Medical Mysteries of Music

Stressed? Science says these are the 10 happiest songs of all time

This has been a hugely crappy year and the pandemic is going to make for a miserable winter. No wonder people are stressed, despressed, and anxious.

Fortunately, though, we always access music, which can be used to combat bad feelings and thoughts. But what songs are best for giving the body a big jolt of dopamine?

Back in 2015, a Dutch neuroscientist thought he’d look into the matter, spurred on by a question by a British electronics brand called Alba, which supplies Sainsbury’s with consumer gear. What, they wondered, do the best happiness-inducing songs sound like? Dr. Jacob Jolij said, “Challenge accepted.”

After much research and many consultations with music fans, Dr. Jolij came up with this playlist of the happiest songs of all time. Fill yer boots. (Background is available from

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38403 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

4 thoughts on “Stressed? Science says these are the 10 happiest songs of all time

  • That’s a good list

    • Great list!

  • How does Love Shack not top this list?!

  • For once, I would have to say, Science sucks.

    ps (because nine words are so hard for me to stick to…That album by Katrina and The Waves is so good. There are a ton of great songs on it far better and way more fun than that one on the list.)


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