The 10 Happiest Songs on Earth, As Decided By a Neuroscientist

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If you listen to music regularly, then you’ve likely got your go-to songs to boost your mood. That is, unless you listen to a lot of Staind. Then you just make lots of weird life choices.

But a Dutch cognitive neuroscientist named Dr. Jacob Jolij recently commissioned a British electronic band to run an expansive survey in the United Kingdom, asking respondents to disclose their musical preference and which songs improve their moods the most. Based on the research, Dr. Jolij cooked up a formula and composed a list of ten “feel-good” songs that scientifically make people, well, feel good.

On his website, Jolij goes on to further define the formula of what makes a happy song happy: “The pattern was very clear – the average tempo of a ‘feel good’-song was substantially higher than the average pop song. Where the average tempo of pop songs is around 118 BPM, the list of feel good songs had an average tempo of around 140 to 150 BPM.”

The Boston Globe puts it all in layman’s terms for us: “Dr. Jolij decided on a formula that combines lyrics, tempo, and key to calculate the strength of a song’s feel-good nature.”

Mostly comprising 80s new wave, 70s rock and disco, and obviously a song by Queen, this list undoubtedly doubles as the greatest karaoke playlist ever. And because feeling good is nice, here is the entire playlist for your listening pleasure:

  1. Don’t Stop Me Now-Queen
  2. Dancing Queen-ABBA
  3. Good Vibrations-The Beach Boys
  4. Uptown Girl-Billy Joel
  5. Eye of the Tiger-Survivor
  6. I’m a Believer-The Monkees
  7. Girls Just Want to Have Fun-Cyndi Lauper
  8. Livin’ on a Prayer-Bon Jovi
  9. I Will Survive-Gloria Gaynor
  10. Walking on Sunshine-Katrina & The Waves

-Jeremy Glass of

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