There’s real science to back up how music can affect your overall mood. And if you’re looking to improve your well-being and happiness, look no further than these 20 classic hits, and, of course, Beyoncé’s vocals. After listening to this feel-good playlist, good luck resisting a smile or the urge to dance.
“Pocket Full of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield
“In the darkness, there’s light,” croons Natasha Bedingfield. Released in 2008, this tune about seeing the glass half full is the perfect escape.
“(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin
Though her vocals were nearly unparalleled, the late Aretha Franklin didn’t praise them. “I knew I could sing a little bit,” she humbly told Barbara Walter in 2008.
“Good Life” by One Republic
The infectious whistling throughout this ditty will hook you. Plus, lyrics like, “We all got our stories, but please tell me what there is to complain about?” are set to rewire your frame of mind.
“Say Yes” by Michelle Williams feat. Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland
On this 2014 gospel song, Michelle Williams collaborated with her former Destiny’s Child band members, Beyoncé
and Kelly Rowland. The message promoted throughout the upbeat tune is that you can overcome any trial or tribulation through positive thinking and prayer.
“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s lead single off 1989 doubles as a jingle for rising above the haters.
“Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment
“I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas
Before pressing play, make sure the champagne is chilled for this quintessential party anthem.
“Go For It” by CRUISR
“Valerie” by Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse
Super producer Mark Ronson released this addictive, high-energy song with the late superstar, Amy Winehouse, in 2007. Its old-school vibe will have you smiling while dancing to the funky beat.
“Juice” by Lizzo
“Love On Top” by Beyoncé
This soulful record would have been at home in the Motown era. Near its end, get ready for Bey’s final key change.
“Yellowbrick” by Ric Wilson
“Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince
When you need some assistance getting “through this thing called life,” turn up the volume on Prince’s 1984 single, “Let’s Go Crazy.” And while you’re at it, abandon your inhibitions as the song encourages listeners.
“Give a Little” by Maggie Rogers
“Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige
Cue up Mary J. Blige when, as she suggests, you finally decide not to let anything get in your way.
“Toast” by Koffee
“Tightrope” by Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe’s “Tightrope” is all about keeping a can-do attitude in the midst of naysayers. When you need an extra boost of confidence or just need an anthem to sing along to while pumping your fists in the air, play this catchy, futuristic song.
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
Repeating the name of this simple tune could turn your day around. After its 1988 release, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” was in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks.
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
Renditions of this karaoke night favorite have been featured in films like Look Who’s Talking and Herbie: Fully Loaded. Even Dolly Parton recorded a version.
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper’s catchy single will prompt you to call your best friend, and maybe jump up and down a bit.
“I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown
So good! The “Godfather of Soul” knew what he’d make you do with this one—dance. Released in 1964, the funky instrumentals stand the test of time.
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson
The powerhouse vocalist delivers a valuable life lesson here: you can get through anything.
“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
A team of 11 writers worked together on Ronson’s smash—and it paid off. “Uptown Funk” won the 2016 Grammy for Record of the Year.
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake
Similar to Pharrell Williams’s “Happy,” this chart-topper led the soundtrack to Trolls, encouraging fans to dance, dance, dance.
“Happy” by Pharrell Williams
Who didn’t “clap along” to this at Pharrell’s command? Featured on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, “Happy” inspired so many fan tributes that Pharrell burst into tears discussing its success on Oprah Prime.