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What’s your number one feelgood song?

Does anyone remember my post from nearly a year ago, when I was heading out to a gala dinner in EPI’s listening club and needed a song to play?

Well, it’s happening again.

Brief recap: EPI belongs to a listening club, where he gets together with his pals every now and again and they introduce each other to new music. Once a year they do a gala event where we the partners-slash-spouses are invited – and everybody has to bring a song to play.

Last year’s theme was: “A song that makes you want to dance.”

This year’s theme is: “A song that makes you feel good.”

Pretty broad, innit? EPI has just told me I need to make a decision by tomorrow [!] and while I’ve got one or two ideas, I just know I’m going to have a hard time choosing.

And so, dear readers, I would welcome your suggestions. If you had to choose “a song that makes you feel good” and play it for a group of your friends — what would it be??

I had a massage this afternoon [mmm] and headed to the pool afterward for some extra slacker-action. The sun was out, and I actually lay on a bench and got sunburned. I kid you not. Not severely, of course – but enough to be able to brag about it. Right now 6°C [down from around 11 today][43F], the sun came up at 5:13 am, set at 9:39 pm.



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  • digdug727 April 27, 2009, 11:58 pm

    ok, you asked for it…a song that makes you feel good. i wil restrain my enthusiasm for such a question as this and only list a few.
    johnny cash- ring of fire
    bjork- pagan poetry
    journey- don’t stop believin’
    nothing esoteric or spectacular, but these songs make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. i can’t stop myself from singing along, either!
    good luck!

  • Flygill April 28, 2009, 12:13 am

    This one’s a no-brainer:
    “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys. Or their other songs.

  • Physchim62 April 28, 2009, 12:33 am

    “Perfect” by the Lightning Seeds. But a close second (especially for your good self) would be “Weather with You” by Crowded House. 😉

  • stef April 28, 2009, 12:47 am

    my current “feel good” song (possibly my number one) is from the “amélie” soundtrack, composed by yann tiersen, called “Les Jours Tristes (instrumental).” it’s really a beautiful song, and all of the different melodies played by all of the different instruments creates a beautiful and vivid picture in my mind of a sunny day in a vast field of flowers. (apologies for how cheesy that may sound….)

  • Jessica April 28, 2009, 1:15 am

    Check out “Walking on a dream” by Empire of the Sun if you’re into electronic songs with a disco sort of feel (it’s not quite as disco-y as Scissor Sisters though!). But the new EP, “Love, Etc.” ,by The Pet Shop Boys is a pretty feel-good song too. And how can you not love the nostalgia of The Pet Shop Boys?

  • Lisa in Toronto April 28, 2009, 1:17 am
  • Chris April 28, 2009, 2:18 am

    Tough choice. I’d try “Looking at the Sun” by Gramercy Arms.

  • chris April 28, 2009, 3:22 am

    Well, it depends on which group of friends. :p

    Either Here With Me by Dido or Day And Night by Billie Piper.

  • Stephen Cowdery April 28, 2009, 3:50 am

    “How Sweet It Is (to be Loved by You)”

  • gkb April 28, 2009, 6:06 am

    That is a pretty broad category, open to a few interpretations. Here are my picks:
    –The song that somehow, always makes me feel better: “Ceremony”, New Order
    –A good mood song: “Protons, Neutrons, Electrons” by The Cat Empire
    –Feelin’ good, in a singalong sort of way: “King of Spain” by Moxy Fruvous (just a clip, but specifically this live album version)
    –Martini-and-friends kind of good: “Caravan”, by Van Morrison (can’t find a good link, but who doesn’t know this song?)
    –Feelin’ good, feelin’ chill: “Fixed Income” by DJ Shadow

    I could probably go on, but I’d imagine it’s in everyone’s best interests if I just stop here. Hope it’s helpful …

  • Pwaro April 28, 2009, 6:42 am

    Sleeping Lessons by The Shins

  • Dumdad April 28, 2009, 6:53 am

    As summer approaches, I suggest “In The Summertime” by Mungo Jerry. My 11-year-old daughter loves this song and we always play it in the car when the sun comes out.

    An old favourite of mine is “All Right Now” by Free. (Paul Rodgers, the lead singer, now sings with Queen).

  • France April 28, 2009, 7:45 am

    This is going to sound terribly 80s, but “Walking on sunshine”, by Katrina and the Waves (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eONhto0x_nI ) always brings a smile to my face and a spring to my step.
    I’m actually sitting in my office waiting for a dreaded job interview, and this is helping!

  • Pauline McCarthy April 28, 2009, 8:18 am
  • Frank Lynch April 28, 2009, 8:21 am

    My favourite: ‘I’m on my way’, by the Scottish group The Proclaimers.It features briefly in SHREK, the movie. It always gets my toes tapping.

    Frank Lynch.

  • Marc April 28, 2009, 9:08 am

    I find ‘High’ by The Cure (to be found on their ‘Wish’ album) a terrifyingly good-mooded song.

