Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

A not at all complete list of songs that make me happy

bob marleyIt’s no secret that the last month has been particularly hard on me. I’m desperately trying hard not to fall back into depression which is more difficult than it sounds. Some days I’m more successful than others and one thing I’ve learned battling this for so many years, it’s that the busier and more distracted I am, the easier it is to stave off the inevitable. I also use different methods for escape and coping. Books are definitely the main one. TV shows, projects, and playing with my dogs are other ones. So is music. 

Music is as important to me as books but for different reasons. Books immerse me in someone else’s life. Music is what feelings sound like (I forget where I first heard that quote but it’s essentially perfect). And the best part about music is that just the simple act of listening to one song can have an immediate impact on how I feel. And lately, I’ve been needing songs that make me feel happy because even that 4 minutes of happiness makes it easier to get through the day (I also have song lists for other emotions but that’s another discussion).

So I comprised a list of songs that, once I hear the first few notes, instantly lift my mood:

  • “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” and “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon
  • “Love and Memories” by O.A.R.
  • “On the Dark Side” from the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack
  • “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins
  • “It’s All Been Done” by The Barenaked Ladies
  • “Paradise by the Dashboard” Light by Meatloaf
  • “Subdivisions” by Rush
  • “Jesus of Suburbia”, “Longview”, “Minority”, and “Warning” by Green Day
  • “Maybe” by Sick Puppies
  • “Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard
  • “Lola Montez” by Volbeat
  • “For the Movies” by Buckcherry
  • “Do Right” by Jimmie’s Chicken Shack
  • “All Mixed Up” by 311
  • “Sometimes a Fantasy” by Billy Joel 
  • “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon

This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are just the ones that pop into my head first when I think about the songs that make me happy. I probably should get around to making this a full Spotify playlist sometime because some days are bound to be so bad I’ll need it.

I tried to come up with some profound way to end this post but instead, I’ll let this quote do it for me.

power of music

What songs are on your list? Which ones would you recommend I add?

 

 

 

 

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34 Comments

  1. Linda sheridan

    Goddess Speed to you.
    Driving and loud music, windows down is therapy! My Sean and I got into the habit of singing our lungs out on the long way home from his practices. We always ended our trips with the Goo Goo dolls!
    Music soothes and feeds the soul! If one of my favorite songs comes on the radio, I always say “that’s good luck!” Carpe every diem. Love, SMD’s Momma

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Long Way Down is one of my favorite driving songs!

      Reply
  2. Julia @ Grace Makes New

    Oh my gosh, yes to the quote about music being what feelings sound like, that is too perfect! I have always loved music, it’s been a HUGE part of my life for as long as I can remember. Happy songs are the BEST!
    Julia @ Grace Makes New recently posted…Weekending + A GIVEAWAY!!!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana @ Jana Says

      I can’t imagine my life without music. It’s a constant, just like books.

      Reply
  3. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    I love driving and listening to loud music. It’s quite cathartic.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…TWTW – the one before Memorial DayMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana @ Jana Says

      It’s very cathartic, especially if it’s a good angry song.

      Reply
  4. Nadine

    Yes yes yes yes!!! First of all, can I just tell you that my heart fluttered when I saw you have an Eddie and the Cruisers song on your list?!?!?! I basically love every song from the first and second movie, NYC song and Darkside being my favorites. 311 is one of my absolute favorites. They are coming here in July and I really want to go!!! Some of my other songs? Freak of the Week by Marvelous 3, No Surprise by Daughtry, My way by Butch Walker, Let Me Be Myself by 3 Doors Down, Dare You to Move by Switchfoot and Hang by Matchbox 20. The list really goes on, but I am not trying to write a novel here.
    Nadine recently posted…Weekend ShenanigansMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Dare You to Move is excellent as is Freak of the Week! Yay for another Eddie and the Cruisers fan!!! Love those movies!

      Reply
  5. alyssa

    Loooove some of these! “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is one of the go-to bar jukebox songs for a few friends and me. And then we just basically make everyone shut up so we can sing it really loudly because it just does that to you! Great list, top to bottom. And I love the Bob Marley quote and super agree with that last one. Thumbs up.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      True story: Paradise has been one of my favorite songs for YEARS. It’s so fun to sing and at our wedding, we had a whole performance of the song on the dance floor, boys vs. girls, the whole deal. That is the only part that makes me wish we’d had a videographer.

