Songs that put you in the BEST MOOD POSSIBLE
October 20, 2016 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Looking for songs that pick me up and make me want to live again after a long day of work! What are your favorites?

I'm looking for songs that make me dance and sing in my car, not care that there’s a traffic jam and want to go out and make the most of my night when I get home!

The song that inspired this question is Sugar Daddy from Hedwig and the Angry Inch (NPH version). More songs that do the same: I Wanna Boi by PWR BTTM (from the recent queer songs thread) and Ca Plane Pour Moi by Plastic Bertrand. That sassy, dirty punk rock energy gets me all riled up! I love the carefree, I-don't-give-a-fuck attitude that these songs share.

These all happen to be punk rock, but I’m open to songs of other genres... as long as they're FUCKING AWESOME! Thanks!!
posted by switcheroo to Media & Arts (76 answers total) 105 users marked this as a favorite
I find most Sundudes songs, even the sad ones, uplifting. There's something about their harmonies and sound that just makes me smile and feel happy.

Specifics? From their 1989 album "Subdudes" try "Light in your eye" or "Need somebody" (especially the tuba break!)

As with all music you are attempting to change your mood with, play it loud. It hardly works on laptop speakers.
posted by cccorlew at 9:45 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Some of my favorite happy-singing-in-the-car jams:
Sia - Clap Your Hands
The Shins - Australia
Curtis Mayfield - Move on Up
Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work
Madonna - Dress You Up
Jill Sobule - Supermodel
MIKA - Grace Kelly
posted by lovableiago at 9:52 AM on October 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

Taylor Swift - 22

This song is the catchiest, most awesome, life-affirming HELL YES song ever.
posted by hellomina at 9:55 AM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

There's a Bellingham, Washington band, Rabbit Wilde (formerly called Brer Rabbit). Most any of their songs make me smile! I highly recommend "Roller". It's what I use to get myself pumped up for housecleaning, yard mowing or just about anything.
posted by LaBellaStella at 9:55 AM on October 20, 2016

Every song on Bob Mould's Workbook does this for me. There was a period of time when I started every day with it.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:07 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I can never not play these songs very loudly:
"Ooh La La" Goldfrapp
"Strictly Game" Harlem Shakes
"My Type" Saint Motel
posted by thefang at 10:09 AM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

(in agreement with cccorlew et al., turn these the heck up and I think you'll hear & feel exactly what you need to)

Sigur Rós — "Með Blóðnasir" (this one deserves to be, like, at a volume which totally envelops itttt)
Vampire Weekend — "A-Punk"
Cut Copy — "Feel the Love"
Justin Timberlake — "Mirrors" (ok ;) YMMV but I *love* the gorgeousness and grandeur of this song all loud)
KYO — "Sur Nos Levres" (French pop-punk that took over the radio way back in 2003)
Phoenix — "Long Distance Call"
Max Richter — "Spring 1" (from his reworking of Vivaldi's Four Seasons)
Coldplay — "Yellow"
Kendrick Lamar — "Alright"
posted by a good beginning at 10:09 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think I could give you three or four dozen songs, but I'm going to try to nail it with just one.

Here's the recorded version: Iron Chic Cutesy Monster Man

Here's the heart-swelling live version: Cutesy Monster Man Live
posted by littlewater at 10:12 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not punk (obviously!), but always lift my mood:
ELO: Mr Blue Sky
U2: Beautiful Day
posted by clone boulevard at 10:12 AM on October 20, 2016 [9 favorites]

Holy crap, Cutesy Monster Man is my favorite hype some. Close second: RVIVR - Wrong Way/One Way
posted by General Malaise at 10:25 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Lightning Seeds, Pure and Simple.
posted by zutalors! at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2016 [6 favorites]

Night Like This by LP

Pure exuberance, especially if you're a night owl like I am.
posted by Fister Roboto at 10:36 AM on October 20, 2016

Songs guaranteed to get me singing and/or dancing in traffic:

Scissor Sisters: Filthy Gorgeous
The Runaways: Cherry Bomb
Electric Six: Danger! High Voltage
The Misfits: Die Die My Darling
Agent Orange: Bloodstains
Dead Kennedys: Kill the Poor
Tiger Army: F.T.W.
T.S.O.L.: The Triangle
The Hoosiers: Killer

...I may be a little gleefully fatalistic?
posted by helloimjennsco at 10:40 AM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

You need Good as Hell by Lizzo.
posted by clavicle at 10:47 AM on October 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

Ce Plane Pour Moi : Laissez Tombez Les Filles, especially April March's version.

