Day 27: Make a Playlist of Songs That Make You Smile

What’s the one song that can put a smile on your face no matter how bad your mood?

For me, it’s “Best of My Love” by The Emotions.

I first realized this when I was stuck in miserable traffic. The Emotions came on, and before I knew it, I was smiling and dancing in the driver’s seat. Right now, as I type this, I’m listening to the song and it’s having the same effect. I don’t know why, but I just love it. In fact, it inspired me to create today’s challenge.

I thought if one song could improve my state of mind, then a whole playlist could work miracles. Thankfully, I haven’t been in a horrible enough mood to test this theory yet, but I’m pretty sure it’ll work if the time comes.

Now, don’t judge my song choices. Remember, this is a list of uplifting or fun or silly songs. The list of amazing downer songs I love could go on for days.

So here are my picks, in order of release date.

  1. I Got a Name – Jim Croce
  2. Best of My Love – The Emotions
  3. American Girl – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  4. Rock with You – Michael Jackson
  5. Your Love – The Outfield
  6. Wildflowers – Tom Petty
  7. No Diggity – Blackstreet
  8. Stickshifts and Safety Belts – Cake
  9. Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader version
  10. One More Time – Daft Punk
  11. Island in the Sun – Weezer
  12. Roses – Outkast
  13. Slow Down – Eight Track Mind
  14. Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida

Most of these songs don’t have any particular significance, they just consistently make me want to sing and dance. But “American Girl” takes me back to a very specific moment in 1996.

I was 25 years old. I was on my very first professional business trip, and my very first visit to New York city. I was also recovering from a traumatic breakup. I vividly remember the vibrance and energy of the city. It was amazing, intimidating, comforting.

One night, a few of us went bar-hopping. One of the girls was a wild redhead with not one ounce of inhibition in her body — pretty much my polar opposite. We walked into a crowded bar and within minutes, she was up on the bar dancing — and coaxing me to join her. I was way too self-conscious and way too sober, so I declined. But then, all of a sudden, “American Girl” came on and I found myself climbing onto the bar, too. Liberation, independence and strength filled me up and “American Girl” became my anthem. Every time I hear it, I still smile.

Slow Down – Eightrack Mind
Favorite lyric from this song: “Take a breath, meditate. Don’t be early, don’t be late. Be right here, right now.”

Wildflowers – Tom Petty

Stickshifts and Safety Belts – Cake

Roses – Outkast

No Diggity – Blackstreet, featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen

Island in the Sun – Weezer

I Got a Name – Jim Croce


7 thoughts on “Day 27: Make a Playlist of Songs That Make You Smile

  1. Angela, this might not be a list that will get you dancing on the bar, but it is a pretty good cross section of what makes your Dad and YoM smile..

    Since this is our song, we start with Alan Jackson and “Remember When “

    This is for my college days, and my home state—The Beach Boys singing California Girls.

    My list can’t be complete without The Beatles, who were also huge in my college days. This is a great song to sing along during the chorus after several adult beverages. Hey Jude.

    My favorite James Taylor, especially suited to my aging generation. The Secret of Life.

    This is our favorite all time Elvis song. And it is truly Southern. American Trilogy

    I have to include Alison Krauss, because I melt when I hear her voice. When You Say Nothing at All.

    With all respect to Whitney Houston, Dolly wrote it and it’s her song. I Will Always Love You.

    This one put a smile on my face when I first heard it years ago, and it still does! Brad Paisley is one of our favorites. I’m Gonna Miss Her

    We will finish with another Brad Paisley song, with Dolly singing backup. It sums up our feeling about the next stop on our journey, When I Get Where I’m Going

  2. I’ll have to wait on this challenge until we return home. A happy mood music list is a great idea. It does change the mood, makes driving easier, etc. I tried by starting with bar top dancing music. But the bar did not hold my weight. The local authorities hauled me off. It was unbelievably difficult to convince them that I was just fulfilling a challenge from my niece:).

  3. Ok, so again I’m late on commenting, but this makes me think of a playlist you used to have of “Songs we all know the words to.” I remember sitting in a hot tub in Colorado belting out a rendition of “Bust a Move” with you. Thank God for portable listening devices. It’s one of those moments I can recall when days are long and tough and I need something that makes me smile. 🙂

    • I still have that playlist! It’s called Sing Along Songs and I still love it … and it always makes me think of the trip to Colorado, too. I’m glad to know we both smile when we think of it.

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