Society is weird right now, and most of us are looking for anything to boost our moods. If you’re Netflixed out, may I suggest something else? Feel good songs.
Wait, let me back up for a second and explain why everything is weird. With coronavirus social distancing firmly in place, we can’t go about our lives normally at the moment: no nights out with friends at restaurants or bars. No movie theaters. None of that. So how do we pass the time? There’s Netflix and Hulu and Amazon, of course, but that gets old quickly. (If it hasn’t yet, we do have some great recommendations for things to watch.) If you find yourself in this position, then going on a solo walk or having a dance party for one to a soundtrack of songs that make you happy could really help.
It’s science. “Being perceptive and responsive to the ways that music fits into and changes your life experiences can have major benefits,” New York-based psychotherapist Matt Lundquist tells Glamour. “Just as you put on music that pumps you up before going to the gym or going into a job interview, listening to music that is uplifting during hard times can move you into a better headspace—one that is more prepared to see what brings and brought you happiness.”
But there’s something to remember when using songs to boost your mood. “You can’t simply force a new mood by shoe-horning uplifting music into your life,” Lundquist says. “Forcing yourself to listen to uplifting music while you feel like your life is crumbling around you can feel very disorienting. The right song, at the right time, in the right environment can really pull you up. But the wrong song at the wrong time in the wrong environment can make you forget which way is up.”
Keep all this in mind as you queue up your playlists in the coming weeks. If you are in the right mindset for some feel good songs, these 23 are a solid place to start:
Gaga’s latest single is a shot of pure adrenaline.
2. “Wind It Up,” Gwen Stefani
This Gwen classic has a sticky, percussion-heavy chorus that compels you to dance.
3. “Work From Home,” Fifth Harmony
An on-the-nose bop for these couch-confined times.
Put this on and run around your apartment for 15 seconds. It will help.
And if you still have energy, watch the workout video Dua released for “Physical” and mimic the moves.
6. “Don’t Stop Me Now,” Queen
Queen works for every occasion.
7. “Dancing on My Own,” Robyn
What better choice for your solo dance party than a song literally called “Dancing on My Own?”
8. “Tempo,” Lizzo
This is Lizzo’s best song, and I won’t be challenged.
9. “On the Floor,” Jennifer Lopez
A shimmery dance anthem that sounds just as good in your bedroom as it does at the club.
10. “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift
A chorus you can scream at the top of your lungs.
11. “Walking on Air,” Katy Perry
This nineties house-inspired pop jam does not get the same love as songs like “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream” do, and that’s a shame.
12. “American Girl,” Bonnie McKee
Speaking of: One of the brains behind some of Katy Perry’s biggest hits has a smash of her own. It’ll put an instant smile on your face.
13. “Brokenhearted,” Karmin
Let’s keep the bombastic bubblegum train going with this gem from 2012.
14. “Yeah,” Usher
We love a good throwback.
15. “Cut to the Feeling,” Carly Rae Jepsen
We also love any Carly Rae Jepsen song. Ever.
16. “One More Time,” Daft Punk
For the techno fans out there.
17. “Love on Top,” Beyoncé
A feel good songs playlist wouldn’t be complete without… Beyoncé’s most feel good song.
18. “Venice Bitch,” Lana Del Rey
Take a cardio beak with this chill, sunny Lana track.
19. “Bang Bang,” Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
Then pep yourself back up with this 2014 masterpiece.
20. “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going,” Billy Ocean
If you need some lyrical inspo.
21. “Dancing Queen,” ABBA
This might be the ultimate dancing song. I mean, try to name one that tops it.
22. “Shakedown Street” Grateful Dead
So funky and fun.
23. “Madonna,” Hung Up
Let’s end things with a sendoff from the Queen of Pop herself.