Music to help combat season affective disorder
January 11, 2012 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Please help me create an uplifting music mix.

I find the winter months depressing. I commute for at least two hours every day (an hour each way,) usually in the dark. So, I'd like to create a music mix that is uplifting, fun and joyful. A playlist of music I can play every day that will help me shake the blues away -- with enough variety that I won't hear the same tracks too often.

Please offer me your best "happy" music suggestions!

Am open to all genres and artists. And even to listening to fun podcasts, if they might raise my mood.
posted by zarq to Media & Arts (34 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
On the podcast front, I find that at least 3 out of 4 episodes of KEXP's Music that Matters podcast are awesome. (Not always uplifiting, but you can select for the ones that are.)
posted by mercredi at 12:20 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Make You Feel That Way" by Blackalicious.

"Legal Man" by Belle and Sebastian.

"Race For the Prize" by the Flaming Lips.

"Rock Your Body" by Justin Timberlake.

"Have You Ever Made Love to a Weirdo" by Hollyweerd.

"Electric Fee" by MGMT.

I work in a very cold, dark, lonely basement and songs like this are indispensable. I'm sure I'll be back with more.
posted by milk white peacock at 12:23 PM on January 11, 2012

Flaming Lips! I personally love "Race for the Prize", and on preview, damn.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:24 PM on January 11, 2012

That's "Electric Feel" obviously. I would never recommend electric fees to combat SAD.
posted by milk white peacock at 12:24 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

walking on sunshine: katrina and the waves
times like these: foo fighters
pretty much any muppet song
dancing queen: abba
beautiful day, where the streets have no name, elevation, vertigo, city of blinding lights: u2
never never gonna give you up: barry white
smile: lily allen (lyrics are a bit cheeky for joy, but the tune makes me happy)

my data just finished moving so i'll be back with more later.
posted by koroshiya at 12:26 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Parachute by Shogu Tokumaru

Let's Dance to Joy Division by The Wombats

Learnalilgivinandlovin by Gotye
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:32 PM on January 11, 2012

Nthing U2's "Beautiful Day." Am currently recovering from an injury and am MAINLINING that song.

I have a mix-CD of "inspiring/happy" and a mix-CD of "generally silly" -- some of the highlights from both include:

"Ordinary Day," Great Big Sea
"Bang The Drum All Day", Tod Rundgren
"Happy Happy Joy Joy" (Ren And Stimpy)
the Bim Skala Bim cover of "Brain Damage" (this is a SKA version of Pink Floyd. It is bizarre and awesome.)
"The Stairs," INXS
"I Can See Clearly Now", Johnny Nash
"Happy Boy", the Beat Farmers (if nothing else, it is the only song you will have ever heard that has a GARGLING SOLO.)

And I am drawing a blank and will add more when I get home from work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:37 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Prisencolinensinainciusol, all right!
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:40 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

I realize everyone overdosed on this one when it was a hit, but I'm still fond of "Don't Worry, Be Happy." And my all time favorite happy song is "Here Comes the Sun."
posted by bearwife at 12:41 PM on January 11, 2012

The Way I Feel by Matt Wertz

Joyful, Joyful covered by the ACM Gospel Choir (religious-ish but huge choirs always make me feel like dancing around). Also by ACM

Two from Hanson: Thinking 'Bout Something and Give a Little

I might come back and add more, this is exactly what I've been wanting lately too!
posted by brilliantine at 12:43 PM on January 11, 2012

graceland, diamonds on the soles of her shoes, me and julio down by the school yard: paul simon
such great heights: postal service
blue skies: bt feat. tori amos
harder, better, faster, stronger: daft punk
say hey (i love you): michael franti and spearhead
i find animaniacs songs hilarious

(i am posting these while i'm waiting for chunks of data to move, so... i'll probably be in here multiple times. heh.)
posted by koroshiya at 12:44 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Lewis Takes Off His Shirt - Owen Pallett
Crazy in Love - Beyonce
Short Ride in a Fast Machine - John Adams
Golden Age - TV On The Radio