Also M.I.A.'s Bad Girls.
posted by athirstforsalt at 11:00 AM on October 20, 2016

This is the New Year. - A Great Big World.

It is not punk rocky in anyway shape or form but it always makes me dance around the room.
posted by wwax at 11:00 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also Le Tigre, Deceptacon.
posted by athirstforsalt at 11:00 AM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Stereo Total, I Am Naked
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 11:06 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think this is one of the most cheery and joyful tunes I've ever heard: Maitre Gazonga - Les Jaloux Saboteurs
Also brilliant is La Sonora Carruseles - Micaela (this isn't a live version but has a great video of men in baggy 80's suits doing amazing salsa brass section synchronised dancing).
Synchronised dancing of a more atrocious sort in the video for this deeply uplifting glam number: Mud - Tiger Feet
posted by Lluvia at 11:08 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I got C2C - Happy from another song recommendation question here and it's really the pinnacle of the genre for me.
posted by telegraph at 11:11 AM on October 20, 2016

I have made a Spotify playlist for this!

I really want to choose the highlights for you but NOT POSSIBLE just whack it on shuffle and take your pick!
posted by greenish at 11:20 AM on October 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Joan Jett - Bad Reputation
posted by bluedora at 11:22 AM on October 20, 2016 [6 favorites]

Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring - Traffic

The Way Young Lovers Do - Van Morrison

These were the first two that popped into my head.
I am not as old as the suggestions suggest. Well, maybe I am.
posted by bluejayway at 11:23 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

cecilia by simon and garfunkle.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:47 AM on October 20, 2016 [8 favorites]

Animal Collective — We Tigers
Jonsi — Go (which is, admittedly, an album and not a song but I would be hard pressed to choose just one song from it)
Florence and the Machine — Cosmic Love, Dog Days are Over
Wolf Parade — Fancy Claps
Electrelane — The Partisan
Four Tet — Spirit Fingers
Blonde Redhead — Futurism vs. Passéism, part 2
posted by spindle at 11:50 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

The surprisingly happy for a Cure song Mint Car is this song. I also have made a Spotify playlist for this, but Mint Car is the one that seems to most fit your musical tastes. Other songs include:

Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage
Ray of Light - Madonna
Celebrity Skin - Hole
Beautiful Day - U2

But Mint Car was the basis for this playlist, and none of them quite live up to it.
posted by freezer cake at 11:50 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Badlands by Springsteen.

"It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive!"
posted by jgirl at 12:01 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

I could not stop listening to Edward Sharpe's Home The exuberance of the band and song is infectious!
posted by edman at 12:08 PM on October 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

Girls Just Want to Have Fun --by Cyndi Lauper
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 12:11 PM on October 20, 2016

The High Strung - The Luck You Got fits your description
Alice Smith's Woodstock gives me a lift every time
Hotel Eden - Tell Me Where You've Been for a downtempo number
posted by FissionChips at 12:15 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Let the Right One Slip In by Morrissey
posted by cakelite at 12:40 PM on October 20, 2016

Rancid! Roots Radicals and Journey To The End Of The East Bay both sound like pure sunshine to me.
posted by corvine at 12:46 PM on October 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

Two offerings from Nada Surf: The Blankest Year (NSFW) & Always Love
Jackie Wilson: Higher and Higher
Prince & the Revolution: Let's Go Crazy
posted by smirkette at 12:50 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Speaking of Jackie Wilson!

