Sharing Joy: My Happiness Playlist

Feeling down? Turn on the radio, and let the music heal you. Seriously, it can. I consider music to be one of the ultimate therapies. I use it to boost my mood, to motivate me during my workouts, and to aid my thoughts.

Scientists have long studied the psychological effects of music. One group used brain scans to monitor the effects of music on the brain. As they played music, they noticed that it activated parts of the brain associated with imagination – showing that music plays a role in sparking creativity. Others discovered that music can cause physiologically changes that affect emotions. It can make you breathe faster, increase your pulse, and lower your blood pressure – all signs of happiness. And songs with a quick tempo have been shown to be more effective at bringing out happy emotions.

The sound-processing center of our brain, our temporal lobes, and the emotional parts of our brain, the limbic system, are in two different locations. However, research indicates that music has an impact on both systems. There has been an interesting case of a woman who suffered damage to her temporal lobe as a result of surgery; she lost the ability to sing or recognize familiar songs. She even lost her ability to detect pitch. However, because her limbic system remained intact, she was still able to enjoy music because she was still able to emotionally respond to it.

So, try compiling your own happiness playlist. Everyone has their go-to music to make them feel better. I’m a lover of all sounds, but when I’ve got to get going, I tend to enjoy a good jam with a fast-paced beat. Here are some of my feel-good selections.

  • “Waka Waka” by Shakira
  • “Starships” by Nikki Minaj
  • “You Make Me Feel… ” (feat Sabi Tribute) by Cobra Starship
  • “Stereo Hearts” (feat Adam Levine) by Gym Class Heroes
  • “Good Life” by One Republic
  • “All Summer Long” by the Rock Heroes
  • “Alors On Danse” by Stromae
  • “Where Them Girls At” by David Guetta
  • “Don’t Wanna Go Home” by Jason Derulo
  • “Take Over Control” (feat. Eva Simmons) by Afrojack
  • “Coming Home” by Diddy-Dirty Money
  • “You Be Killin Em” by Fabolous