All of Jock Jams, Vol 1.
posted by troika at 12:45 PM on January 11, 2012

Top of the head, in varying different flavours of euphoria:

"Pull Shapes", The Pipettes
"Don't Falter", Mint Royale
"Every Day Should Be A Holiday", Dandy Warhols
"Chicken Payback", The Bees
"Atomic", Blondie
"Little Fluffy Clouds", The Orb
"Light & Day/Reach For The Sun", The Polyphonic Spree
posted by flashboy at 12:48 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

My Spotify has recently contained The Beach Boys, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Aloe Blacc, and Maverick Sabre. As for podcasts, I am currently working my way through the mefi podcast archives and they're brilliant!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:55 PM on January 11, 2012

Dyslexic Heart by Paul Westerberg is my #1 go-to silly-fun-upbeat song.
posted by jabes at 1:03 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ooh yeah, and for very inside baseball, thou shalt always filter.

On the off chance that you can stream video, silly (animal/baby/misc) youtubes always cheer me up, from the legendary activity of nickyskye:

animal: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

cats: 1 2 3 4 5 6



If you can download movies, one of my favourite threads.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:08 PM on January 11, 2012

"California Stars", Wilco & Billy Bragg

The whole "Jump up on my star bed" line makes me feel all warm inside.
posted by holdkris99 at 1:14 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I couldn't resist:

Deewangi Deewangi from Om Shanti Om

Bum Bum Bole from Taare Zameen Par

Gonna Get Over You by Sara Bareilles

Also Empress Callipygos reminded me of When I Am King by Great Big Sea
posted by brilliantine at 1:21 PM on January 11, 2012

posted by valkyryn at 1:23 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hear Me Lord by Oliver Mtukudzi
Good Life by Anthony B
She Makes Me Feel So Nice by Fantan Mojah
posted by unreasonable at 1:28 PM on January 11, 2012

Here's all the specific suggestions so far as a Spotify playlist. (Well, all the ones that are on Spotify, that is. There might be regional variations in catalogue as well, I don't know.)

The playlist's collaborative, so feel free to add more...
posted by flashboy at 1:36 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: flashboy: "Here's all the specific suggestions so far as a Spotify playlist."

Holy cow! That's awesome! Thank you! :)
posted by zarq at 2:14 PM on January 11, 2012

With Arms Outstretched by Rilo Kiley
The Dog Days are Over by Florence + the Machine.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 2:18 PM on January 11, 2012

I created two exercise/running playlist a few months back with the idea of making me happy and energized during cold dark winter runs. Here's the tracklists:

Volume 1:
01| Arcade Fire - Wake Up
02| Katrina & the Waves - Walking on Sunshine
03| Givers - Up Up Up
04| Iglu & Hartly - In This City
05| MGMT - Kids
06| Mates Of State - My Only Offer
07| Foster the People - Helena Beat
08| The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition
09| Free Energy - Dream City
10| U2 - Beautiful Day
11| Young the Giant - My Body
12| The Avett Brothers - Kick Drum Heart
13| The Go! Team - Junior Kickstart
14| Ryan Adams - So Alive
15| Phoenix - 1901
16| Stereophonics - Dakota
17| I'm From Barcelona - We're From Barcelona
18| Two Door Cinema Club - Do You Want It All
19| Painted Palms - All of Us
20| Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
21| The Shins - Australia
22| The Vaccines - Norgaard
23| Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky
24| Modest Mouse - Float On

Volume 2
01| Boo Radleys - Wake Up Boo!
02| The Naked and Famous - Young Blood
03| Foster the People - Call It What You Want
04| The Suzan - Home
05| Architecture In Helsinki - Yr Go To
06| Goldfrapp - Alive
07| Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work
08| Apollo 100 - Joy
09| The Killers - When You Were Young
10| Crystal Fighters - Plage
11| Patrick Stump - Spotlight (Oh Nostalgia)
12| Owl City - Cave In
13| Givers - Saw You First
14| Ben Kweller - Penny On the Train Track
15| The Hours - Ali in the Jungle
16| The Monroes - What Do All The People Know
17| The Beach Boys - I Get Around
18| Neon Trees - Animal
19| K'naan - Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)
20| Stornoway - I Saw You Blink
21| Matt and Kim - Daylight
22| I'm from Barcelona - Always Spring
23| Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
24| The Vaccines - Wreckin' bar (ra ra ra)
25| OneRepublic - Good Life

