jazzed to go to class again (good luck!), make sure they have a killer back-to-school music playlist to listen to while getting ready or carpool cruising. It includes 12 solid classics, rock music, pop music and new-school tunes. You can find them below, and to play them all, visit our YouTube playlist.
Hey, if they’re music lovers, maybe they’ll at least be excited about something!
Warning: While we tried to find songs that were appropriate for tweens and teens, some songs and their music videos may contain explicit material. Parents should check out this playlist on their own to make sure they deem it appropriate for their children.
1. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake
Get amped up with this song that’s guaranteed to boost your spirits and get you dancing.
2. “Me Too” by Meghan Trainor
Pop star Meghan Trainor is known for her songs touting a positive message, and this one is no different. Wake up and gain some instant self-confidence with this song.
3. “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots
All right, so going back to school isn’t all roses. Middle school and high school are big milestones – and huge shifts for students. So yeah, sometimes, you’re just stressed out. This song about growing up and facing new struggles is relatable.
4. “Bored to Death” by Blink-182
This rock band from the 1990s and early 2000s is back with a new hit, perfect for teens feeling a bit of angst (and are now sitting in class “Bored to Death”). The music video shows typical teen fun.
5. “Hide Away” by Daya
For teen girls who are just wondering, “Where do the good boys go to hide away?” Back-to-school means waaaay too many immature guys, right?
6. “Help!” by The Beatles
A classic by one of the best bands in the world (maybe I’m a bit biased). But sometimes, with all the homework and tests, you just want to scream: “Help!”
7. “Dark Necessities” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
You can’t go wrong with this new release from a beloved rock band of some parents’ tween years. Very funky.
8. “Wild Things” by Alessia Cara
Alessia Cara channels relatable themes for teens, and “Wild Things” really sends the message that life is fun just being yourself with your friends. Break the mold!
9. “Ophelia” by The Lumineers
Love-struck tweens or kids who can appreciate this indie band’s softer, cheerful melodies will adore this pick (just be prepared for it to get stuck in everyone’s heads).
10. “ABC” by The Jackson 5
You can’t go back to school without knowing your ABC’s – or at least the lyrics to “ABC” by The Jackson 5, comprised of little Michael Jackson and his brothers.
11. “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes
A popular song by teen heartthrob Shawn Mendes with lyrics about wanting to treat a girl he likes much better than her loser boyfriend. “Any girl like you deserves a gentleman.” What’s not to love?
12. “Hymn for the Weekend” by Coldplay
By the end of the first week of school, your kids will definitely be looking for a song to kick off the weekend. This tune, featuring Beyoncé, is a catchy choice with an appropriate title.
Do you have any additional suggestions of songs to add to this playlist? Any artists or albums your kid absolutely loves to listen to? Comment below with your back-to-school music playlist additions!