Need an uplift? Feeling a little down? Worry and stress no more. We got your back. There are several songs out there that can pick anyone up after any kind of bad day just by simply pushing the play button. From Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” to Uncle Kracker’s “Smile,” these songs can’t help but put a smile on your face, and may even make you bust out some dance moves.
Check out our list of the top 10 best happy songs, below (in no particular order, of course).
10. “Smile” (2009), Uncle Kracker
Need to smile because you’ve been feeling down? Uncle Kracker can help you out.
The singer may have started out as Kid Rock’s rock and roll buddy, but his 2009 hit song “Smile” from his Happy Hour album makes everyone do just that when they listen to it. The lyrics are pretty much the cutest ever, from when he talks about his love being “cooler than the flip side” of his pillow, and “being better than the best.”
The beat is just uplifting and you can’t help but feel good after hearing it.The track features country music star Sheryl Crow, who sings backing vocals at the end of the title.
Learn more about “Smile” here.
Learn more about Uncle Kracker here.
Read the lyrics for “Smile” here.
9. “Banana Pancakes” (2005), Jack Johnson
What’s better than banana pancakes for breakfast? Probably nothing, right? Well, just ask Jack Johnson all about it. The singer’s song “Banana Pancakes” from his In Between Dreams isn’t just about the delicious meal, but about the cutest relationship ever. The words to the song just make you swoon with happiness.
Another one of Johnson’s songs made our Best Wedding Songs list, too. It just seems like writing sweet and happy songs is what he’s all about.
Learn more about “Banana Pancakes” here.
Learn more about Jack Johnson here.
Read the lyrics for “Banana Pancakes” here.
8. “The Lazy Song” (2011), Bruno Mars
Feeling lazy? Don’t worry, we’re sure you aren’t the only one. Bruno Mars released his hit song “The Lazy Song” in 2011, and the track does anything but make you feel lazy. It’s adorable lyrics and upbeat music actually is capable of turning your frown upside down.
The words are super relatable, about getting some and lounging with your hands in your pants, allowing it to make you laugh or make your crappy day a little better. The song’s music video is fun, too. Mars is seen literally monkeying around with guys dressed up as monkeys.
Learn more about “The Lazy Song” here.
Learn more about Bruno Mars here.
Read the lyrics for “The Lazy Song” here.
7. “What I Got” (1996), Sublime
Is there another band out there with better uplifting beats and rhymes than Sublime? “What I Got” wasn’t only the band’s biggest radio hit ever, but it’s probably their most fun one, too. “Lovin’, is what I got, I said remember that,” is the line they repeat in the song. The flow of the lyrics and enjoyable rhythm is so catchy that you can’t help but get your groove on when you hear it. It’s almost an instant contest whenever you hear it with someone else. Who can sing all of the words? It’s one of those tracks you never skip over on Pandora or when it plays on the radio station, that’s for sure.The flow of the lyrics and enjoyable
The flow of the lyrics and enjoyable rhythm is so catchy that you can’t help but get your groove on when you hear it. It’s almost an instant contest whenever you hear it with someone else. Who can sing all of the words? It’s one of those tracks you never skip over on Pandora or when it plays on the radio station, that’s for sure.
Learn more about “What I Got” here.
Learn more about Sublime here.
Read the lyrics for “What I Got” here.
6. “Semi-Charmed Life” (1997), Third Eye Blind
Flashback to 1997. Third Eye Blind released their song “Semi-Charmed Life” and it was an instant major hit. According to lead singer Stephan Jenkins, the song was meant as a response to Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” but from a San Francisco perspective. The style of the song reflects changes that were occurring in the San Francisco music scene, particularly a growing interest in hip-hop. That’s not all the tune is about, though.
The beat may be fast and fun pop song, but the lyrics are also about crystal meth addiction. According to Jenkins, “It’s a dirty, filthy song about snorting speed and getting blow jobs.” He later explained to Billboard that, “It’s about a time in my life when it seemed like all of my friends just sort of tapped out on speed.” He added that the song is “bright and shiny on the surface, and then it just pulls you down in this lockjawed mess … The music that I wrote for it is not intended to be bright and shiny for bright and shiny’s sake. It’s intended to be what the seductiveness of speed is like, represented in music.”
Learn more about “Semi-Charmed Life” here.
Learn more about Third Eye Blind here.
Read the lyrics for “Semi-Charmed Life” here.
5. “Send Me On My Way” (1995), Rusted Root
Remember the movie, Matilda? If so, then you’ll remember this tune.