If it matters, the first song on each volume is at a mid-range bpm (to give me that ooomph to get moving), then they drop down to ~120 bpm and build back up to ~180, with a cool down song on the end. Total time is almost exactly 90 minutes for each.

A few of the songs are difficult to source, so if you need a hand, send me a message.
posted by Gori Girl at 2:24 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

See if any of these work for you:

Horizon by The Cinematic Orchestra
I Love Baby Cheesy by Banco de Gaia
Days to Come by Bonobo
Everything is Alright by Four Tet
Beautiful Life by Gui Boratto
Mr. Beer by Hifana
Fish Dances by The Irresitible Force
You Got Me Up by Jamie Lidell
basically anything by Lemon Jelly
Ragtime Cat by Parov Stelar
Happy Up Here by Röyksopp
Massive by Utah Saints
posted by aubilenon at 2:25 PM on January 11, 2012

Oh, I'm also a huge fan of mashups for energizing happy music. You can find a bunch at Bootie Mashup.
posted by Gori Girl at 2:29 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Here are a few more:

Bonde Do Role - Solta O Frango

Harry Belafonte - Jump In The Line

Architecture in Helsinki - Do the Whirlwind
posted by jabberjaw at 3:10 PM on January 11, 2012

Jorge Ben Jor - Take It Easy My Brother Charles is a lovely mid-tempo Brazilian track, something for the beginning of the mix/compilation, easing you into the joy to come. You could easily follow it up with Drumagicks' re-working, Easy Boom, and get things really kicking.

On the house kick: Stacy Kidd feat Joi Williams - Don't Let No One Get U Down (this is a weird mix, the version you can hear on MySpace is the version I know and love from the promo CDM).

Early Basement Jaxx is happy stuff (Yo-Yo, Rendez-Vu, Where's Your Head At). Some of their later tunes get sad, but in a really good way (if that's what you'd like to hear).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:53 PM on January 11, 2012

Raise Your Glass - Pink
Sing - My Chemical Romance
Strip Me & Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
Perfect (the clean version, if you prefer) - Pink
I Keep on Rolling - Rollergirl
Light of a Clear Blue Morning - Dolly Parton
Walk On - Reba McEntire
Beautiful - Mandalay
Sunlight - Natalie Imbruglia
Affirmation - Savage Garden
You Can Walk On Water - DJ Encore

In addition, when I'm sad I listen to a lot of relentlessly happy dance music. Anything from Dance Dance Revolution, Da Buzz, a lot of Aqua, Cascada, Genki Rockets, September (the dance group, not the alternative group), Whigfield, etc etc etc.
posted by IndigoRain at 4:58 PM on January 11, 2012

Alright - Supergrass
Don't even think about it - Hermione Hennessey
Never forget you - Noisettes
Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder
Volare - Gypsy Kings
Let's dance - Chris Rea
When you walk in the room - (anybody, but I do like Paul Carrack's version)
posted by Prof Iterole at 6:41 PM on January 11, 2012

I'll just say right now, music that lifts me up comes in a lot of forms. So this list is pretty varied, but a quick look through my music library, these are tunes which pop out at me immediately as containing joy:

