50 Happy Songs That Will Put a Smile on Your Face
Music moves, music soothes and most important, music can improve your mood. Press play on these happy songs for a boost of cheer.
The power of music is no joke—it can affect our mind, body and mood. Need some motivation to hit the gym? There’s a song for that. Moving on after a breakup? There’s a song for that. Hoping to enjoy the beach, the mountains, the city or anywhere in between? There’s a song for that, that and that. Want to boost your mood and feel happier at home? Good news: We’ve made a playlist full of happy songs for just that.
While figuring out how to be happy isn’t always a piece of cake, singing along to a toe-tapping tune is a surefire way to start (hello, karaoke at home). And while reading happiness quotes or listening to love songs can also offer a pick-me-up, nothing lifts you out of a funk quicker than some good old happy tunes. And that’s why we packed this playlist with the most upbeat, cheerful tracks that are sure to put a smile on your face. Listen at your own risk: Happiness overload ahead!
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“(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher” by Jackie Wilson
Nothing screams happiness like some good old rhythm and blues, which is why Jackie Wilson’s 1967 hit “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher” is sure to lift your spirits higher and higher. And it isn’t just our opinion: The track reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 6.
“Good People” by Rhys Lewis
Feeling a little down in the dumps? Remember all the good people in your life, as British singer-songwriter Rhys Lewis reminds us on his 2020 track “Good People.” “They’ll always be there for me, when I’m lost/ I’m lucky I’ve got/ good people helpin’ me out,” Rhys sings. And we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
“Happy (from Despicable Me 2)” by Pharrell Williams
This song not only needs no explanation, but also no introduction. It’s one of the best songs about happiness out there. Why? “Because I’m happy!” The track was the most successful song of 2014 (from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack) and had a viral music video to boot, spreading smiles across the globe.
“Good Day” by Nappy Roots
Looking for a new alarm clock song? “Good Day” by Nappy Roots will wake you up right. It encourages listeners to take control of their destiny, despite their circumstances or hardships. Complete with a chorus of kids in the background, the 2007 single made it on the Billboard R&B/hip-hop chart and has been used for promotional content, commercials and more, making it a fan favorite.
“Steal My Sunshine” by Len
This one-hit wonder was inspired by singer Marc Costanzo’s feelings of elation at an electronic music festival. The rest, as they say, is history, and a new quintessential dance-pop summer hit was born. The up-tempo beat and sing-song vocals make it easy to have a positive attitude when jamming along. And others around the world certainly agreed—the track was a top-40 hit in eight countries.
“Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz
It might be impossible not to feel good when listening to a Gorillaz song, and this is especially true when the words “feel good” are in the title itself. The 2005 lead single off the virtual band’s second album peaked at No. 2 in the U.K. and No. 4 in the U.S., making it a bona fide hit. The track also features vocals from American hip-hop group De La Soul and is the perfect pick-me-up for any alt-rock fans out there.
“Good as Hell” by Lizzo
We can’t help but feel “good as hell” when listening to this happy song by Lizzo. The track was originally released in 2016 but gained traction in 2019 when it was re-released as a radio single, to the delight of fans everywhere. The instrumentals aren’t the only cheerful part of this song; listening to the empowering lyrics is sure to bring some moments of joy into your day.
“Talk Too Much” by Coin
Calling all alternative fans! If you like fun indie pop that makes you want to get up, dance and maybe even plant a kiss on someone, then this is the happy song for you. “Talk Too Much” is the lead single off American rock band Coin’s second studio album, How Will You Know If You Never Try (even the album title is inspiring). The cheery beat is sure to put some extra pep in your step.
“Take Me to Church” by Hozier
Happy songs aren’t always light and fluffy. Sometimes, people feel happiest when connecting to their deepest emotions. There’s no doubt that Hozier’s 2013 debut single “Take Me to Church” tugs at your heartstrings in all the right ways. The Irish singer-songwriter’s track went viral, with heaps of streams on YouTube and Spotify, and was nominated for the Song of the Year Grammy.