Jackie Wilson Said as covered by Dexy's Midnight Runners
posted by cakelite at 12:52 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, and of course, Nellie the Elephant by the Toy Dolls never fails to make me smile and rock out.
posted by smirkette at 12:56 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Solar Powered Life by The Classic Crime always makes me feel like singing along and smiling.
posted by tacodave at 1:00 PM on October 20, 2016

Aretha Franklin - Mary, Don't You Weep

Sam & Dave - Hold On, I'm Coming

Nina Simone - Feeling Good
posted by colfax at 1:23 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

OK, ok. All the cool kids posted links, so here they are from the first post, just in case your search box in Youtube is broken I guess.

Light in your eyes
Need somebody
posted by cccorlew at 1:25 PM on October 20, 2016

Song that is currently cheering me up:

Purse First by Bob The Drag Queen.
posted by Julnyes at 1:35 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Lots of Ramones songs scratch this itch for me, specifically "Judy is a Punk" and "Sheena is a Punk Rocker".

I also find Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" an nice antidote to either the pre- or post-work commute: FUCK YOU I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME! Not exactly upbeat, but all about reclaiming power.
posted by Brittanie at 1:48 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

The "Never do what you are told" and "Rappoport's Testament: I Never Gave Up" two-track opening to Chumbawamba's ShowBusiness album does it for me. (Here's a slightly slower version of Rappoport's Testament. Can't find my favorite one online.)
posted by eotvos at 2:17 PM on October 20, 2016

Nina Simone: Aint got no
Half of Queen Greatist Hits Vol 1, but namely you're my best friend and don't stop me now...

Great thread!
posted by jonrob at 2:40 PM on October 20, 2016

Kimbra, Miracle (though not really a fan of the video here)

The Police, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Jackson 5, ABC
posted by praemunire at 5:35 PM on October 20, 2016

You might want to check put the Internet radio station "Anarchy and Angels" for a nice mix of 70s-80s punk.
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 5:40 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I feel ecstatically happy when I hear a song from my past that I loved, but had forgotten about. This happens only occasionally but I now keep a small moleskin notebook in my purse specifically to write these down when I hear them. For example, a posting on Facebook reminded me of how much I loved this song in the 80s.

For a specific song, Michael Franti's Say Hey has never failed me.
posted by mulcahy at 6:11 PM on October 20, 2016 [5 favorites]

Lately for me it's been Chance the Rapper- Angels and nearly everything else from Coloring Book. So good!
posted by oh.ghoulin at 7:06 PM on October 20, 2016

My Ever Changing Moods by The Style Council
posted by Morpeth at 7:34 PM on October 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

Sleater-Kinney - Modern Girl
posted by btfreek at 9:24 PM on October 20, 2016

My current entry into this category is Frank Ocean's, "Sweet Life".
posted by msali at 9:49 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not going to lie, t-swift's 22 really does it for me. I also love That's Not My Name by the Ting Tings, Time of my Life from Dirty Dancing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston, Born to Kill by the Thermals, Bust a Move by Young MC, Werewolf Gimmick by the Mountain Goats, and My Life by Billy Joel.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 10:57 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Paul Simon - The Obvious Child
Indigo Girls - Hammer and a Nail
posted by i feel possessed at 12:09 AM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

NOFX - bottles to the ground
Ministry -Jesus built my hotrod
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:30 AM on October 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Lights Out by the Angry Samoans.
We're The Renees and Drink Problem by the Gymslips.

