10 Songs to Instantly Cheer You Up When Stressed
What I like about happy music
While it's true that "sad songs say so much", and I generally go for songs with a deep meaning which doesn't necessarily mean my playlists are chock full of upbeat party songs, I like anything that can put me in a good mood instantly just by listening.
What normally puts me in a good mood is nice weather, but that's kind of rare where I live. So when the weather is getting me down, I like to listen to my favorite happy songs, which are as follows. They're in the order I thought of them, not necessarily in a "top ten" kind of format where each one is ranked. I think that ranking would be stupid for this list, because they are all equal at achieving the instant mood boost!
1. Lady Gaga - Born This Way
A lot of other Lady Gaga songs, I didn't like, because they seemed to have lyrics I didn't feel 100% okay with singing along to ("I'll follow you until you love me"? "I want your psycho, I want your disease"? Doesn't sound too healthy!).
But this song is amazing, and a lot of fun to sing. It's a real 'belt it out in the shower' type song. It's an empowering song about resisting bullies and feeling comfortable being yourself, which I'm all about. Whether you're gay straight or bi! Ok, so the video is just as weird as any other Gaga video, but who cares, that's who she is right? She was born this way.
2. Shakira - Underneath Your Clothes
"You're a song written by the hand of God." I love the opening line to this lovely romantic song, that celebrates intimacy in relationships - without being sleazy. I like the line "When the friends are gone, when the party's over, we will still belong to each other", because that line shows how it's about being in the kind of relationship where you're there for each other. Where you always have each other for support.
And of course, the slightly naughty line in the chorus "...and all the things I deserve for being such a good girl, honey!" Thinking about the miraculous nature of love, and rejoicing about it, is such a great way to feel good on a rainy day! I like how Shakira here is showing appreciation for her partner, beyond the superficial lust we see in many pop songs. This song is about sensual intimacy between two people who love each other. And I think that's a beautiful thing.
3. Elvis Presley - Viva Las Vegas
Or, on a rainy day, get lost in fantasy imagining yourself traveling to a fun place where the sun's always shining!
I like the line "If I wind up broke, well I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time!"
Because you have to have that attitude in life, that even if things don't go the way you'd like them to, you should always try to get as much enjoyment and satisfaction out of life as you can, and live for the moment. This song is about living large, like the King of Rock n' Roll himself did.
4. Down in New Orleans - from Disney's The Princess and the Frog
As for dreaming of escape to a fun and warm place, this song is just like 'Viva Las Vegas', but replace Las Vegas with New Orleans. Jazz music, French speaking, Mardi Gras, parties, and if the movie's any indication, some damn fine beignets. I've never been there, but I'd love to someday. I love the movie, and this song always uplifts me. I especially love this song's reprise at the end of the movie, when you see how all of Tiana's hard work and dedication paid off. I still cry tears of joy every time I watch the movie and see the happy ending! I like this song because it makes me think wishes can come true, and gives me a lot of hope.
5. Queen - Don't Stop Me Now
Don't stop me now, I'm having such a good time! I also like a lot of other Queen songs, but this one wins the spot on this list because it's impossible to feel down if you listen to it. It's the best song for someone like me to help me get over social anxiety and enjoy things like parties. Hearing good, happy music on the way to a party, concert, or any social event is a great way to get in a positive, easy-going mentality, so other people will find me warm and inviting. I've come to realize that popularity can be as much about your mind as it is about things like nice cars and houses. If you go into interactions believing you're hopeless, pathetic and awkward, you can't help but project that vibe. You have to have a positive mindset when you're trying to meet new people. If you need help getting from "I had a crappy day and I'm ready to throw in the towel..." to "I'm ready to have an AWESOME night!", this song will get you there.
6. Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
Although some people think this song is dumb, I like the happy partying spirit it embodies. I think their use of 'Mazel Tov' is cute and shows a new America willing to accept cultural diversity much more than previous generations, which is something we should all be very proud of. I'm not Jewish though, so maybe I just don't get how offensive it is. But as far as my understanding of the topic goes, it just means "congratulations" and goes perfectly with the song's message of celebration and fun. For me, this is just another great, if silly, light-hearted partying song.
Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
7. Gwen Stefani - Rich Girl
This blogger at a site called '11 Points' really ripped Gwen Stefani a new one over this song, and 'Hollaback Girl'. I like that song; the thing people don't understand is that a "Hollaback Girl" doesn't have a mysterious meaning at all, it's a cheerleader! The idea is they're called that because they "holler back" at the opposing team's cheers and chants during the game. This is obvious to anyone who's seen the video.
He makes fun of Gwen borrowing from the song 'If I Were a Rich Man' from the musical Fiddler on the Roof. But women will understand the struggle; so much awesome music is written from a male perspective that it's a massive sigh of relief to hear a male-themed song redone with a female voice. When I get depressed, it's fun to imagine someday I'll be fabulously rich and have everything I want. Why should the fantasy realm be limited to only men? Dreams don't have a gender. I like the "harajuku girls" reference, because Gwen and I share a fascination for Japanese pop culture. I don't understand fully why she thinks giving full-fledged adults names is acceptable, but I like the song anyway. Na na na na na na!
Gwen Stefani - Rich Girl
8. Weird Al - That's Your Horoscope For Today
"Now you may find it inconceivable or at least a bit unlikely that the relative positions of the planets and the stars could have a special deep significance or meaning that exclusively applies to only you. But let me give you my assurance that these forecasts and predictions are all based on solid scientific documented evidence so you would have to be some kind of moron not to realize that each and every one of them is absolutely true"
I would say just about anything by Weird Al qualifies for this list, but I decided to pick one that always makes me laugh without fail. I like that it points out the absurdity of astrology, and it's a reminder not to take everything so seriously. I also respect the fact that Weird Al has a successful career in music, and is still funny, without vulgarity. A lot of times I like his stuff because I remember the stupid pop songs he's parodying. For this one, I don't know the original song, or if it even is a parody, because he has written some original songs. Weird Al is great with wordplay and a real joy to listen to. Also, it makes for some pretty fun anime parody music videos.
Weird Al - That's your Horoscope for Today AMV
9. Creamy - Little Kitty
This song is not actually the Hello Kitty theme song, but the below AMV (animated music video) and cute sound of the song makes it almost seem like it is. So this song makes me think of Hello Kitty. Can you be depressed while thinking about Hello Kitty? Plus sunshine, laughter, games, surfing, dancing, etc.? This video is so cute! And when you feel lonely, what's better than imagining a beautiful day in a tropical paradise, surrounded by friends?
10. Enya - Only If
I like a lot of Celtic music and admire Enya's voice talent. Enya is an amazing singer, and this song is one of her most inspiring and encouraging. Her haunting way of singing is something I love for use in meditation. This song is more cheerful and bouncy than many of her other songs, like Only Time and Orinoco Flow, which are quieter, more restful tunes. I like the line, "And for the heavens are those who can fly." This song is one of the most encouraging mood boosts for when you feel stuck in life. It's about how you can do anything you put your mind to. I also love the use of French, which I think is one of the most beautiful languages in the world.
Enya - Only If
It's been a while since I wrote this list originally. Since then I've found some new tunes that I'd like to add mention of here:
- La Roux, 'Bulletproof'
- Ace of Base, 'The Sign'
- Papaya, 'Hero'
- ABBA, 'Dancing Queen'
- David Bowie, 'Let's Dance'
I've also been getting more into classical music, but that's more calming than mood-boosting.
Music can have a profound effect on our mood. I like to listen to the above 10 songs, as well as some other songs, for their ability to lift my mood. Sometimes I do enjoy darker music, but I get a lot of value out of happy music's ability to pull me out of depression (at least sometimes). What songs do you like the most for creating a happy mood? In addition to these, I like a lot of J-Pop and DDR songs.There's something nice about fast-paced music and music that makes you feel like dancing! I also have a weakness for the occasional sentimental old love song.