Everyone has a song that instantly cheers them up. Whether it's telling you to "bust a move" or simply has a melody that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, music has the power to improve your mood, no matter what kind it is.
Of course, that doesn't help much when you're trying to make a happy playlist. Exactly what type of music should make the cut when you're dragging your favorite songs from iTunes or Spotify? Well, there are some universal guidelines - simply translate them to your preferred style of music, and you'll be smiling in no time.
1. Something upbeat. When you listen to upbeat, rhythmic tunes, it can stimulate the nervous system and get you thinking and moving faster - which are other mood boosters. Some rap or hip hop might suit this need, but your favorite upbeat Beatles song could also do the trick. I'd probably add "Dancing On My Own" by Robyn and "You Make My Dreams" By Hall & Oates. I'm feeling better already!
2. Something funny. What they say is true - laughter is the best medicine. Laughing and smiling have actually been proven to improve mood, so listening to a song that cracks you up will most likely bust that bad mood. Maybe the lyrics to a Lil Wayne song make you giggle (I can't listen to anything off "Tha Carter III" without cracking up), or you're in the mood for the ridiculousness of funnyman Andy Samberg's band, The Lonely Island.
3. Something associated with a positive memory. Music has strong power to bring back memories. Of course, the association can be good or bad, so it's important to pick a song for your playlist that brings you back to a happy time - maybe one you used to dance to with friends in high school, or one your mom always played when you were a kid. My mom used to clean while blasting Bonnie Raitt, so songs like "Something To Talk About" always make me feel warm and fuzzy. "Queen Bee" by Taj Mahal is another one of my favorites - it's almost impossible not to feel good after that track!
4. Something soothing. To be clear: soothing does not mean depressing. Sure, many of the most "soothing" sounding songs are also kind of downers (Bon Iver, I'm looking at you), but not all. Bach's piano melodies could be soothing, as could a slower-paced Fleetwood Mac song. I would probably add "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" by my boy Bob Dylan.
Blend all these songs together and what have you got? Only the happiest playlist ever! Pop in your ear buds or turn up the speakers and dance around your living room. Don't forget to share the joy with all your friends!