Popsicle, by the Starlight Mints.
The Real American Folk Song, from "Crazy For You."
Coat Check Girl by The Rinse
Bathtime In Clerkenwell, by The Real Tuesday Weld.
posted by yankeefog at 3:01 AM on October 21, 2016

I don't know that there will ever be a question for which Party Hard by Andrew W.K. is a more perfect answer.
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 9:32 AM on October 21, 2016

I'm allllll about punk and garage rock! Here are some of my favorite jam-outs:

Baby Boy by Pile
I'll Believe in Anything by Wolf Parade
Toe Cutter Thumb Buster by Thee Oh Sees
Foul Mouth by Screaming Females
Water by Jamaican Queens
Girlfriend by Ty Segall
Make Me Wanna Die by White Reaper
posted by LonelyOnes at 2:12 PM on October 21, 2016

Blowtorch by The Go! Team matches the energy and attitude you're looking for imo. I'll toss in Ye Ye Yamaha as well, since you mentioned a French song, but the band has a lot of songs that you might like
posted by Panthalassa at 9:16 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

My previous answer was in the true punk category but I just remembered this which is acoustic punk (is that a category?)

Frank Turner Photosythesis
posted by littlewater at 11:02 AM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I can't believe that no one has mentioned Light and Day by The Polyphonic Spree.

The band name alone can improve my mood—how can you not smile when saying "The Polyphonic Spree".
posted by she's not there at 4:08 PM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Walking on Sunshine - Siouxie and the Banshees.
That's what i like about you - the Romantics
Driver's Seat - Sniff and the Tears
Shotgun - Junior Walker and the All stars
El Matador - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
posted by storybored at 6:10 PM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mysterious Ways and Where The Streets Have No Name and Desire, U2.

Who Do You Love, George Thorogood.

Baba O'Riley, The Who.

Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting Elton John.

Don't Stop Me Now, Queen (let it get past the slow start).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just recently re-discovered this: Fearful Sharkey "A Good Heart". The video is goofy as hell (as most 1980s videos are), so just minimize the window, and listen for that first "I KNOW...".
posted by e-man at 10:59 PM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Doing The Unstuck - The Cure
Sissy That Walk - RuPaul
She's Got Me Dancing - Tommy Sparks
posted by SisterHavana at 12:32 PM on October 23, 2016

Animal, by Ke$ha. Especially when the "boots and pants" beat starts up.
posted by TheCoug at 1:56 PM on October 23, 2016

Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
Pump Up the Volume by MARRS
Always Loved a Film by Underworld
posted by chris88 at 6:48 PM on October 23, 2016

Hawksley Workman - basically all of this album
posted by monkeys with typewriters at 5:31 PM on October 24, 2016

Bollywood Surf music: Jaan Pehechaan Ho (featured on Ghostworld soundtrack)

Come Down -- Anderson .Paak: especially this stripped down Tiny Desk version (first song)
posted by Rumple at 10:01 PM on October 24, 2016

Klark Kent - Don't Care
posted by Sys Rq at 8:43 PM on October 25, 2016

oh, also:

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Dare to Be Stupid
posted by Sys Rq at 8:54 PM on October 25, 2016

Roger Sprung and Doc Watson - The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise

The Clash - Rudie Can't Fail
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 10:38 PM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Specials - Little Bitch (yes, problematic lyrics, but the tune is awesome)

Bryant Oden: Honey Bear Song

Frank Turner - Recovery and also Four Simple Words and yeah, probably like half of his other songs.

In recent years, some very stressful spans of months-at-a-time were made livable by singing myself hoarse in the car every single evening to a mix CD of all Frank Turner tunes. Frank, I owe you one for saving my sanity and keeping me together so I could keep my family together.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:22 AM on October 26, 2016

Late to the party but had to recommend La Casa Azul - La revolución sexual
posted by drunkonthemoon at 8:24 AM on October 28, 2016

Oh, I have a million songs like this on Spotify. I'll be back.

"Sax" - Fleur East
"Can't Stop the Feeling" - Justin Timberlake
"Hey Now" - Matt and Kim
"Something Good Can Work" - Two Door Cinema Club
"Freedom" - Pharrell Williams
"Hello" - Martin Solveig & Dragonette - Hello
posted by trillian at 12:17 PM on October 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I Feel Fantastic - Johnathon Coulton
posted by Room 641-A at 10:43 AM on November 1, 2016

Let the Day Begin by The Call.
posted by Bruce H. at 7:21 PM on November 8, 2016

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