Her breakthrough came with her critically acclaimed 1993 debut album Time for Mercy and her first single "I Would Die For You". Her success grew with 1994's Living Under June, which featured her biggest hit to date outside of Canada, "Insensitive", which was released as a single from the soundtrack to the Christian Slater film Bed of Roses (number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100). Another single from that same album, "Could I Be Your Girl", has also had significant, and consistent airplay on Canadian adult contemporary radio since its release, and featured a dance remix version which circulated on pop radio at the time.
Subsequent albums include 1997's Happy?, 2000's Blood Red Cherry, and 2003's Love Is the Only Soldier. She also released a greatest hits album, Greatest Hurts, in 2001, and a live album, Jann Arden Live with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (2002). In 2005, she released her eighth album (her sixth album of new material); self-titled Jann Arden.
In 1998, respondents to Chart magazine's year-end reader's poll named Arden the Canadian celebrity most deserving of her own talk show. As part of her public honesty about her family life, she has revealed that one of her brothers is serving a life sentence in prison, and that her song "Hangin' by a Thread" is dedicated to him. Arden released her ninth album, Uncover Me, on February 6, 2007. This album was her first comprising cover songs exclusively, except for one original piece, "Counterfeit Heart". This was followed by her Uncover Me Tour across Canada during the spring of 2007.
On the weekend of March 24, 2007, Arden was admitted to intensive care for heart related concerns, diagnosed as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a condition commonly associated with acute stress and exhaustion.
In September 2009, Arden released her tenth album, Free, and its first single, A Million Miles Away, in June. She then undertook a cross-country Canadian tour, which began in November 2009. She toured with proceeds going to the "Raise-a-Reader Concert Series".
In November 2010, Arden released her first ever live CD and DVD set, entitled Spotlight. Her latest autobiography, Falling Backwards, was released on November 1, 2011, along with a second album of cover songs,Uncover Me 2. Jann's newest studio album, titled "Everything Almost" is slated to be released April 29, 2014 through Universal Canada.
She co-wrote the 2013 Adult Contemporary song Close Your Eyes by Michael Bublé.
- 17 top ten singles from eight albums
- Arden has received a total of 19 Juno Award nominations to date. She has won eight of them, including Songwriter of the Year in 1995 and 2002, and Female Artist of the Year in 1995 and 2001.
- She has also won awards at the MuchMusic Video Awards, the Prairie Music Awards, the Western Canadian Music Awards and at the ARIA (Alberta Recording Industry Association) Awards.
- In March 2006, it was announced that she would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.
- In November 2006, Arden received the National Achievement Award from the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) for having six singles reach the 100,000 airplay mark on Canadian radio. She was awarded the prize at a gala in Toronto.
- In November 2007, Arden was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and was the winner of the International Achievement Award at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards.
- She has made a number of charity appearances, including appearances in Africa for World Vision, performing at Live 8 and the MAC Cosmetics Fashion Cares AIDS benefits.
- She appeared in the opening segment of an episode from the sitcom Ellen starring Ellen DeGeneres, originally aired on January 8, 1997.
- She also appeared in the 2005 Corner Gas episode "Fun Run" and often makes guest appearances on the Rick Mercer Report.
- She has taken part in performances of The Vagina Monologues across Canada.
- She toured with Michael Bublé on the U.S. and European legs of his 2005 tour, and again toured with him on his 2007 U.S. tour.
- She sang "O Canada" at the 2006 NBA All-Star Game.
- At the 2006 Juno Awards, to counter host Pamela Anderson's on-stage anti-seal hunting rant, Arden generated cheers when she jokingly told the audience that her bra was "made entirely of seal eyelids".
- Her song "Run Like Mad" was originally recorded to be the international theme song for Dawson's Creek, however it was only used for the first season. The song was used again on the DVD sets from seasons 3-6 when Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait" became too expensive to license. Other songs including "Good Mother" and "You Don't Know Me" were also featured on the series.
- She was a judge on season three, episode 13 entitled "Wild Rose Finale" of Top Chef Canada where she was the judge in the elimination portion of the episode.