02/04/2013 12:01 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

20 Songs That Got Me Through My Teen Years

After I turned 20 a couple of months ago, I've been reflecting on my time as a teenager. I try not to look back too often because there's not growth in staying in the past. You have to move forward, and that's what I've been trying to do so far in my new decade of young adulthood (all three months of it).

What better way to reflect than through the magic of song?

These tunes are ones that got me through hardship, love, success, and my curiosity of life - the soundtrack of my teen years. I call this playlist "Tunes of Teenage Times" because if I listen to even one song off this list, I'm automatically brought back to a certain event. They represent certain people and experiences I came by in my teens - artists like James Taylor and Stevie Nicks define this period in my life almost better than the memory.

I dedicate this playlist of 20 songs that got me through my teen years to the fabulous songwriters and artists and their beautifully powerful tunes. I take them with me into my 20's and hope my feelings about their music can be reinvented through my newfound experiences.

Here's a video of one of my favorites, James Taylor performing "You Can Close Your Eyes," when he was in his 20's.

  1. "Wish You Were Here," Pink Floyd
  2. "Hello It's Me," Todd Rundgren
  3. "Cry Baby," Janis Joplin
  4. "Dream A Little Dream of Me," The Mamas & the Papas
  5. "Bell Bottom Blues," Derek and the Dominos
  6. "How Can I Tell You," Cat Stevens
  7. "A Case of You," Joni Mitchell
  8. "Helpless," Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  9. "So Far Away," Carole King
  10. "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters," Elton John
  11. "America," Simon & Garfunkel
  12. "River Deep, Mountain High," Tina Turner
  13. "The Right Thing To Do," Carly Simon
  14. "You Can Close Your Eyes," James Taylor
  15. "Lost Inside of You," Barbra Streisand
  16. "Best of My Love," Eagles
  17. "Blackbird," The Beatles
  18. "Silver Springs," Fleetwood Mac
  19. "Going to California," Led Zeppelin
  20. "He's A Runner," Laura Nyro