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If you’re looking for songs to improve your mood or help you find answers to the question of where happiness comes from, you will likely enjoy today’s collection of songs about happiness.
We’ve rounded up tracks referring to the emotional state that leaves us feeling euphoric, hopeful, and content with life.
There is no single source of happiness—what makes others happy might not be what sparks joy in you, and vice versa. But finding joy is essential to having a healthy, pleasant life.
What You Will Learn
- Quick Tips for Finding Happiness
- 1. Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin
- 2. Can’t Stop the Feeling (Trolls OST), Justin Timberlake
- 3. Bubbling Over, Dolly Parton
- 4. Get Happy, Judy Garland
- 5. Happy People, Little Big Town
- 6. Happiness, Taylor Swift
- 7. Happy, Pharrell Williams
- 8. Joy to the World, Three Dog Night
- 9. Best Day of My Life, American Authors
- 10. I’m Alive, Kenny Chesney (with Dave Matthews)
- 11. Put on a Happy Face (Bye, Birdie OST), Dick Van Dyke
- 12. Singin’ in the Rain (Singing in the Rain OST), Gene Kelly
- 13. Top of the World, The Carpenters
- 14. Wanna Be Happy?, Kirk Franklin
- 15. My Favorite Things (The Sound of Music OST), Julie Andrews
- 16. Happy Does, Kenny Chesney
- 17. Kites Are Fun, The Free Design
- 18. There She Goes, Sixpence None The Richer
- 19. Happy, Alexia
- 20. Happiness, Little Mix
- 21. The Happy Song, The Aliens
- 22. joy., for King & Country
- 23. Happier, Marshmello ft. Bastille
- 24. Happiness (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown OST), Various Artists
- 25. I’m Happy Just to Dance With You, The Beatles
- 26. I Just Want to Celebrate, Rare Earth
- 27. I Could Be Happy, Altered Images
- 28. Happy Is a Yuppie Word, Switchfoot
- 29. Happy All the Time, Sam Williams ft. Dolly Parton
- 30. Happiness Is, The Verve Pipe
- 31. For Once in My Life, Stevie Wonder
- 32. Happy Anywhere, Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani
- 33. Happy Days Are Here Again, Barbra Streisand
- 34. Only Happy When It Rains, Garbage
- 35. Love (Can Make You Happy), Mercy
- Final Thoughts
Quick Tips for Finding Happiness
Truly happy people have certain habits that increase and maintain their happiness levels. Here are some habits you can adopt for your own daily routine:
For today’s article, we’ve gathered songs that reflect the artists’ sincere attempt to find the true source of happiness. Some of the other songs ask what truly makes people happy.
All of these tracks make a wonderful addition to your happiness playlist.
Let’s take a look at them.
1. Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin
“Now there is this song I wrote, I hope you learned it note for note. Like good little children, don’t worry, be happy. Listen to what I say. In your life expect some trouble. When you worry you make it double. Don’t worry, be happy. Be happy now.”
First released in 1988, this multi-awarded a cappella song offers tips for overcoming life’s challenges.
According to the song, troubles are to be expected in life. Worrying about them makes things worse. The best thing to do is not to worry, but choose to be happy instead.
2. Can’t Stop the Feeling (Trolls OST), Justin Timberlake
“I got that sunshine in my pocket, got that good soul in my feet. I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops. I can’t take my eyes up off it. Moving so phenomenally. Room on lock the way we rock it. So don’t stop.”
Need a song that will cheer you up instantly? Perhaps this single from DreamWorks Animation’s movie Trolls is what you’re looking for.
This upbeat song encourages you to move and dance. It makes listeners feel good, and even evokes wonderful memories.
3. Bubbling Over, Dolly Parton
via Dolly Parton
“And I’m so happy lovin’ you that anyone can see that I’m bubblin’ over, bubblin’ over, bubblin’ over because you love me.”
What’s your source of happiness? It can be anything: material things, an achievement, or even a person.
In this song, Dolly Parton expresses happiness because she knows that someone loves her. Have you ever felt this way?
4. Get Happy, Judy Garland
via Warner Archive
“Forget your troubles, c’mon get happy. You better chase all your cares away. Shout hallelujah, c’mon get happy. Get ready for the judgment day.”
In this song, Judy Garland invites listeners to “get happy” and forget their troubles.
This song has long been associated with Judy Garland as a top performer. She performed this song in her last movie with MGM Studios, as well in successive performances throughout her career.
5. Happy People, Little Big Town
via Little Big Town
“Happy people don’t fail. Happy people just learn. Don’t think they’re above the push and shove. They just wait their turn. They always got a hand or a dollar to spare. Know the Golden Rule, what you’re going through even if they’ve never been there.”
Do happy people have recognizable traits?
This song gives several descriptions of what happy people are. Most of all, we see that kindness is the dominant trait.
6. Happiness, Taylor Swift
via Taylor Swift
“There’ll be happiness after you. But there was happiness because of you. Both of these things can be true. There is happiness. Past the blood and bruise, past the curses and cries. Beyond the terror in the nightfall. Haunted by the look in my eyes that would’ve loved you for a lifetime. Leave it all behind. And there is happiness.”
This sad song made it into today’s collection because it paints a picture of the wonderful possibilities after a breakup.
After a relationship ends, there is an opportunity to learn forgiveness. This can help you become a more mature individual. Heartbreak can lead you to your true self and real happiness.
7. Happy, Pharrell Williams
“Huh (because I’m happy). Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. (Because I’m happy). Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. (Because I’m happy). Clap along if you know what happiness is to you. (Because I’m happy.) Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.”
If you’re going through difficult times, this song can help chase away the gloom and despair with its catchy tune and optimistic lyrics.
Pharrell Williams invites listeners to clap along to the song, even if they’re experiencing difficulties. He knows that happiness is a choice we make, regardless of the circumstances we’re in.
8. Joy to the World, Three Dog Night
via Three Dog Night
“Joy to the world, all the boys and girls. Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. Joy to you and me.”
Although the band that made this song only intended for it to be a filler to complete an album, it went on to become one of their most popular tracks.
The lyrics are nonsensical, but they can evoke feelings of happiness in their listeners.
9. Best Day of My Life, American Authors
via American Authors
“This is gonna be the best day of my life. My li-i-i-i-i-ife.”
If you’re having the best day ever, you are probably full of happiness. That’s the case in this song, where the best day inspires the singer to see how great life can be.
10. I’m Alive, Kenny Chesney (with Dave Matthews)
via Kenny Chesney
“And today, you know, that’s good enough for me. Breathing in and out’s a blessing, can’t you see? Today’s the first day of the rest of my life. And I’m alive and well. Yeah, I’m alive and well.”
The past couple of years were challenging times for the entire world. For many people, just staying alive during this time is a major reason for happiness, especially if they’re healthy.
This is a great anthem for a post-pandemic world.
11. Put on a Happy Face (Bye, Birdie OST), Dick Van Dyke
“Pick out a pleasant outlook, stick out that noble chin. Wipe off that “full of doubt” look, slap on a happy grin and spread sunshine all over the place. Just put on a happy face!”
Here’s a song that gives specific advice on how to overcome one’s gloominess. A couple of tips include putting on a happy grin and thinking of a banana split and licorice.
Put on a Happy Face was made popular in the musical Bye Birdie, which won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 1961.
12. Singin’ in the Rain (Singing in the Rain OST), Gene Kelly
“I’m singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain. What a glorious feeling. I’m happy again.”
This is an iconic song from the iconic movie Singin’ in the Rain, and expresses happiness at being in love.
In this song, Gene Kelly’s character, Don Lockwood, has just come from a pleasant evening with Kathy (his love interest in the film). He is on Cloud 9 and doesn’t mind the rain as he dances on the sidewalk.
13. Top of the World, The Carpenters
“I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation and the only explanation I can find is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around. Your love’s put me at the top of the world.”
Here’s another song that expresses happiness at being in love. Karen Carpenter sings about being on top of the world after finding someone to love, and who loves her in return.
14. Wanna Be Happy?, Kirk Franklin
via Kirk Franklin
“Do you wanna be happy? (If you’re tired of you then say) I just wanna be happy (Now if you really mean that, open up your heart and say that).”
This song offers an eye-opening message for listeners. It reminds us that we are responsible for our own happiness.
The song warns us that we have no one else to blame but ourselves if we’re not happy, especially if our negative actions and bad habits are the cause of our unhappiness.
15. My Favorite Things (The Sound of Music OST), Julie Andrews
“When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad I simply remember my favorite things. And then I don’t feel so bad.”
If you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
In this song from the popular movie The Sound of Music, Maria encourages the von Trapp children to think about their favorite things in order to get over their anxiety about a thunderstorm.