“Kiss from a Rose” by Seal
This song is sealed with a kiss from British singer-songwriter Seal himself (pun fully intended). The 1994 ballad is about love, passion and romance—how can it not put a smile on your face? The heartwarming tune went on to win three Grammys in 1996: Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
“Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson
True happiness is having nothing to do and nowhere to go, which is exactly what Jack Johnson sings about in his hit tune “Banana Pancakes.” Released in 2005, the soft rock/acoustic pop song describes Johnson and his partner sleeping in, watching the rain fall outside, being cozy indoors and, of course, eating some banana pancakes to pass the time.
“Heroes” by David Bowie
This is one of those happy songs that’s also uplifting and inspirational. The 1977 track’s powerful guitar line, along with Bowie’s booming vocals, is sure to put you in a happy mood, maybe even to heroic levels. Who needs physical superpowers when you can become a hero just by listening to a song?
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves
Yep, this feels pretty good. This ’80s pop-rock song is a classic of the happy song genre. You can’t help but feel good listening to the British rock band belt out cutesy lyrics about mutual love. No matter what the weather may be like in your area, there’s no doubt you’ll mentally be walking on sunshine with this track.
“O-o-h Child” by the Five Stairsteps
Family soul group the Five Stairsteps reminds us to keep our heads held high. Its own sort of Monday motivation, the 1970 single was a top-40 hit on both the pop and R&B charts, making it the musical group’s most successful song. The poignant lyrics are even more memorable than the critical acclaim, however, as the group soulfully reminds listeners that things are going to get easier and brighter.
“Lady Marmalade” by Patti LaBelle
For all those Francophiles out there, this is the happy song for you. This raunchy but fun song uses snappy French phrases to embody the life of Lady Marmalade, a New Orleans woman of the night. If you’re looking for a confidence-boosting singalong, this song is it.
“I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King
There’s nothing more dizzyingly joyful than the beginning of new love, which is exactly what renowned American singer-songwriter Carole King sings about on her 1971 hit “I Feel the Earth Move.” The track hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and for good reason: The upbeat, peppy song has good vibes only.
“Cabaret” by Liza Minnelli
A list of happy songs wouldn’t be complete without at least one show tune. And what show tune is more fun, sassy and sweet than “Cabaret”? The titular song of this movie musical is sure to get your feet tapping and your hips moving—and nobody can be sad when dancing.
“Heavenly Day” by Patty Griffin
This folksy, acoustic tune reminds us to count our blessings and enjoy the good stuff while it’s happening. Patty Griffin’s 2007 song tells us that even though “Tomorrow may rain with sorrow/Here’s a little time we can borrow/Forget all our troubles in these moments so few.” The sweet guitar riff and Griffin’s strong voice are truly happy music to our ears.
“But Not Tonight” by Depeche Mode
Sometimes, all we need is some classic ’80s pop to lift our spirits. That’s exactly what British electronic music band Depeche Mode gives us with their 1986 hit “But Not Tonight.” Whether you want a solo dance party or just need to listen to the uplifting lyrics (“And I haven’t felt so alive in years”), this song is guaranteed to get you out of the deepest of funks.
“The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth” by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
You know those songs that are just so catchy they’ve been used in at least a few great TV shows? That’s this 2005 indie tune from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (otherwise known as CYHSY), the musical project of American singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Alec Ounsworth. This particular track was used in The Office and the 2019 Hulu miniseries Looking for Alaska.
“Tonight I Have to Leave It” by Shout Out Louds
If you imagine yourself as an international superstar in another life, then “Tonight I Have to Leave It” is the happy song for you. The 2007 track is sung by the Shout Out Louds, a Swedish indie-pop band from Stockholm, and is sure to have you dancing and dreaming of a European getaway.
“Best Day of My Life” by American Authors
When it comes to boosting your mood, keeping a positive attitude (and repeating positive affirmations) is half the battle. Which is why American Authors’ refrain in their 2014 hit is so darn catchy (“This is gonna be, this is gonna be, this is gonna be the best day of my life”). Pair that with the fact that “Best Day of My Life” has been used in commercials, movies, TV shows and even video games, and we guarantee it’ll be impossible to get it out of your head.
“Roar” by Katy Perry
Looking for a confidence boost? Katy Perry’s got you covered. This 2013 pop smash hit has everything needed for a mood glow-up: inspiring lyrics, a strong beat and a memorable chorus. Thanks to its empowering, dust-yourself-off message, Roar became Perry’s eighth No. 1.
