Bringing Back the Mix Tape

I am a long time lover of mix tapes.  I made my first ones as a young teen sitting anxiously by my radio all day, fingers hovered over the record button waiting for the first notes of a favorite song to play.  Every song on the tape started with a kind of whirring static and often ended abruptly with a cut in by some cheesy DJ’s idea of wit…but I loved them.  I absolutely loved them.  They were like air to me back in those days of uncertainty and teen angst.  After creating them, I would play them in my Walkman cassette player over and over and over.

I made mixes for other people.  In retrospect, one slow, sappy mix that no self respecting 19 year old guy would listen to could have been the final blow to my only high school romance.  And I am lucky that my husband stuck with me after the romantic mix I unleashed on him early in our relationship.

In college, I moved on to cd’s.  I made mixes that made me feel energetic and motivated, ones that made me feel nostalgic and mushy and ones that were down right depressing all full of “Love Hurts” and the like.  Even after college, I made soundtracks for weekends with cousins and upbeat mixes for road trips.

Mix tapes were instrumental to my well being for as long as I can remember.  So, this winter when the sky turned gray and the wind started to blow, I started to think about songs that would take away the chill and keep us singing until spring.  I picked some of our family favorites out of our cd collection and put them all on one “feel good” disc that we could pop in whenever winter got us down.  These songs really can brighten a dreary winter day and I am already thinking of songs for next year’s mix.

Here is a list of family friendly feel good songs that will get you through the winter…

Song Title


 Time to Smile    Xavier Rudd
Say Hey (I Love You) Micheal Franti and Spearhead
Set Sail  The Movement
Gone Today (Acoustic) SOJA
Jamming B is for Bob (Bob Marley kids cd)
Messages Xavier Rudd
Sweet Summertime The Movement
Ho Hey    The Lumineers
Wavin’ Flag  K’naan
Fears Fear Nuttin Band
Upside Down   Jack Johnson
With My Own Two Hands Jack Johnson and Ben Harper
Spirit Bird  Xavier Rudd
Bleed Through SOJA (original version, remix has some language)
Talk of the Town Jack Johnson
Comfortable in My Skin Xavier Rudd
Follow the Sun   Xavier Rudd
One Particular Harbor Jimmy Buffet
Feeling Alright   Rebelution

Truth be told, I still have those old mixes that I taped from the radio in my childhood bedroom.  While my taste in music has changed dramatically and I rarely listen to them, it is comforting to know they are there if I ever need them.

Making mixes of music for others is not exactly legal, so it is best to stick to using music you own to make mixes for your own listening pleasure.  I have seen six of the above artists live and am thankful for the inspiration they provide in my life.  If you like any of the tracks listed, please support the bands by visiting their websites and buying their music!

One thought on “Bringing Back the Mix Tape

  1. Jen

    You are right! We clearly have very similar minds!! My blog is going through some changes again, relating through music has always felt so right to me. I totally did the same thing with the radio, just waiting for those songs to play! I still have some of those tapes too. I also continued to make mix CD’s. When facebook brought all of our high school friends back together for some impromptu reunions I couldn’t help but make some mixes….it was lots of fun. That’s why I created Twisted Mix-Tape, I just needed to fulfill the “need”! I would love for you to join in the fun if you feel so inclined!
    If you create your own post, I will happily link it right into my post, or just list some songs in the comments :-)

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