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What Songs Make You Feel Good?

Updated on January 24, 2019
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A retired guy that remembers when values were not measured in monetary terms but were all about the important things in life.

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Due to the loss of some important friends in real life, I pretty much lost interest in writing for some time but one thing stayed constant over that time span and that was my love for music. At first I shut almost all of it off but I still sang to myself and it made me feel better and later I started playing some of my ITunes stuff and then I went out and bought a new guitar, keyboard and other music gear. All the time, the music just made me feel better and it kind of soothed my soul and yes That Old Time Rock and Roll – Bob Seger was one of them. We don't live forever but a good song lives on and on.

If I didn’t have a particular song in my collection, well I just visited YouTube and sometimes looked it up on Ultimate-Guitar.Com for the basic chord structure and lyrics as interpreted by a fan of the song. The chords weren’t always right but it gave you a head start on playing a song you liked, and why, because it felt good to play it.

I’m a Baby Boomer and music for me really was about social time with friends of both sexes. I collected records (mostly 45’s) and played them sometimes at the after school high school Coke dances, named that because the drinking age was 21 and all we served was that horrible stuff that was made with syrup and the fizzy stuff from the canister. Getting the blend right was quite the challenge. Cost a quarter to get in and all the cola or other soft drink you could drink.

Also did that for a time at some teen clubs around town (the records not the Coke thing) but visited many other venues around town that played my favourite music which was mostly soul music aka R & B. You danced with each other, a guy and a girl mostly, (the Soul Circle was where you showed off your best foot moves) and you had fun so most of the songs that let you do that made all of you feel good.

I developed a short sure-fire playlist for getting folks onto the dance floor from those experiences and they included songs like I Feel Good – James Brown, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag – James Brown, Respect – Aretha Franklin or Otis Redding, Soul Man – Sam & Dave, In the Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett, Don’t Fight It – Wilson Pickett, Sweet Soul Music – Arthur Conley and Shotgun – Jr. Walker & the All Stars, and a whole bunch more that did the same thing.

But I also had a another sure-fire list that I used sparingly to get a guy and gal real close and get to know each other better like When Something is Wrong with My Baby – Sam & Dave, When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge, A Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin, I’ve Been Loving You Too Long – Otis Redding, Ooo Baby Baby – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles plus a whole bunch more that also did the same thing. I didn’t just play that as last song of the night but also used them sparingly since not everyone had the opportunity to find that right partner for that type of song so back to the groove list as noted in the previous paragraph.

I think I have part of the answer as to why Generation X is kind of messed up or at least certainly different than Baby Boomers and it revolves around the songs that were used as the last song of the night being Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin and Last Dance – Donna Summer. They both started out nice and slow and the couples got close and then both songs went into a faster groove mode which broke the mood and then it became sort of a group sing along dance thing. And the Millennials well they just don’t really have much true music, in my opinion, so they don’t feel real good much and they whine and complain a lot more than we did as teenagers. Ask your parents if you whined and complained a lot. I think that is a constant like time lol and not any different over time as well.

It is more likely that your personal list of music that makes you feel good comes from your teenage years but isn’t exclusive to that as shown by some that would be on my special playlist like Hotel California – The Eagles, On Broadway – George Benson, America the Beautiful – Ray Charles (I happen to be Canadian BTW (also hate text messaging lol)), Bridge Over Troubled Waters – Simon & Garfunkel, Endless Love – Lionel Ritchie & Diana Ross or Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey, You’re Still a Young Man – Tower of Power, Yesterday When I Was Young – Roy Clark, Go Rest High On That Mountain – Vince Gill, Footstompin’ Music – Grand Funk Railroad (a pair of Hammond B3’s makes this extra good), I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston or Dolly Parton (Dolly wrote it after all), and a gazillion other songs from a lot of different venues but no rap crap sorry. I don’t see that as music as others do.

So I tried to see what makes all these songs qualify for a list of Songs That Make You Feel Good and it is not so much about the tempo or content of the song as it is about the relationship the song had to your life, the people in it at the time, the places you went to, the things you did there and how much you let your hair down and just had fun, fun and more fun. Sad songs and happy songs both can make you feel good, in different ways maybe, but they both can belong on that list.

The important thing is to not shut the music off, if things don’t go so well for you at a time in your life, but to actually embrace the music and let it all be part of your personal well-being. Whether you play it, sing it (if your voice sucks, don’t do karaoke, no point in punishing innocent bystanders) or just listen to it, make a personal list of songs that make you feel good and play them. YouTube has a ton of hidden gems with videos that only add to the experience so that is just one of the many ways you can bring music into your daily life. The important thing here is to have music in your daily life, but maybe more importantly, music that makes you feel good.

Enjoy, and you can still sing in the shower if you sing like Roseanne Barr. Maybe close the windows though.

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