“Beautiful Life (from Abominable)” by Bebe Rexha
Pop princesses, this one’s for you. American singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha recorded this track for the 2019 movie Abominable, but the uplifting song is just as great on its own. “Beautiful Life” reminds us all of how wonderful (and beautiful) life can be when we find that special someone to share it with.
“Better When I’m Dancin'” by Meghan Trainor
Dancing has been proven to boost energy and mood, and what better to dance to than Meghan Trainor’s upbeat pop hits? Whether with your friends, your partner or solo cooking dinner in the kitchen, there’s nothing like movement to get your mood up, which is exactly what Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancin'” is about. “I don’t know about you/but I feel better when I’m dancing,” she croons—so do we, Meghan!
“About Damn Time” by Lizzo
Lizzo’s 2022 positivity anthem was made to be a disco track about resilience, one that would stomp out the darkness of the years prior. The track peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was nominated for three Grammys, including Best Solo Performance, Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Now that’s what we call a positivity crowd-pleaser.
“Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles
Nothing brightens up a cloudy mood (or day) like some sunshine, as George Harrison of the Beatles wrote in the band’s legendary song “Here Comes the Sun.” The track, which is now one of the most well-known in the group’s discography, was originally released in 1969, and nearly 55 years later, it’s still receiving just as much fan acclaim.
“Send Me on My Way” by Rusted Root
Need an extra pep in your step? We’ve got a quick fix for that. Simply listen to the opening chords of Rusted Root’s 1994 song “Send Me on My Way,” and we guarantee you’ll be skipping down the street. The track is sure to bring back feelings of nostalgia too, as it was featured in many ’90s films, most prominently in the feel-good movie Matilda.
“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by the Proclaimers
This song will make you walk 500 miles with a smile on your face (OK, maybe not 500 entire miles, but you get the point). This 1988 single was released by Scottish duo the Proclaimers and was an instant hit in the U.K., Australia, Iceland and New Zealand. Once released in the U.S. in 1993, it reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Talk about an international sensation.
“Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Home is a feeling more than a place, and no one describes that sentiment better than Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros on their 2010 release “Home.” “Home is wherever I’m with you,” vocalists Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos croon during the popular chorus. Every time you listen to this song, you’ll feel at peace, and what could make you happier than that?
“Dancing Queen” by ABBA
We all remember what it was like to be young and sweet—only 17. Relive the happiness of youth with ABBA’s 1976 Euro-pop smash hit “Dancing Queen,” which is still in regular rotation today. It’s impossible to be sad when you’re the dancing queen.
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all prioritized our happiness? When you listen to the Beach Boys’ 1966 hit, we can almost guarantee a dopamine boost. The mega-famous pop hit is all about the innocence of young love and romance—wouldn’t it be nice, indeed.
“1234” by Feist
One, two, three, four, listen to this song by Feist, and you’ll feel happy to your core. An upbeat indie pop hit, “1234” originally gained popularity after being used in an Apple iPod Nano commercial (remember those?), and the cheerful rhythm and sweet vocals are still lifting spirits years later.
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” by Stevie Wonder
Love makes the world go ’round and is a bona fide way to boost your mood, as Stevie Wonder shows us in his 1970 hit “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours).” This soul classic has been putting smiles on the faces of newlyweds and wedding guests for years.
“How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You)” by James Taylor
Picture this: It’s a Sunday afternoon. The weather is perfect. You’re having a picnic in the park with your closest loved ones. That scenario is exactly what it feels like to listen to James Taylor’s version of “How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You).” The relaxed, easygoing tempo will have you whistling the tune all day long.
“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
In a funk? Sometimes all you need to do is shake it off à la Taylor Swift. This 2014 hit by the legendary singer-songwriter spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also topped charts in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Hungary, New Zealand and Poland. As a response to the rumors spread about her, Swift wrote a joyful tune that offered listeners a way to cope with the ridiculousness that life might be throwing at you.
“Vacation” by the Go-Go’s
Nobody can be mad on vacation! Escape to a tropical paradise with this upbeat classic ’80s pop hit “Vacation” by the Go-Go’s. The track, which hit No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, is the epitome of summertime fun. What’s so great about this song is how effortlessly positive it is.
“Island in the Sun” by Weezer
Weezer’s “Island in the Sun” is the perfect summer jam for the alternative rock crowd. You can’t help but feel like you’re lying on the beach or biking down the boardwalk when tuning in to this happy song. The 2001 single is the band’s biggest international hit, and for good reason: The laid-back melody, catchy guitar riff and cutesy lyrics give it that quintessential Southern California feel.
“Down on the Corner” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
This classic rock song from American band Creedence Clearwater Revival invites listeners to “tap your feet” to the beat of the fictional band Willy and the Poor Boys. And take it from us: It’s pretty much impossible not to tap your feet and dance along to the catchy beat. The 1969 track reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is one of the band’s most popular songs to this day.
“Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone
Stop moping around! Come and get your love and boost your mood with Redbone’s 1974 hit “Come and Get Your Love.” This classic pop-rock track hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the first song by a Native American band to reach the top five. We guarantee you’ll be feeling the love after listening to this one.
“Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel
Nothing will make you feel more like a sought-after high-society lady than “Uptown Girl,” Billy Joel’s 1983 super popular track. This hit tells the classic love story of two people from the opposite sides of the track. The catchy melody and storytelling lyrics are sure to distract you from any of your day-to-day troubles as you get lost in the fantasy of love.
“You Make My Dreams (Come True)” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
Hall and Oates made our dreams of the perfect upbeat pop ballad come true with their 1980 hit “You Make My Dreams (Come True).” The cutesy love song has everything you need to turn a frown upside down: a catchy beat that you won’t be able to stop dancing to, lyrics that are easy to sing along to and a chorus that won’t leave your head no matter how hard you try.
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
There ain’t no mountain high enough to stop us from finding happy songs to boost our mood, and this 1967 Motown single (originally recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell) is no exception. Fun fact: The carefree and heartfelt love song became a hit again in 1970 after it was rerecorded by Diana Ross.
“HandClap” by Fitz and the Tantrums
Let’s give American indie-pop band Fitz and the Tantrums a round of applause for their happy song “HandClap.” Originally released in 2016, the track has gained popularity thanks to its use at sporting events across the country. The memorable beat and catchy chorus are sure to get you dancing in your seat.
“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
There’s nothing like some empowering lyrics to put a smile on your face. That’s exactly what Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 hit “I Will Survive” is: The singer known for her disco-era hits tells the story of finding self-love after a tough breakup. Whenever you need a pick-me-up, put on this song.
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears
This classic ’80s new-wave track by English pop-rock band Tears for Fears is the epitome of nostalgia. Although the themes of the song are pretty serious (the lyrics are about the human want for power and control, which can at times lead to corruption), the melodic line will have you bobbing your head and tapping your feet.
“Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra
A beautiful day with a gorgeous blue sky is one of the most natural ways to induce happiness, which is exactly what Electric Light Orchestra describes in their 1977 song “Mr. Blue Sky.” You know that feeling of seeing a beautiful spring day without a cloud in the sky after months of winter? That’s exactly how you’ll feel listening to this pop hit.
“Kids” by MGMT
Dive back into the happiness of childhood with rock band MGMT’s 2008 single “Kids.” The buoyant beat and cheery synths will have you dancing, singing and remembering when you were a kid yourself. Does this song sound familiar to you? That’s because “Kids” has been used in a variety of video games, commercials and television series.
“Solsbury Hill” by Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel’s debut single “Solsbury Hill” is all about the art of letting go—and how that can ultimately lead one to true happiness. The lighthearted feel of the track is sure to put you in a good mood and remind you that when in doubt, music can help you out.
“Hello” by Martin Solveig and Dragonette
French DJ Martin Solveig paired up with Canadian synth-pop band Dragonette for this chart-topping 2010 tune. Most recently, it topped the charts again following an episode of Ted Lasso (“Beard After Hours”), where Coach Beard finds himself dancing at a nightclub to “Hello.”
Still in a listening mood? Check out these Mother’s Day songs that are sure to tug at Mom’s heartstrings.