50 Songs Practically Guaranteed to Boost Your Mood
Whenever you want to feel a particular way — whether that's energized for a workout, in your feels after a breakup, or cozy at a holiday party — few things can impact your feelings and set the vibe you want like putting on the right music. Music can lift our spirits, help us get in touch with our emotions, support us during difficult times, and get us in the mood for love.
A new report from MRC Data revealed that in light of the pandemic, people are "relying on musical optimism to get them through the aftermath of a stressful year." So if you're struggling with COVID burnout, you might want to consider giving yourself a little optimism boost and self-care through the power of music. Here's what you need to know about the healing power of music, as well as a list of 50 of Pandora's hand-picked songs for happiness and healing.
Music's Effect on Mood
Music has been shown to have a profound impact on mood, as well as general health and wellness. According the NorthShore University Health System, music can significantly improve mood, reduce depression and anxiety, and increase emotional expression.
These mood benefits aren't just pleasant to experience, they actually improve your physical health. NorthShore reports that music's benefits include reduced heart rate and blood pressure, improved blood flow, reduced pain, and decreased likelihood for overeating. It even shows marked results for improving Alzheimer's outcomes, which is part of the reason music therapy has become an increasingly popular treatment for dementia.
Trends in Music Throughout History
If we take a look back through recent history, it's interesting to note how music trends seem to relate to world events. Since COVID hit, people are looking for more uplifting beats — and this isn't the first time a link between major global change and music has been spotted.
During World War II, American music trends primarily featured romantic themes and upbeat styles. Singers like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Andrews Sisters rose to fame, while swing music gained popularity in the collective listenership. Music that focused too much on wartime themes was generally not favored by the public — people seemingly wanted to focus on happier, more nostalgic themes that helped them feel a sense of normalcy during an incredibly chaotic time.
The next time the US experienced a major upheaval was during the '60s and '70s, when issues like feminism and civil rights came into the spotlight. Adding to the themes of systemic change were the Cold War and the prevalence of protests over the Vietnam War. During these eras, musical diversity increased dramatically, bringing with it themes about race, gender, anti-war sentiment, and systemic oppression. New sub-genres began to appear, including psychedelic rock, which reflected the collective emphasis on progressivism.
The relationship of popular music to world events is vast and fascinating — but it's easy to see that during times of upheaval, people seem to find a great deal of fulfillment and relief through music. COVID times are no different. Whether music helps us articulate our trauma, boost our mood, or convey our political beliefs, it's clear we can count on music to help us channel our emotions in a productive way.
The Happiest Songs of All Time
Last month, Pandora debuted new stations specifically catering to those looking for a smattering of positivity. Here are just 50 (out of many!) of their hand-picked songs practically guaranteed to get your hands clapping and your heart fluttering in a *very* good way, even during turbulent times.
- A Beautiful Morning by The Rascals
- A-O-K by Tai Verdes
- All I Do Is Win by DJ Khaled, T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg & Rick Ross
- Alright by Janet Jackson
- Beautiful by Snoop Dog feat. Pharrell & Uncle Charlie Wilson
- Beautiful Day by U2
- Beers And Sunshine by Darius Rucker
- Born This Way by Lady Gaga
- Cake By The Ocean by DNCE
- CAN'T STOP THE FEELING! by Justin Timberlake
- Cool It Now by New Edition
- Cover Me In Sunshine by P!nk & Willow Sage Hart
- Dance Monkey by Tones And I
- Dancing Queen by ABBA
- Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
- Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
- Dynamite by BTS
- Famous Friends by Chris Young & Kane Brown
- Fancy Like by Walker Hayes
- Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz
- Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man
- Feeling Good by Nina Simone
- Feels Good by Tony! Toni! Tone!
- Follow You by Imagine Dragons
- Get Lucky (Radio Edit) by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
- Gettin' Jiggy Wit It by Will Smith
- Girls & Boys by Blur
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
- Glad You Exist by Dan + Shay
- Good as Hell by Lizzo
- Good Day by Nappy Roots
- Good Feeling by Flo Rida
- Good Life by OneRepublic
- Good Life by Kanye West feat. T-Pain
- GOOD TIME by Niko Moon feat. Shaggy
- Good Times by Chic
- Groove Is in the Heart by Deee-Lite
- Ha Ha Hee Hee by Sly & The Family Stone
- Happy by Pharrell Williams
- Happy by The Rolling Stones
- Happy Anywhere by Blake Shelton by feat. Gwen Stefani
- Happy Together by The Turtles
- Hey Ma Cam'ron by feat. Juelz Santana Freekey Zeekey & Toya
- Holiday by Madonna
- Hot In Herre by Nelly
- I Can See Clearly Now by Jimmy Cliff
- I Feel It Coming by The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk
- I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown & The Famous Flames
- I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas
- I Like It by Cardi B Bad Bunny & J Balvin
What are your favorite happy songs to listen to? Tweet us at @BritandCo and let us know!