21 SONGS THAT WILL MAKE YOU INSTANTLY HAPPY

An exclusive Sweet playlist: bit.ly/1SPPHcJ
  1. “Demon” by Shamir
    You have to look past the title of this song and just give it a listen. Once you do, you’ll understand why it’s such a feel-good song. There’s something really euphoric about it, and it instantly puts you in a better mood. It helps to picture Shamir’s happy, smiling face, which I'm pretty sure is stuck that way.
  2. “Seeing Stars” by BØRNS
    This song starts playing and all I want to do is dance—it automatically makes me happy and I forget anything that’s bringing me down. Plus, he's pretty cute.
  3. “NEW DORP. NEW YORK.” by SBTRKT, Ezra Koenig
    If I’m in a bad mood or just having a rough sleepy start to the morning at work, this song instantly cheers me up and inspires me to focus and get my work done faster.
  4. “Paradisea” by Leon Vynehall
    it makes me think of dancing—actually dancing, not gently swaying on a terrace—in a club in the early hours of the morning, completely lost in the moment, the emotive piano chords pulsing like a heartbeat. If there’s a better escape from a quotidian Wednesday, please tell me about it immediately.
  5. “Ryderz” by Hudson Mohawke
    “Ryderz” opens with the sound of a record skipping, and then, in bursts a triumphant soul groove—strings, horns, and all. That moment right there is the song taking your bad day, throwing it in the garbage, and handing you a brand new start. By the time the beat officially drops a little past the one-minute mark, you’ll be a different person.
  6. “Recipe for Truth and Lasting Happiness” by S.E. Rogie
    Go figure, I discovered this song by way of the person whose idea it was to write an article about happy songs in the first place (Christian Storm, our photo editor!). Over jaunty strings and a fluttering trumpet, S.E. Rogie shares his step-by-step directions for achieving happiness, which are so simple it’s impossible not to get that expanding-balloon feeling in your chest when you listen to it. “I’m so happy I don’t know what to do with myself,” he sings toward the end of the track.
  7. “Unless It Kicks” by Okkervil River
    I know everyone has that one song they say is the best windows-down-blasting-music driving song, but trust me, this actually is the best song to play while driving with the windows down. Next time you're in a car, play what you think is your favorite song and then play this song, and we’ll see which one is more fun.
  8. “So” by The Range
    This song just came out on The Range’s stellar new album and it’s quickly become one of my favorite pick-me-up tracks. The twinkly, hopeful arpeggiating chords, coupled with a head-nodding bass line, remind me of watching the sun come up after a long, unforgettable night—and the repetition of the vocal sample saying “So?” over and over again has subconsciously become my musical equivalent of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. You got problems? So? Today was bad? So, what’s next? It reminds me to just stay positive.
  9. “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates
    If the melody doesn’t get me to dance (rarely), that scene from 500 Days of Summer—you know the one I’m talking about, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt dancing to it in the park… all the feels.
  10. “Maple Leaves” by Jens Lekman
    It’s impossible to listen to this song and not feel like there is a sunny, productive day ahead of you. I used to play it on weekend mornings in college and it always made the impending day of essay-writing feel more possible.
  11. “This Must Be The Place” by Talking Heads
    There’s just something so joyful and hopeful about this song. Once it’s playing, you can instantly tune out the haters. Wherever you are, that must be the place. Everything you try to conquer? Suddenly easier.
  12. “Jasmine” by Jai Paul
    This pure liquid gold of a song mellows me out when I feel like I have too many things going on at once, or when I have jitters from my morning coffee. And that voice! Where are you, Jai Paul?! Come back.
  13. “Upside Down” by Diana Ross
    Guitarist and songwriter Nile Rodgers of Chic—recently brought back to mainstream consciousness due to his collaboration with Daft Punk—wrote this one with his bandmate, bassman extraordinaire Bernard Edwards, and the result is an unforgettable mid-tempo disco jam that rolls right down the river, propelled by Rodgers’ signature guitar-playing. I could listen to this song loop for hours on end.
  14. “The Fall” by Rhye
    When this song came out, I was in love, and it was that euphoric time when winter turns to spring. It never fails to make me feel warm inside when I listen to it. Love comes and goes, but great music is forever.
  15. “The Competition” by Kimya Dawson
    On the surface, this is a confusing pick—most of the song is about feeling terrible. But Kimya’s upbeat delivery and absolute resolve to kick the asses of her various demons is enough to pick anyone up, no matter how low they’re feeling.
  16. “Fan the Flames” by Sheer Mag
    Philly punks playing the type of rock ’n’ roll that your friends cool dad would listen to in the ’70s—nothing’s better than that. Sheer Mag’s songs sound so vintage that it’s always a surprise when I listen to them and remember the band has only been around for two years. “Fan the Flames” is such a catchy song, with roaring guitars and vocals that you can’t help but yell along. You shake out all of your bad mood, and you’re left with the energy to go out and do something productive and positive.
  17. “Ooh La La” by the Faces
    To me, this is the be-all and end-all of happy songs. Its chorus of “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger,” should evoke some feelings of regret and sadness, but the ensuing pearls of wisdom and joyful acoustic strumming ultimately put you in the place of a happy grandfather, fully content with his successes and mistakes. This song doesn’t just help on bad days—it can pull me out of any existential dread life throws my way.
  18. “Honey and I” by Haim
    This is my go-to song when I want to wind down on my way home from work. It’s a calming but upbeat track that always puts me in a better mood. Such a good mood, in fact, that I temporarily forget how sad it is that I'm not a Haim sister.
  19. “Sugar Hiccup” by Cocteau Twins
    From the moment its opening rumble of noise gives way to a wave of effect-driven guitars, bass, and reverb-drenched drums this song gives me such a sense of euphoria. It only becomes more beautiful when Elizabeth Fraser's amazing voice floats in. It reminds me of good times gone by, and just makes me feel all warm and happy inside. Music is such a perfect pathway to the past, and songs that make you reminisce over happy memories are danged treasures.
  20. “Genghis Khan” by Miike Snow
    I recently added Miike Snow’s new track to my lengthy “Commute” playlist, but every day I arrive at work and realize it was the only song I listened to the whole ride. I now have to turn on Spotify’s “Private Listening” so my friends can’t see that I’m listening to it on repeat again…