Rusted Root released a single called “Send Me On My Way” in 1995. It was released on their album When I Woke.
In February 2013, in an interview with Songfacts, the band’s lead singer Michael Glabicki recalled entering the band’s studio, a warehouse with big windows, on a sunny day, picking up a guitar and just writing the song amidst “a very, very happy feeling” in which “there was a lot of happiness in the room.”
You definitely get that feeling when you listen to the track. You almost instantly smile and want to dance, while all your worries disappear.
Learn more about “Send Me On My Way” here.
Learn more about Rusted Root here.
Read the lyrics for “Send Me On My Way” here.
4. “Your Love” (1985), The Outfield
“Josie’s on a vacation far away…” Need we say more?
You know you love this song and can’t wait to dance to it. English rock band The Outfield released “Your Love” back in 1985, and it seems like it’s just as big of a hit today as it was back then. The song is so fun that almost every professional sports team has used it as their “walk out” track. It’s also been mocked in plenty of Saturday Night Live sketches and in movies, too. Just ask Melissa McCarthy about that. In her flick Tammy, the tune was featured in the hilarious opening.
Who doesn’t just go nuts and crank this song when it plays anywhere? Seriously.
Learn more about “Your Love” here.
Learn more about The Outfield here.
Read the lyrics for “Your Love” here.
3. “The Way You Make Me Feel” (1987), Michael Jackson
“Hey, pretty baby with the high heels on…”
Who doesn’t get excited when they hear this particular Michael Jackson song come on? “The Way You Make Me Feel” was written by Jackson and released in November 1987, and still remains an uplifting tune years later. It was reportedly his way of showing people that he was a flirt and able to pick up girls, and not just “Bad.” The lyrics pertain to being in love, as well as the feeling of loving someone. Can anything make you happier than that?
The music video is, even more, fun and epic. It begins with a group of men trying to pick up women, but they don’t get any luck. One of the men aka Jackson is told to go home and not to hang around with the other guys anymore. When the man walks home, an elderly man, who is sitting on the steps of his house, tells him to just be himself. The man notices a woman, played by model/dancer Tatiana Thumbtzen, walking down the streets alone.
Shortly after the man walks out of an alley and stands in front of the woman while she’s walking down the street, although she ignores him and keeps walking. He gets her attention by shouting, and then begins singing “The Way You Make Me Feel” to her while also dancing. Uninterested, she walks away. He follows her, having been cheered on by his friends to pursue her. Another dance routine begins, involving the man’s friends, which leads to the man pursuing the woman throughout the neighborhood. The video ends with the man eventually winning the woman over.
Learn more about “The Way You Make Me Feel” here.
Learn more about Michael Jackson here.
Read the lyrics for “The Way You Make Me Feel” here.
2. “Home” (2010), Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
“Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my Ma and Pa, not the way that I do love you. Holy moly me oh my, you’re the apple of my eye girl I’ve never loved one like you…”
“Home” is a song written and recorded by American group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It was released in January 2010 as the second single from the album, Up From Below. While it’s not as popular as some of the other tunes on our list, this track just instantly brings on the feel-good when you listen to it. Did we mention the lyrics are the cutest ever? The whistling throughout the song just brings you to a fun place, and the old school sound of the track just takes you back and makes you feel like you just came out of a rural country area in the 1970s.
A father and his young daughter also used this song in a YouTube video remake, and it instantly became a viral sensation. Can you say, “the cutest thing ever?”
Learn more about “Home” here.
Learn more about Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros here.
Read the lyrics for “Home” here.
1. “Happy” (2013), Pharrell
How can you have a “happy songs” list without mentioning Pharrell’s tune “Happy”? The song was written, produced, and performed by the American singer, and comes from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack album. It also served as the lead single from Williams’ second studio album, Girl. It was first released on November 21, 2013, alongside a long-form music video that was an instant hit.
“Happy” is easily the most popular song on this list, and got numerous awards for its uplifting message and beat. Music reviewer Huw Woodward said, “Happy is a rather… well… happy affair with a cheerful beat and exuberant vocal that would indicate that the former N.E.R.D singer is finding a lot of lighthearted fun to be had in both music and life.”
Holly Williams of Contactmusic.com gave it four stars, praising it for being “unbelievably catchy” and “the kind of song that makes you want to dance and sing along.”
“I like that song ‘Happy’…” remarked legendary musician Phil Collins. “I think it’s a great groove and he’s a very smart guy.”
Learn more about “Happy” here.
Learn more about Pharrell Williams here.
Read the lyrics for “Happy” here.