Can you sing yourself into a better mood? At the McCain offices, we sometimes like to crank up the volume on a favorite song to shake us out of our doldrums. In fact, there’s a scientific reason behind it.
A 2011 McGill University study revealed that listening to music releases dopamine, the same “feel-good” brain chemical that gives us pleasure when eating tasty food.
So if you’re in need of a little auditory boost, here’s the soundtrack we count on to help bring the happy:
Ho Hey – The Lumineers
This folky anthem was everywhere in 2012, and we still can’t get enough of it. It’s a naked declaration of love over a jangly guitar and jaunty rhythm, and it makes for a fine family sing-a-long.
Also: Lord Huron – Time to Run, Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait.
D.A.N.C.E. – Justice
This late-00s French dance track always prompts a mid-day boogie around here. It’s got synthesized strings, funky hooks and a school-kid chorus. Really, just try not to dance when you hear it.
Also: Raindrops – Basement Jaxx, One More Time – Daft Punk
Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
Peace, love and happiness flows through much of The Beatles’ catalogue, and this track is one of our faves. Who doesn’t feel like celebrating the return of spring after a long, cold winter?
Also: Good Day Sunshine, Ob-la-di Ob-la-da.
Don’t Stop Believing – Journey (or Glee Cast)
There’s nothing like a little Journey to brighten up your day. This classic early-80s rock anthem is an ode to positivity. You WILL sing along (we do).
Also: Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen, Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross
Everyone can use a little self-esteem boost now and again, and we think this song is just the ticket. Ms. Ross sings about confidence in this groovy soul track, one of many we’re mad about from the fabulously funky, positive disco era.
Also: Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches and Herb, Good Times – Chic
Good Time – Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City
This delicious pop confection is one in a long line of smash hits about the joys of just having a, well… good time (see: Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling, LMFAO’s Party
Rock Anthem). It’s ridiculously catchy and totally adorable, and your kids probably love it too. Ours certainly do!
Also: Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia
Cowboy Take Me Away – Dixie Chicks
Country music has a reputation for being all about crying in your beer. But leave it to the Dixie Chicks to make it transcendent. Even if you don’t like country, it’s hard not to get swept up in this celebration of the natural world and all its wonders.
Also: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World
Deeper Than Beauty – Sloan
For more than a decade, Canada’s beloved alt-rock heroes Sloan have packed houses with fans who sing along to every lyric. (And yes, we were there.) This light-hearted tune about crushing on the quirky girl in school is always on our office playlist.
Also: Pen Pals, The Good In Everyone, oh heck, all of Twice Removed.
Enjoy Yourself – The Specials
Here’s a reminder to seize the day while you can – words to live by! This ska classic is made for the dancefloor and a gaggle of smiling friends.
Also: Let the Good Times Roll – Ray Charles, Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
Holiday – Madonna
Remember Top 40 radio in the 80s? We sure do. It was stacked with high-energy hits that wanted little more than to make you get up and dance. Here, Madonna sings about taking some time to celebrate. It would be so nice, indeed.
Also: Something About You – Level 42, You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates
What’s your go-to happy music? Share your favourites with us. We’re always looking for more tunes to add to our happy soundtrack.