      Reply
  6. Kristen

    footloose is my happy song. i love it. it’s my favourite dancing song and it just makes me so happy. i turn it up high, just dance like a maniac and i feel better. and paradise by the dashboard light? LOVE it. such a good song. It always makes me smile. Another favourite is ‘you don’t own me’ but the first wives club version. i don’t know why but it always pumps me up and I can’t NOT sing along, you know? loudly. lol.
    i wish i could say something constructive and helpful but i know that i can’t. all i can say is that i hope you have more successful days than not.
    Kristen recently posted…Flight tips – General & For AnxietyMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Footloose brings back happy college memories for me (not because I was in college when it came out. I’m not THAT old) but because of my sorority and a performance some of my sisters did. Amazing! And the movie is so awesome, too. A must watch whenever it’s on. The Kevin Bacon version. Not the remake.

      Reply
      1. Kristen

        oh my gosh the remake is one of the worst movies i’ve ever seen šŸ˜ lol
        Kristen recently posted…Flight tips – General & For AnxietyMy Profile

        Reply
        1. Jana (Post author)

          I haven’t seen it. I just can’t do that to myself.

          Reply
  7. Kateri Von Steal

    Green day – yes and yes.

    Love this list.

    Music is so important when getting me through a tough time. I really feel that lyrics speak to me.

    I am thinking of you constantly – if you need to email vent – please drop me a line.
    Kateri Von Steal recently posted…Weekending – 2015 Steampunk’s World FairMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Yes! Lyrics sometimes say what I can’t. Music is crucial to me. And thank you. I appreciate it <3

      Reply
  8. Amber

    Music is very important to me as well. I listen to a lot of oldies, but I do like some current music. I like songs from Fun and The Fray.
    Amber recently posted…7 Reasons Why I Stay At Home When The Kids Go To SchoolMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I like The Fray!

      Reply
  9. Stephanie

    I love Call Me Al. And Love and Memories. I think mine are Semi Charmed Life and the entire 1st Matchbox 20 CD. Which probably both came out at the same time, I assume a happy year in my life.
    Stephanie recently posted…Share a Chocolate Coke CupcakeMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Yes! Those are college songs for me so definitely brings back good memories!

      Reply
  10. Kay R.

    I agree with so many on this list. Seriously how could Footloose not make one feel to dance? Music is life!

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Right?! It’s the danciest of dance songs!

      Reply
  11. Kerry

    I love the first two, I would add Diamonds on The Soles of Her Shoes. Some good old Aerosmith Dream On makes me happy too!
    Kerry recently posted…I Hope You DanceMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Dream On is a great driving sing along song. I saw Train years and years ago and they did a killer cover of it.

      Reply
  12. Kati Rose

    I know it’s a new song and I have plenty of others that are older and make me happy, but I completely agree about “Shut Up and Dance With Me” – the moment it comes on I just get good vibes and want to do exactly what it tells me to do – shut up and dance.
    Kati Rose recently posted…Did You Imagine It In A Different Way?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      My 8 year old loves the song, too, so we’ll put it on in the car or in the house and have our own dance party. We love it!

      Reply
  13. kathy @ real talk

    this weekend was an all-80s weekend on the radio and i was in heaven! pretty much any 80s music makes me happy!
    kathy @ real talk recently posted…random thoughts on a fridayMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      LOVE 80s music! Especially hairbands. They are my jam.

      Reply
  14. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    I love Footloose. I will also add Safety Dance. šŸ™‚ OK so if it’s a gorgeous day in LA and I’m in a good mood, I love California Love by Tpac. I totally roll all the windows down and jam. šŸ™‚
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Iā€™m Moving to Save MoneyMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Safety Dance is a good one!

      Reply
  15. Christina

    Call Me Al! Love that one. We used to recreate the video as kids. Haha! I totally forgot about Jimmie’s Chicken Shack. One song that always puts me in a good mood is the cover of Save It For Later by Harvey Danger. I also can’t get enough of is Let’s Go Crazy by Prince and Faith by George Michael. Gotta love the fun, happy 80s tunes.
    Christina recently posted…Ten Questions From JanaMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      80s music is definitely useful for getting into a good mood. For me, specifically, hair bands. Love them!

      Reply
  16. Erin @ TexErin-in-SydneyLand

    You know, I love me some music. There’s a few on here that I need to listen to. I love For the Movies, but I don’t know if that makes it on my happy list. Quick, off the cuff, not my thought happy songs for me: Pour Some Sugar on Me, Paradise City, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Footloose, Paradise City (I’m seeing a pattern of a particular decade here)…Hella Good (No Doubt), Let Love In (Goo Goo Dolls), So What (Pink).
    Erin @ TexErin-in-SydneyLand recently posted…Aussie! Samantha! Oi!My Profile

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