The 10 Happiest Songs, According to Science

2020 has not been kind to us. We are faced with a grueling pandemic, economic downturns, and several natural calamities. And they don’t show any signs of stopping. While COVID-19 vaccines show to be promising, it’s quite uncertain for the Philippines to get its hands on it, given its stature in the world. Aside from that, recent studies show that there will be at least four more typhoons that will haunt the Philippines before 2020 ends. Hence, many Filipinos these days are devastated, angry, and sad.

It’s a great thing that there are ways for us to boost our moods and be happier. Smiling, counting your blessings, watching comedy, and listening to music, are among the ways to lift us up. This article will focus on music and dig deeper into the songs that will help us boost our moods.

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What Makes a Happy Tune?

In 2015, Dutch neuroscientist Dr. Jacob Jolij conducted a study to see which songs best elevated people’s moods after being asked by British electro band Alba what makes a happy song. Dr. Jolij went outside and asked the public what their favorite feel-good songs are. He then compiled the list and studied their patterns and possible factors that boost one’s mood.

According to Dr. Jolij’s study, the happy songs have faster beats (140-150 BPM, as compared to other tunes), are composed in the Major Key, and the obvious one being that the songs’ lyrics are about happiness or happy circumstances. According to him, most of the lyrics also were about nonsense.

It’s Still Subjective

While the study was based on the people approached by Dr. Jolij, he doesn’t undermine the fact that each of us has our different musical tastes. “Music appreciation is highly personal and strongly depends on social context and personal associations. In that respect, the idea of a ‘feel-good formula’ is a bit odd,” he commented.

As for me, certain songs doesn’t necessarily have the characteristics of a happy tune, based on Dr. Jolij’s study, but would boost my mood because the songs are unique or different. Novelty doesn’t describe a happy tune, but it excites me, and that makes me happy. Another thing that may refute Dr. Jolij’s study is this: Imagine a staunch metalhead listening to a happy pop song that they hate. How do you think they will feel?

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The Top 10 Happiest Songs (based on Dr. Jolij’s Study)

Since most of you have clicked on this blog post to find out the top 10 Happiest Songs, I’m sure that you appreciate all the mainstream hits on the list. Here it goes:

Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys

From the title itself, the song makes up for its slower parts. This song truly emanates good vibes without retracting The Beach Boys’ musical style.

Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves

Walking on Sunshine is one of the songs that we expected on the list, and we weren’t wrong.

Uptown Girl by Billy Joel

While this song is only at 120 BPM and somehow gives off an air of hopelessness, it exudes confidence, and it makes you jump. The song is in C Major.

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

This song also didn’t reach even 120BPM, but as an anthem of strength and moving on, and not to mention its disco tracks, the song is as danceable and happy as it can be.

Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

This track is giving more than making us happy and jumpy at 161BPM.

Dancing Queen by Abba

As simple a message the song beams, Dancing Queen is [literally] danceable and happy, at G Major with 120 BPM.

Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi

A song of hope and patience, there’s no doubt that this karaoke hit made it to the list.

Eye of The Tiger by Survivor

As the theme song for Rocky III, this song is an anthem of confidence and tenacity. At 140BPM, the song makes us move our bodies and move towards our goals.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindy Lauper

Because this song boosted everyone’s moods, this song has made it one, if not the most popular 80s hit songs.

I’m a Believer by The Monkees

If you’re in love, you should give justice to your feeling of happiness if you sing and dance with this 161BPM-song on your speakers.

Truthfully, since most of these songs made me want to dance and lifted my mood in an instant, I immediately saw the similarities of each song based on their beats, besides their happy meanings. Click this for Dr. Jolij’s Spotify Playlist.

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