Some songs inspire us, some encourage us, some depress us. That’s what makes music so great: Different songs touch us in different ways.
Then there’s some songs that just make us feel good. They make us want to sing at the top of our lungs, dance like no one is watching or just tap our toes, slap our knees and forget our troubles.
There’s been many psychological studies done on how music affects us and our brains. An article on website openminds.org cited five benefits of listening to music: Elevates our mood and motivation, reduces stress, improves focus, helps relaxation and reduces anxiety and depression.
MORE: Click here to read the full article
So, here’s 10 feel-good secular songs I love (two of which are parodies, I love those even more) in no particular order:
(Men Without Hats)
If this song doesn’t make you want to dance nothing will. It also makes me want to act like an imbecile, but that doesn’t actually take much.
Walking on Sunshine
(Katrina & the Waves)
Everyone who has ever been in love has felt like they’re “Walking on Sunshine.” As the song says, “I feel alive, I feel the love, I feel the love that’s really real.” Hopefully that feeling never goes away and this song is a good reminder to keep feeling that way.
What a Wonderful World
Sometimes I get too wrapped up in the world’s problems and I forget the things that truly make it “a wonderful world.” Thank you, songwriters Bob Thiele, George Douglas and George Weiss and the phenomenal voice of Armstrong for reminding us.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Yeah, this one is for the girls, but there’s some truth in it for us fellas as well. “When the working day is done (we all) just want to have fun.” A side note: I always wondered what “right” meant in the line, “When you gonna live your life right.”
(Creedence Clearwater Revival)
This toe-tapper has us all wanting to “hitch a ride on a river boat queen.” I love the water and all the cool things we can do in it – canoe, cruise, swim, dive, fish, etc. This song makes you want to sing along no matter where you are (like in public). Lip-syncing is permitted.
(Kool & The Gang)
Christians have more reason than anyone else to celebrate! Our Savior is alive! And we should do so, as the song says, “to last throughout the years.” So, let’s “bring good times and laughter” to church with us (except for times when it would be inappropriate, of course).
Can’t Stop the Feeling
When you’re crushing on someone, even if all they want to do is dance, you “can’t stop the feeling.” And do you really want to? Like the song implies, just wait until the dancing stopped to make your move. Plus, the song’s catchy beat just wants to make me dance, dance, dance.
Johnny B. Goode
Any song that has a train in it is a hit to me. But this is a classic on so many levels. Great music. Great lyrics. Great story. Love how fast-paced it is; it keeps me pumped all the way through. As a bonus, there’s a tribute to moms at the end: Mom’s his biggest fan and encourages him to shoot for the stars.
The Saga Begins
(“Weird Al” Yankovic)
Genius. Ok, maybe some of my geekiness is showing through, but any parody song about Star Wars is tops in my book. Brings a smile every time I listen to it. Watching the official video is even better. If you’re not a Star Wars fan, first watch “Stars Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” then listen to this song. You’ll thank me, at least for the second thing.
Moms Got FOMS
If you don’t know Penn and Kim Holderness this will be a great introduction. They have a slew of hilarious videos and vlogs. Penn is great at song parodies and extremely talented and will keep you laughing from start to finish. “Moms Got FOMS – Fear of Missing Sleep” one of my favorites (and one we all can relate to in some form). You have to watch the video to truly enjoy the song.