  • jpeeps April 28, 2009, 9:11 am

    Well I’ve just cycled to work on a chilly but sunny London morning listening to the Killers, and I must say (not an expert and frankly too old ever to become one) that virtually all their songs put a spring in your step. To pick one, what about “The world we live in”? (I hope the lyrics aren’t too gloom-laden.)

  • hildigunnur April 28, 2009, 9:22 am

    oooh, that’s hard. Old and Wise by Alan Parson’s Project is a great one, so are the moon songs by Van Morrison (Moondance and Dancing in the moonlight) Then there’s Abba’s Thank you for the Music, REO Speedwagon’s I can’t fight this feeling – the list goes on and on. (and I’m not even venturing into my own classical field, as that’s probably not what’s been sought after)

    Oh, I was supposed to choose just one song? Old and Wise it would be 🙂

  • SOe April 28, 2009, 9:35 am

    “The lion sleeps tonight” (The Tokens) – quite old song but it still brings a big smile on my face and my mood is getting bright and shinny everytime I hear it.

  • 9uy April 28, 2009, 9:43 am

    Here’s one of them…Make me smile.

  • Rachael April 28, 2009, 9:50 am

    You got sunburned?? – I’m coming to Iceland! Nothing but grey dreary rain here in northeast England.

    My feelgood song has to be One Day Like This by Elbow. It’s gorgeous.

  • Mal April 28, 2009, 10:19 am

    Curtis Mayfield – Move on up


    Curtis never let me down !

  • Lee, UK April 28, 2009, 10:21 am

    A morning weather report…

  • Lee, UK April 28, 2009, 10:30 am

    After reading a YouTuber’s comment on the song I found above, Google reveals that “English psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic studied the way music influences serotonin levels in listeners’ blood. He even derived a formula: S (serotonin levels) = P (pitch of sound) + Pos (positive) + T (tone) + BPM (tempo) + I (pleasant associations). The Wake Up Boo! by Boo Radleys is considered to be the best serotonin-raising song“…

  • alda April 28, 2009, 10:35 am

    Thanks, everyone! Just loving this. 🙂

  • Shannon April 28, 2009, 10:56 am

    Love Shack – B-52s

  • Sonja April 28, 2009, 11:18 am

    If I needed a pick-me-up, I would probably listen to Manu Chao

  • Gudmundur April 28, 2009, 11:20 am

    I’d say “Iko Iko”, by Dixie Cups (the original 60’s version). Always gets me in a good mood. And the story behind the song just adds to the pleasure: basically a song they heard their grandmother sing, they started singing it in a downtime in the studio, banging on an ashtray, a bottle and a chair as an accompaniment, and someone started to slap the upright bass. So, the song’s basically is a 60’s pop-song, playground ditty, found sounds and music concrete all rolled into one and made on the fly, something that the masters of modern music could only make after diligent theorizing and hard work (and then didn’t come even close).

    Oh, and God Only Knows by Beach Boys. And Sarah by Fleetwood Mac. And The Look of Love by ABC. Oh, and The Fairest of the Seasons by Nico. I should stop now.

  • Jussi April 28, 2009, 12:10 pm

    Ooh, I love Rachael’s choice. Gorgeous, indeed. Though I have to go with either

    The Clientele – Somebody Changed
    Rufus Wainwright – Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk


  • Ljósmynd DE April 28, 2009, 12:15 pm

    For me the feelgood-factor of a piece of music is mainly determined by the music itself and not so much by the lyrics. Therefore I could name a number of songs from all over the world in languages, where I don’t even understand a single word of the lyrics.

    If pressed hard, I would name ‘Shine on you crazy diamond’ by Pink Floyd or ‘True Faith’ by New Order.

    And the title melody of the film ‘Out of Africa’ leaves me always mentally flying over the African savanna – very moving.

  • Nancy April 28, 2009, 1:14 pm

    Anything by Eva Cassidy makes me feel good, particularly “Autumn Leaves” and “Wayfaring Stranger,” because her voice is a revelation. If you don’t know her history, she died in the 1990’s from melanoma, and sold millions of albums only after her death, by word of mouth. The songs are on iTunes and Amazon, and an “Eva Cassidy” search will tell you everything you need to know about her. If you haven’t heard her before, you’re in for a treat. Hope you enjoy.

  • torsten April 28, 2009, 1:30 pm

    mmh…my number one feelgood song is “the last polka” by ben folds five. it starts pretty kitchy and sentimental but approaching to the end, it kinda blows me up with its energy and musicality. ben folds – the last polka

    a song with 100% feelgood guaranty would be “national express” by “the divine comedy”
    divine comedy – national express

  • Jonathan Byron April 28, 2009, 1:41 pm

    “Good Day” by the Natives of the New Dawn …

    It is available for a free listen on Rhapsody and other sources:

    A few years ago, it was “King Without a Crown” and “Unique is my Dove” by Matisyahu; I need to dig up that CD.

