Uplifting Songs

Today I want to bring some pep and happiness to the world, so I’m going to share some of my favorite pick-me-up songs.  Feel free to click on any of the links if you’d like to sing along.

Let’s Go Crazy
Prince

For just about everyone who grew up in the 80s (at least, everyone I know), this song was an anthem of sorts.  It encourages you to find ways to be happy in spite of what’s going on in the world around you.  The intro itself is an uplifting speech:

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life
Electric word, life, it means forever, & that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you, there’s something else . . .
The after world
A world of never-ending happiness
You can always see the sun . . . day, or night
So when you call up that shrink in Beverley Hills
You know the one . . . Dr. Everythingwillbeallright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
Cuz in this life, things are much harder than in the after world
This life . . . you’re on your own
And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go Crazy
Punch a higher floor!

But even after that, when you get into the music and lyrics, it’s a bouncy, feel good song full of “nothing’s gonna keep me down” sentiment.

Mr. Blue Sky
ELO (Electric Light Orchestra)

This has been one of my favorites since it first came out in the 70s.  It’s not one of their bigger hits (though, thankfully, it was on their Essential collection), but it’s such a peppy, upbeat song that I can’t help but feel better inside whenever I hear it.  ELO has quite a few songs in their Essential collection that are so upbeat you can’t help but tap your feet along, but this one–and Calling America–are two of my favorites by them.

Sing
The Carpenters

This is another oldie but goodie from my childhood.  It’s not necessarily bouncy, but the sentiment behind the words is so wonderful, I don’t even care.  It encourages you to be yourself, even if the rest of the world isn’t listening to your song.  I first heard this on Sesame Street, I think, and it’s unfortunately ironic that Karen Carpenter was as sad as she was on the inside.  She should’ve listened to her own songs.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Bobby McFerrin

While living in Chicago, I once had the opportunity to see Bobby in concert.  He was so much fun to watch, and I enjoyed every song he sang.  But this one–with the whistle and a Capella harmonies–is his signature.  To be honest, there are times when I’m having such a bad day that I don’t want to hear this song, but you can’t deny that he’s right . . . no matter how bad your day is going, feeling down about it won’t help the situation.

I’m Yours
Jason Mraz

This one’s technically a love song, but it also has some wonderful symbolism in it about seizing the opportunities available to you.  Especially during the chorus:

Well, open up your mind and see like me,
Open up your plans and damn you’re free.
Look into your heart and you’ll find love, love, love, love.
Listen to the music of the moment, people dance and sing, we’re just one big family
And it’s our God-forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved, loved

Keeping the Faith
Billy Joel

No list of my favorite songs would be complete without at least one of them coming from Billy Joel.  He has songs that can be attached to any mood or reason, which is one of the reasons he’s my favorite artist.  Keeping the Faith is largely about nostalgia, but there’s a happiness in that trip down memory lane that’s infectious.  The beat is kicky and I challenge anyone who hears it not to snap your fingers along with the rhythm.

I hope at least one of these songs helps brighten your day.  Researching them for today’s blog certainly brightened mine.

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