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.
- I Got a Name – Jim Croce
- Best of My Love – The Emotions
- American Girl – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
- Rock with You – Michael Jackson
- Your Love – The Outfield
- Wildflowers – Tom Petty
- No Diggity – Blackstreet
- Stickshifts and Safety Belts – Cake
- Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader version
- One More Time – Daft Punk
- Island in the Sun – Weezer
- Roses – Outkast
- Slow Down – Eight Track Mind
- 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