  • Karen April 28, 2009, 2:04 pm

    Currently, it’s Sinead O’Connor’s “Dancing Lessons”.

    “And when you wrap your arms around me
    When you take me close and say
    That you’re so happy and glad you found me
    You take my rainy days and make them go away ”

    happy sigh 🙂


  • Claire April 28, 2009, 2:04 pm

    S’il Vous Plait by Fantastic Plastic Machine. In fact, anything at all by FPM.

  • Claire April 28, 2009, 2:34 pm

    S’il Vous Plait by Fantastic Plastic Machine.

  • Physchim62 April 28, 2009, 2:37 pm

    Hmm, maybe you’re looking at this the wrong way… there are some wonderful suggestions above for songs that will make you feel good, but what you’re really looking for is a song to take to a gala event about songs that make you feel good!

    For this, I suggest anything by Leonard Cohen, but especially “ Bird on the wire“, which always brings tears to my eyes in happy sort of way. The Sex Pistols are another option: I hesitate between “God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy in the UK“. I leave it to you impeccable taste to decide 😉

  • tk April 28, 2009, 2:51 pm

    For me lately it’s either Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill or Haydn’s Symphony #88. Don’t know if playing either for a group of friends would make them feel good…

  • alda April 28, 2009, 5:32 pm

    Wow — loving these suggestions. I’m afraid it will take me days to go through them all, though, so I’ll probably have to resort to choosing from my own limited arsenal of songs. 🙂

    Keep them coming, though — I love hearing what other people would play.

  • Roy April 28, 2009, 7:09 pm

    The songs are:
    ‘ How could you believe it when I told you that I love you when you know I´ve been a liar all my life’
    If I’d knowed that you wanted to went with me I´d seed that you’d had got to get to go!’

  • skugga April 28, 2009, 7:18 pm

    For the reason that I’m still listening to very very old punkrock songs:

    “Here comes the Summer” – The Undertones

  • idunn April 28, 2009, 7:51 pm

    ‘Time Stands Still’
    by Rush, from their album ‘A Show of Hands.’

    I chose this because if not a classically happy song, one that I love, lending me a sense of optimism and purpose.

    I must also give honorable mention to, ‘Allt fyrir ástina’ by Páll Óskar. Judging from the video the lyrics must be somewhat sad and tragic, but the campy way he did it always brings a smile:

  • Colin Matheson April 28, 2009, 7:59 pm

    For me, nothing comes close to the brilliant Curtis Mayfield and “Move on up” It came on the radio today as I was driving to Aberdeen and within a second the volume was full on. Great brass section, great words, I was singing along ,and I am retired too. Whats this, sunburn in May? I spent some years in the sixties trawling of your north west coast and seem to have forgotten sunburn, must be this global warming. Good luck anyway.

  • RK in Los Angeles April 28, 2009, 8:00 pm

    This is a no brainer for me, hands down and no contest – ABBA! Especially Chiquitita or Fernando.

    OR maybe Pat Benatars’ “We Belong”. Never fails. Its a third or fourth drink kinda song.

    The best feel good music is cheesy and kitschy and totally lovable. Karaoke stuff.

    PS – Here Comes the Sun – Beatles is a great feel good song too.

  • North Horsies April 28, 2009, 8:48 pm

    I’ve got sunshine
    On a cloudy day.
    When it’s cold outside,
    I’ve got the month of May.

    Well, I guess you’ll say
    What can make me feel this way?
    My girl. (My girl, my girl)
    Talkin’ ’bout my girl. (My girl)

    I can resist any thing but the Temptations:)

    And thanks, because before I hadn’t even considered how Iceland-centric the song is! Now I’ll be a humming for hours!

    Have fun!

  • me April 28, 2009, 8:55 pm

    “Sweet Lullaby Dancing Remix” by Deep Forest as seen in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNF_P281Uu4

  • Sólveig April 28, 2009, 9:03 pm

    I’m gonna have to second (third?) Move on up. Instant feel-good song!

  • Grif April 28, 2009, 9:35 pm

    Bit hard for me to give just one … so I’ll try to limit it to a few :p

    – “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down
    – “This is the life” by Amy MacDonald
    – “Enjoy the silence” and “I feel loved” by Depeche Mode (and many others…)
    – “Do you want to” by Franz Ferdinand
    – “The time is now” by Moloko
    – “Hotel Yorba” by The White Stripes

    – The fifth track from Akira (anime)

    Wanted to follow the trend and not include any Icelandic groups, but I have to give in

    – “Big jumps” by Emiliana Torrini (sadly still not airing on the radio over here)
    – “Svefn-g-englar”, “Starálfur”, “Glósóli” and “Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur” by Sigur Rós (and many, many more)

    But in the end, I’d have to go for “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Rós. It almost always moves me to tears. Just thinking about the song often is enough. (the others I mentioned before by Sigur Rós often do that as well, but not that often :p)

  • Sandra in BC April 28, 2009, 10:27 pm

    Anything by Jesse Cook. He’s a canadian Flamenco guitarist.