Feeling down? An expert reveals the best song to make you feel happier

Dr Michael Bonshor, who has a PhD in music psychology has shared the exact songs you should be playing to promote a good mood.

His studies found that Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys is the song that makes people the happiest.

In his research to create a happy song, Bonshor found that the combination of a major key, 7th Chords, 137 BPM, strong beat, four beats in every bar and a verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure is the best way to design a tune that will lift people’s moods.

The song should also contain a short introduction, high volume, repeated riffs, bright tone and a mix of predictability and surprise.

Other tunes that follow this ‘happy’ formula include House of Fun by Madness, Get The Party Started by Pink and I Got You ( I Feel Good) by James Brown.

“Previous studies have found songs are perceived as happy if they are in a major key, with a sweet spot of approximately 137 beats per minute,” Bonshor explained.

“We like ‘7th chords’ as they add interest; regular chords use three notes, whereas ‘7th chords’ add an extra note which provides a sense of musical ‘tension’ and ‘relief.”

“Alongside this, cheery songs usually have a strong 1 -2 -1 -2 beat to them, so that you can dance along – and a short introduction means the song kicks off with a bang straight away, and there’s not a long build-up. We like high volume when it comes to how our happy songs are made, with notes played in a bright and bouncy way by instruments such as trumpets or electric guitars instead of mellower instruments”

“Finally, a repetitive rhythm or guitar riff that people can latch onto and becomes memorable is the cherry on the cake.”

The Study also found that 46 per cent of adults shared that singing along to their favourite grooves is a great way to instantly lift their moods.

Listening to a ‘happy’ song can lift your mood in 14 seconds

Top 10 songs to boost your mood

Bonshor’s formula is replicated in the below songs designed to make you feel happy

  1. Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys
  2. I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown
  3. House of Fun by Madness
  4. Get the Party Started by Pink
  5. Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
  6. Sun is Shining by Bob Marley
  7. I Get Around by The Beach Boys
  8. YMCA by Village People
  9. Waterloo by ABBA
  10. September by Earth, Wind & Fire

It also found that it takes just an average of 14 seconds for these songs to start making a positive difference in how people feel.

Rock, dance and pop were ranked as the three happiest themes of music, while 71 per cent felt that music plays one of the most influential parts of changing and uplifting a down mood.

So next time you start to feel a bit crappy, change your view of the world by listening to a ‘happy’ song that can help to propel you from down to upbeat.

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