Drum Trip/Ecstasy - Rusted Root
Food And Creative Love - Rusted Root
A Thousand Beautiful Things - Annie Lennox
Love Shack - The B-52s (Well, okay, just about ANY B-52s)
Philadelphia Freedom - Elton John
How To Dance - Bingo Boys
Foreplay/Long Time - Boston
Gonna Make You Sweat - C+C Music Factory
Word Up - Cameo
Italian Leather Sofa - Cake
Block Rockin' Beats - The Chemical Brothers
The Sunshine Underground - The Chemical Brothers
The World I Know - Collective Soul
Don't Leave Me This Way - The Communards
You Are My World - The Communards
The Groove Is In The Heart - Deee-Lite
Someone Saved My Life Tonight - Elton John
A Little Respect - Erasure
Get The Funk Out - Extreme
I See You Baby (Shaking That Ass) - Groove Armada
Do You Realize? - The Flaming Lips
Welcome To The Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Turn It On Again - Genesis
Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea - Genesis
Faith - George Michael
Too Funky - George Michael
Do You Love Me - Guster
Bad Bad World - Guster
New Song - Howard Jones
There's Hope - India.Arie
World Falls - Indigo Girls
The Wood Song - Indigo Girls
Perfect World - Indigo Girls
Uncle John's Band - Indigo Girls
Canned Heat - Jamiroquai
You're The Voice - John Farnham
Move Your Feet - Junior Senior
Ray Of Light - Madonna
Sky Fits Heaven - Madonna
Mhz - modwheelmood
Just Like You Imagined - Nine Inch Nails (instrumental)
Given To Fly - Pearl Jam
In Hiding - Pearl Jam
I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing - Pet Shop Boys
Play In The Sunshine - Prince And The Revolution
Housequake - Prince And The Revolution
Free Love - Voice Farm
Earth - Voice Farm
Shave Your Head - Voice Farm
Braided Hair - 1 Giant Leap
Why Must I Feel Like This Today? - 1 Giant Leap

Good grief, that's a long list. And a good one! I think I'll may a playlist for myself! :)

I have a bunch of full albums I listen to to bring up my mood, but they usually involve diving down before coming up. I won't list those here because you're looking for playlist songs to shuffle.
posted by hippybear at 6:59 PM on January 11, 2012

I've been working on a cheer-up mix for a while (entitled "Motivational Speakers," which I find too clever by half). Included on it, no particular order yet (I left out a couple that didn't seem really upbeat but are still meaningful to me for this purpose):

“Dream,” Forest for the Trees
“Today,” Everlast
“Movin’ On Up,” Primal Scream
“Tread Water,” De La Soul
“(I Keep On) Rising Up,” Mike Doughty
“Keepin’ It Real,” Shaggy
“Better Way,” Ben Harper
“Time of Your Song,” Matisyahu
“That Old Pair of Jeans,” Fatboy Slim
“Dry the Rain,” Beta Band
“Good Shit,” Cornershop
“Every Day Is a Winding Road,” Sheryl Crow
“I’ll Be Your Shelter (Just Like a Shelter),” Housemartins
“19-2000” Gorillaz
“Golden Years,” David Bowie
“Hey Hey Hey” Michael Franti
"Reality Used to Be a Friend of Mine," P.M. Dawn
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:52 AM on January 12, 2012

Most of these are from a couple of playlists I named "upbeat" and "lift me up".

Indigo Girls - Hammer and a Nail

Burning Sensations - Belly of the Whale

From the movie Lagaan: A.R. Rahman & Srinivas - Chale Chalo (complete with totally awesome training sequence)

From the end credits of Bend It Like Beckham: Bina Mistry - Hot Hot Hot

King Africa - La Bomba

I find the Housemartins heart-lifting:
The Housemartins - I'll Be Your Shelter
The Housemartins - Caravan of Love
The Housemartins - You've Got a Friend

Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey says Kula Shaker - Hush always gets him up and dancing.

And for some reason, lately this one has been making me happy: Gomez - Options

Since you've got MeMail turned off, I guess I have to send you hugs in public. So there.
posted by Lexica at 7:29 PM on January 12, 2012

You Make My Dreams - Hall and Oates
Doing The Unstuck - The Cure
Beat Surrender - The Jam
Town Called Malice - The Jam
Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Main Event - RuPaul
Steal My Sunshine - Len
posted by SisterHavana at 11:27 PM on January 12, 2012

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