Here are 21 songs that are guaranteed to help turn that frown upside down!
1. Hate to Say I Told You So – The Hives
Why I love it: This is one of those songs that always gets me moving! It has a fun, up-tempo beat and is almost impossible not to sing along to.
Favorite lyric: Now it’s all out and you know!
2. Close to Me – The Cure
Why I love it: Another fun song that will get you dancing… who doesn’t love The Cure?
Favorite lyric: I’ve waited hours for this ,I’ve made myself so sick. I wish I’d stayed asleep today.
3. Normal Person – Arcade Fire
Why I love it: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” -Dr. Seuss
Favorite lyric: When they get excited they try to hide it, look at those normals go!
4. This Year – The Mountain Goats
Why I love it: Let me start by saying that this is one of my favorite bands. So many of their songs have helped me get through some of my darkest hours. This one encapsulates that “optimistic yet exasperated” feeling I find myself experiencing so often.
Favorite lyric: I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me!
5. Karen Don’t Be Sad – Miley Cyrus
Why I love it: Feel however you want about Miley Cyrus (believe me when I say I have some opinions and we will be discussing them at some point) but “Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz” is an incredible, and extremely relatable album. In it she bares her soul and pens some incredibly poignant lyrics. If you haven’t listened to it, I highly recommend it. Start with this track though, it’s beautiful.
Favorite lyric: The world can still be beautiful, but that part’s up to you.
6. Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
Why I love it: I could leave this blank and it would be sufficient… but I won’t. Like so many of you, I grew up listening to The Beatles. Abbey Road was my mother’s favorite, so I heard it over and over, and it in turn became my favorite as well. It is deeply personal to me, especially this song. Hearing it makes me feel safe and loved. Honestly I wish I could live in that feeling forever but I’m afraid if I played this on repeat for the rest of my life my opinion on it would eventually sour, which would be a tragedy.
Favorite Lyric: Sun, sun, sun, here it comes!
7. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
Why I love it: Another song I grew up on, I remember listening to this album every single day on the bus in 8th grade. Raise your hand if you know the struggle of portable CD players! This song was my jam, and its catchy lyrics had me constantly reminding myself to be patient and forgive myself for my mistakes.
Favorite Lyric: Live right now, yeah just be yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.
8. Ask – The Smiths
Why I love it: One of the rare upbeat songs by The Smiths, this one always has me dancing. It’s got a great message behind it, reminding us that we miss 100% of the shots we don’t take.
Favorite Lyric: Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to.
9. Demon Days – Gorillaz
Why I love it: Like many Gorillaz songs, this one pairs a great message with a catchy tune. With the world getting crazier by the day, this one in particular has been running through my head a lot lately.
Favorite Lyric: Pick yourself up, it’s a brand new day.
10. The Devil Drives – Murder By Death
Why I love it: This is another one of my all-time favorite bands, I’ve seen them live many times and they always put on a hell of a show. Their songs range in subject matter and they are one of the few bands I know of whose content is not dominated by romantic drivel. Like “The Middle,” having this song stuck in my head causes me to reinforce an important message to myself.
Favorite Lyric: There’s still time to start again.
11. Cranes in the Sky – Solange
Why I love it: The song that shook the world… seriously it is so beautiful and honest, I’m convinced that it is impossible not to be moved by this song’s haunting melody and introspective lyrics.
Favorite Lyric: I tried to dance it away, I tried to change it with my hair.
12. Somebody Loves You – Eels
Why I love it: My end-all, be-all favorite band is Eels. Their songs are darkly humorous, too honest for comfort, and catchy as hell. They’re one of those bands you don’t know you’ve heard of, but you’ll find their music everywhere once you know what to look for. This song is one of many that got me through some of the lowest points in my life. They have entire albums about depression and suicide, folks. Seriously check them out if you haven’t already.
Favorite Lyric: This nagging malaise is more than a phase.
13. Alive – Sia
Why I love it: Sia’s music has also seen me through some particularly dark times. This one perfectly encapsulates how it feels to look back at your broken upbringing and realize your true strength for surviving it.
Favorite Lyric: I wanted everything I never had, like the love that comes with light. I wore envy and I hated that, but I survived.
14. Hey Ya! – Outkast
Why I love it: This song is just a ton of fun to listen to. I love Outkast, Andre 3000 and Big Boi are both just so incredibly talented, and I love this song for its mainstream appeal. There’s nothing better than hearing a song you love while you’re out in public, and everyone singing along with it. Suddenly, for a brief moment, your life is like a movie.
Favorite Lyric: Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor!
15. Meltdown! – Aquabats
Why I love it: Out of all of the songs on this playlist, this is my go-to when I’m really upset. You can sing along and have your meltdown along with the lyrics, and really just get your feelings out. By the end of it I always find myself smiling.
Favorite Lyric: There is Murphy’s Law, there is Newton’s Law, things go wrong and then they fall down on me.
16. Elevate Myself – Grandaddy
Why I love it: Some songs just make you want to jump around waving your arms in the air singing at the top of your lungs. This is one of those songs for me.
Favorite Lyric: I just wanna, I just wanna, I just wanna elevate myself, and maybe for a little get to where I find it really hard to hate myself.
17. The Good Life – Weezer
Why I love it: Pinkerton is a masterpiece. All of the songs on that album are likable, and this is one of my favorites. One of my ten favorites. Of ten songs. It’s a masterpiece! But really, it’s hard not to hear this song and think, “you know what! I am gonna achieve some goals for once and stop being such a slob.” Maybe they should write a song about not being a slob. Oh…
Favorite Lyric: It’s time I got back, it’s time I got back, and I don’t even know how I got off the track. I wanna go back, yeah!
18. Narcolepsy – Third Eye Blind
Why I love it: Depression tends to feel like you’re just walking through a constant dream and despite your efforts you can’t wake up. When I talk to someone who just doesn’t “get” depression, I show them this song.
Favorite Lyric: I try to keep awake, but still I find this narcolepsy slide into another nightmare.
19. At Least We’re Dreaming – Eve 6
Why I love it: Sometimes life is a nightmare, but sometimes life is a dream. I’ve been rocking out to this song since it came out in 2003, and it’s only gotten better with age honestly. I love that it focuses on making the most out of your misery. Having a positive outlook is everything, and it is so easy to forget that when things get bad. Also, this band is named after an X-Files villain so I will support them forever.
Favorite Lyric: “I’m alright,” I tell myself twice in the mirror before I can go to sleep at night.
20. Life is Hard – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Why I love it: I recently fell in love with this song. “Better Days” has always been a beloved track for me, and a few months ago I revisited the full album and this song really spoke to me. Life IS hard, you guys. I mean it sounds silly to say, but it is so true. Life is also beautiful and full of love, laughter, chaos and mystery. The pain is what makes the happiness resonate. I adore this song, I want to hear it at the grocery store and in commercials and while I’m stuck in traffic cussing at the world.
Favorite Lyric: Do not fear, it’s safe to say it here. You will not be called a weakling nor a fraud for feeling the pain of the whole wide world.
21. Feeling Good – Avicii
Why I love it: This is one of those songs that stands the test of time. Every cover I’ve ever heard of it is amazing. It just has those lyrics and that feel that makes you want to tackle the world. It’s empowering! I’m currently feeling this version of it, the singer on the track is Audra Mae and her voice is just so beautiful.
Favorite Lyric: It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.
Well, there you have it! Thank you for stopping by and reading this list. Check these songs out using the playlist below, and please let me know what your favorite feel-good songs are in the comments.