While I don’t play music in class (it messes with my internal rhythm), I love me some songs. I have compiled a list of songs whose requirements are that you feel happier after listening to them than before. Listen to the whole list and you can turn a crappy day completely around!
1. Hot for Teacher – Van Halen
Drums so fast they actually sound like a motocycle revving! The epitome of Van Halen’s signature “Tooth Metal” (named because they smile all the time) it is a happy, sexy, dirty, fun song that doesn’t let up until it’s spectacular ending. Makes you feel like you just won the Superbowl.
2. Kiss – Prince
Prince loves you, Woman! All you women! Take a simple, upbeat melody, subtract the bassline, and add Prince’s vocals and guitaring. If this doesn’t get you dancing, there is something broken in your soul.
3. Surf Wax America-Weezer
Have you ever tried to listen to The Blue Album while you work on something else? Yeah, that does not work. It is kind of required you sing and dance around like a moron. Surf Wax America sticks out for this list because singing the lines “You take your car to work, I’ll take my board” feels like you’re tearing down the establishment. In a happy way.
4. Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Catchy as hell. A treatise against commercialism and a ballad about being creative in your style. It still has some swagger, though! Shopping at the thrift shop will get you more chicks! And it’s not without this strange sense of wonder: “This is fucking awesome!”
5. Master of Puppets – Metallica
It is law: this is the most metal song ever recorded. It merges speed metal, Iron Maiden-esque guitar harmonies, anti-establishment lyrics and razorsharp editing. Not a happy song itself, I gaurantee blasting this with the windows open and headbanging until your neck hurts will leave you feeling amazing afterward.
6. Sweet Jane – Velvet Underground
Not a fast song, but a very driving song with an amazing melody. The verses are spoke-sung by Lou Reed and the gritty sounding harmony on the choruses give it a kind of bittersweet quality. It was also featured on an episode of CSI and I love that show.
7. Portland, Oregon – Loretta Lynn with Jack White
A perfect fusion of Loretta Lynn’s frayed optimism and Jack White’s sense of drama. This is the song you would play in the car after leaving jail, or starting a road trip to a new life.
8. Rehab – Amy Winehouse
That. Voice. No one comes close! And though the song is a sad reminder of this sweet lioness’s untimely death, it is also a sassy, catchy, upbeat masterpiece. (Did you know the Dap-Kings are the band??)
9. Deborah – Beck
At the very least, this will get you laughing. “I want to get with you! And your sister. I think her name is Deborah” is the chorus of this slow-jam with a lot of silly lines. And yet…it is a totally legitimate, sexy, passionate song that will lift your spirits.
10. Love Song – Tesla
CORNY ALERT. This is a power ballad that begins with a masterful classical guitar intro. “Love is gonna find its way back to you, I know” is the corny nail in the coffin, but stick with this one through the end and you’ll be crying happy tears.