The Ultimate Grocery Store Music Playlist Bangers | Dallas Observer
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Why Is Grocery Store Music Like Crack to Millennials? The Ultimate Playlist

Kroger is the hottest club in town for millennials.
Have you ever cried during an Eric Clapton song at a grocery store? Of course you have.
Have you ever cried during an Eric Clapton song at a grocery store? Of course you have. Anisha Holla

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For millennials, grocery stores are a microcosm of long-forgotten comfort music. With each trip, we let go of our egos and embrace the healing vibes each soft rock banger, power ballad and pop tune offers, truly putting a new spin on the phrase “retail therapy.”

Our internal dialogues can wax philosophical while we move through the freezer section in a cloud of depression, slowly feeling the fog lift as Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” brings immediate clarity to the nuances of our existence while we reach for the Häagen-Dazs. And when the Christopher Cross classic “Sailing” comes on — and you know it will — just leave us weeping into our fresh-baked loaves of bread.

When we traded nights at the club for a club membership to Costco, our definition of a “banger” quickly changed.

Maybe this is all because grocery stores were once a place of much less stress, a place where we followed blindly behind our moms and picked out our favorite sugary cereals and frozen pizza rolls before heading home, unaware of how much money preparing meals at home would actually cost.

The music hasn’t changed much since those days. We’re not sure why, but we’re not complaining. And the playlists we’re talking about only make sense in this one, fluorescent-lit context, with occasional interruptions on the overhead speaker from flustered cashiers needing backup, and excitable managers hyping free samples of Cheez Whiz right when the memorable chorus is about to start.

Michael Bolton, Phil Collins, Mariah Carey: all supermarket superstars. These and dozens of other artists and their songs don’t usually make it past the sliding doors and into our cars and headphones at home, but they grasp at all of our feels while we trudge along with our shopping carts, looking for diapers, Tums and lunch meats.

What a beautiful place to be. Because, let’s face it, where else are we going to hear “The Tears of a Clown” followed by “She’s So High”? Below, we’ve curated a list of the 20 most quintessential grocery store songs to help us stock up without feeling down.


“Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia

We dare not to pretend we’re in a rom-com when this breakup banger comes on.

“1979” by Smashing Pumpkins

We think we’re cooler than the shopper next to us because we know all the words.


“Walking on Broken Glass” by Annie Lennox

This song will make us think: “I remember this song.”


“Come to My Window” by Melissa Etheridge

We only remember the chorus to this song. (And Juliette Lewis' performance as an asylum patient in the music video.)


“Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” by Nine Days

We’ll pretend the story is about us.

“Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls

We’ll let the dramatic strings in this rock ballad guide our decision on a potato chip flavor.

“Steal My Sunshine” by Len

We can’t tell what they’re saying 90% of the time, but the song slaps.


“Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind

Let’s sing along to this tune about doing crystal meth while we pick out baby food.


“Roam” by The B-52’s

For when we lose our shopping list and begin to wander around aimlessly.

“I Want You Back” by Nsync

We try not to pop and lock in the coffee aisle but it will inevitably happen.


“Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

We get low-key hyped when we hear the opening part and then try to remember what the drama was between The Verve and the Rolling Stones before stalling in the produce section to Google it all.

“One of Us” by Joan Osborne

Is that guy looking at the Pepto Bismol really God?


“I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula Cole

We debate whether we’d date Dawson or Pacey all over again.


“She’s So High” by Tal Bachman

We’ll all mentally hit that “hiiiiigh” note together.


“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

Admittedly, this song is kind of a downer but it plays in grocery stores all the time for some reason.


“Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran

Suddenly we’re filling our carts with Little Debbies and frozen pizzas.


“In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins

You can do the air drum part on your shopping cart.


“Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

This anthem gives us the motivation we need to survive the crowds on Saturday afternoons.


“Time of the Season” by the Zombies

It’s the time of the season for Zyrtec: Let this oldie but goodie be your reminder to swing by the pharmacy while you’re here.


“Waiting for a Girl Like You” by Foreigner

Will this soft-rock power ballad bring us the meet-cute we’ve always hoped for?
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