What Are Your Favorite “Feel Good” Songs?

You know how there are certain songs that when you hear them, they just elevate your mood? I call them my “feel good” songs. Here are six of them that come to mind, although there are many more if I think about it. But these are by far the top ones. They are my “go to” songs when I need a certain lift.

Life in Technicolor II – Coldplay

I could just listen to “Viva La Vida” over and over; the album and the title song. But I don’t ever want to get sick of it, so I limit myself. I think this record is a Coldplay’s best, a total masterpiece. “Technicolor” opens the record and sets it up so nicely. Love, love, love the hammered dulcimer!!

Rainy Day Parade – Jill Sobule

I first heard this song serendipitously sometime back in 2003 on one of those early internet radio stations, the name of which I forget, but it was sort of a precursor to Pandora. Jill’s music includes a lot of droll humor, especially with lyrics like “We’ll have a celebration. Getting back on my medication.” set to music clearly inspired by the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme. I actually met Jill Sobule a couple of years ago–well sort of–long enough to thank her for this song and give her one of my CD’s. Unfortunately, this is only one of two videos on YouTube I could find, a static image of a traffic light; the other video is a powerpoint poking fun at Michelle Bachman which I felt was a bit inappropriate.

Duke’s Intro – Genesis

This is simply a wonderful piece of music. Powerful, positive, soaring. This video features a live performance from their “Live Over Europe 2007” tour, the last time they played together as a band. I consider “Duke” to be one of their best albums–in fact, keyboardist Tony Banks considers it his favorite. What I find interesting from this video is that Daryl Stuermer is playing the guitar instead of Mike Rutherford. What up with that? Maybe Mike has gotten rusty on the guitar.

Getting Better – The Beatles

I was a wee lad of eight when the groundbreaking “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released in 1967, truly an album with no equal. My brother had taped a portion of the album from a friend’s LP–only the first three and last three songs–so I didn’t hear the rest of the record, including “Getting Better” until a couple years later. Given how primitive record technology was by today’s standards, the Beatles’ tracks still sound wonderful.

Brass in Pocket – The Pretenders

I must say that I like songs with a certain bounce and swing to them. Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders put out a lot of bouncy numbers that give me a lift, including “Don’t Get Me Wrong”, “Back On the Chain Gang”, and “Middle of the Road”. Fortunately, the original music video of “Brass in Pocket” is on YouTube, so here you are:

You Make My Dreams Come True – Daryl Hall & John Oates

And what collection would be complete without this toe-tapper from 1980? Here is a clip from the 2009 movie “500 Days of Summer” featuring an edit of this song. This scene reminds me a little of the parade in “Ferris Buhler’s Day Off” as well as the Central Park scene in “Enchanted”.

How about you?

So, that’s my top six. What are your favorite “feel good” songs?



Filed under Monday Musicologist

4 responses to “What Are Your Favorite “Feel Good” Songs?

  1. On that live Genesis, I believe that Chester Thompson also playing drums. I used to go to a church in Nashville in which he and his wife were the worship leaders, and I would get so distracted by Chester’s superb drumming, I quit going there…my problem, not his…lol.

    • Yes, since 1978, the live version of Genesis has been the Collins, Banks, Rutherford, along with Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson. The standard MO was that Daryl would play guitar on anything that Steve Hackett (who left in ’77) played on the records while Mike played bass (which was what he played on the same records). But once they were down to three and Mike played all the guitar and bass on the records, he and Daryl would switch places when playing live: Daryl would play bass while Mike would play his guitar parts. All to say, since they were playing a number that Mike played the original guitar on, it was curious that he had Daryl play his part. Unless Mike was just feeling rusty, where Daryl, having four times the ability, can probably play all those parts in his sleep.

  2. My number one feel good song of all time is “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” performed by Elvis Costello. This song is not just a feel good song, it’s an anthem that never fails to bring a smile and transport me from wherever I am, back to the things that I hold near and dear to my hear.

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