Music is one of the most powerful artforms to convey emotions with. All of us have that one song that touches us everytime we hear it, stirring up all kinds of feelings. We can use this power to our advantage when we’re feeling down. Just put on some nostalgic music that brings up precious memories, listen to the soundtrack from your favorite movie or just make a playlist with happy songs. Not sure which songs make you happy? There’s a neuropsychologist that made a science backed list of happy making songs.
Science backed happy making songs
What exactly causes a song to make you feel happy? It’s definitely not solely the tone. Just think of the song F2020 by Avenue Beat or Highschool Sweethearts by Melanie Martinez. Both songs sound pretty sweet and reasonably upbeat, but as soon as you listen to the lyrics you realize they’re pretty dark. Well Dr. Jacob Jolij, a Dutch cognitive neuroscience researcher, set out on a quest to find the formula for songs that bring happiness.
To find the formula the scholar asked 2000 British participants which songs made them feel the happiest. After he gathered the data he and his team studied and analyzed the most happy making songs. They asked test subjects to listen to upbeat music for 2 weeks and in doing so discovered a pattern and the recipe for happy music.
The key components of the formula are the number of beats per minute, the positivity of the words and whether the song is in a major or minor key. Happy songs, according to Jolij, have a minimum of 150 beats per minute and should be played in a major key. As for the positivity of the words, we’re not sure how he determined which lyrics were positive enough to be coined happy making.
Top 10 happiest songs
With his formula the neuroscientist compiled a list of the ten songs that make us the happiest. Add them to your playlist, so every time you’re feeling down you know exactly what music to sing along to.
1. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
2. Dancing Queen – Abba
3. Good vibrations – The Beach Boys
4. Uptown Girl – Billie Joel
5. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
6. I’m a Believer – The Monkeys
7. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
8. Livin’on a Prayer – Jon Bon Jovi
9. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
10. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves