Life sucks sometimes. I don’t know why. I suppose that’s just what it does. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s entirely impossible to avoid this one simple truth no matter what you do. Inevitably something will happen and you’ll begin to wonder if there is some force out there working to make things as hard as possible for you. I get into those dark headspaces a lot. I’m a worrier. I stress out over nothing. What gets me through these dark times? Music. This list is for anyone going through a dark time that is looking for a little light. These ten songs always put a smile on my face or inspire me in some way. I hope they do the same for you.
10: Jessie J – Price Tag
I’m not generally a fan of pop music but this song makes me smile. It’s a smart song with a good message I don’t think nearly enough people follow. Money isn’t everything. I guess this song really speaks to me because of that. There are so many people out there that live and die for the dollar. What a waste of a life that’s meant to be lived, not sold.
09: Nelly Furtado – Forca
Everything about this song cheers me up. From the upbeat tempo that makes me want to dance around the living room to the positive message in the lyrics, it is the ultimate feel good song. The word ‘force’ is Portuguese for ‘strength’ but is also used in Portugal as a parting word meaning “keep going”. That meaning is definitely reflected in the lyrics of the song.
08: Pink – Raise Your Glass
I love Pink. In a world of phony pop stars, Pink has always struck me as the real deal – a gutsy, strong and fearless woman who isn’t afraid to be who she is. This song represents everything I love most about Pink and also speaks to the underdog in me. I have never been the popular girl, the cool girl or the pretty girl. I’ve always been the freak. If you’ve ever felt the same way, you should definitely be able to appreciate this song.
07: The Strokes – Last Night
I’ll admit it. This song is not on the list because of the lyrics or the meaning behind it. This song is on the list because of the way it makes me feel. It doesn’t matter how down in the dumps I am, I always perk up when Last Night comes on. There’s something about the upbeat music and the overall vibe of the song that makes me feel happy.
06: Katy Perry – Firework
I just watched this video for the first time when I was preparing for this article and I have to admit, the firework boobs distracted me a little bit. I get that they’re supposed to be coming from her heart but yeah, little distracting. All the same, this is one of those songs that always makes me feel inspired. It’s about believing in yourself and appreciating who you are instead of trying to be someone else. I think that’s a message everyone needs to hear sometimes.
05: Sia – Clap Your Hands
I freaking love Sia in ways I can’t even express in words. She’s one of the most effortlessly unique artists in the business today and I love that about her. To be honest though, you can replace Clap Your Hands with nearly any song from her We Are Born album and have the same effect. I’ve especially recommend The Fight and Stop Trying.
04: Elvis Costello – My Mood Swings
What do I love most about this song? I have absolutely no idea. I also have no idea why the beginning and end of this particular fan made video for the song have samples from Airplane when the song was actually featured in The Big Lebowski but that’s beside the point. I love this song. I don’t put it on playlists anymore because when it comes on, I will stop whatever I’m doing to listen. It’s just that kind of song.
03: Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse – Valerie
I know there is sort of a sad note to this song now with Amy’s untimely passing but her death hasn’t robbed her music of its importance. When I have trouble getting myself going in the morning (which I usually do) I put this song on. Even in the foulest of moods, this song can make me smile. There’s just something about it that makes me feel good. Definitely one of my favorite songs on this list.
02: Sublime – What I Got
As with Amy, there is sadness with this one but that sadness doesn’t overwhelm the overall message of this song. In truth, the message here is what this list is all about – finding the good when everything seems bad. Bad things happen but take a step back from the negativity and remember the good things you have in your life. Easier said than done, I know, but this song always makes me smile regardless of what happens to be going on in my life.
01: Florence + the Machine – Dog Days Are Over
This is the be all and end all of feel good songs for me. There’s just something so powerfully positive about it. From the lyrics to the slow building intensity of the music, there’s nothing about this song that doesn’t make me feel inspired.