16. Happy Does, Kenny Chesney
via Kenny Chesney
“Happy is as happy does. Grab a six-string, find a rope swing, hang a palm tree in your truck. Drink a beer just because. Steal a slow dance in a rainstorm and a kiss from who you love. Laugh and live with a half-full cup. Yeah, happy is as happy does.”
If you want a dose of positivity in your playlist, here’s a great song to add.
In Happy Does, Kenny Chesney reminds listeners that we all experience low points in our lives from time to time. He tells us that we can choose to make the best of a terrible experience.
Happiness is waiting out there somewhere. It might be in the form of a kiss from a loved one, a few minutes on a swing, or even an ice-cold drink.
17. Kites Are Fun, The Free Design
“See my kite, it’s fun. See my kite, it’s green and white. Laughing in its distant flight, all that’s between us is a little yellow string. But we like each other more than anything. And we run along together through the field behind my house. And the little drops of rain caress our face and wash my blouse. And we’d like to be a zillion miles away from everyone. ‘Cause Mom and Dad and Uncle Bill don’t realize kites are fun…”
The Free Design wrote this song to cheer up their listeners. It is a song of pure delight, using the kite – a popular toy in childhood – to symbolize the carefree and happy nature we had when we were younger.
18. There She Goes, Sixpence None The Richer
“There she goes, there she goes again. She calls my name, holds my brain. And no one else could heal my pain. And I just can’t contain this feeling that remains.”
This is a cover of The La’s single that became popular in the late 1980s. There She Goes has been described as the “perfect pop song” for its catchy tune and recognizable lyrics.
19. Happy, Alexia
via Kenneth Garaza
“Happy, it’s so nice to be happy. Everybody should be happy. It’s so nice to be happy.”
This song invites listeners to be happy. Sung by Italian singer Alexia, the song was first released in 1999.
It is based on the premise that happiness is an ideal emotional state.
20. Happiness, Little Mix
via Little Mix
“I was searching for happiness. I was using you to fill up my loneliness. Realized from the moment I set you free. I found the love, I found the love in me. You can’t rain on my happiness. Yeah, sometimes tears fall, I must confess. But now, I’m standing right where I’m meant to be. I found the love, I found the love in me.”
This song delivers an empowering message. It assures listeners that things will be better after a breakup.
More importantly, it assures us that the end of a relationship is a wonderful opportunity for developing self-love and finding happiness that does not depend on anybody else. (Here are some great tips for being happy alone.)
21. The Happy Song, The Aliens
via The Aliens
“I’m happy everyday as I walk around my life. I’m happy everyday even though I’m stuck in flight. I’m happy everyday as I wake up and make a cup of tea. I’m happy, everybody, do you wanna be like me?”
This song invites listeners to be happy, just like the band. It tells us that they even wake up happy, and that we can be just like them.
22. joy., for King & Country
“And I choose joy. Let it move you, let it move, let it move you. Oh, I choose joy. Let it move you, let it move, let it move you. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of night, oh, with you by my side, I’m stepping into the light. Let it move you. Go, let it move you. Go, let it move you.”
In this song, listeners are urged to choose joy. It’s the only force that can dispel gloom and sadness.
If we allow joy to move us, life will be filled with new meaning.
23. Happier, Marshmello ft. Bastille
“Then only for a minute, I want to change my mind ’cause this just don’t feel right to me. I wanna raise your spirits. I want to see you smile, but know that means I’ll have to leave. Know that means I’ll have to leave. Lately I’ve been, I’ve been thinking, I want you to be happier.”
This is a bittersweet song. It tells of one’s wish for a loved one to become happier. However, it seems that this can only happen if the signer is no longer part of the loved one’s life.
24. Happiness (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown OST), Various Artists
“For happiness is anyone and anything at all that’s loved by you.”
What’s your ultimate definition of happiness?
In this song, the characters from the Peanuts comic strip enumerate what happiness means for each of them. For one, it’s as simple as finding a pencil, while for another it is being able to share a secret with a friend.
The song assures listeners that anything or anyone that we love can be a wellspring of happiness for us.
25. I’m Happy Just to Dance With You, The Beatles
via The Beatles
“I don’t need to hug or hold you tight. I just wanna dance with you all night. In this world, there’s nothing I would rather do. ‘Cause I’m happy just to dance with you.”
In this song, The Beatles show us that being just in the presence of a loved one is enough to make a person happy. For them, the embodiment of their joy rests in being able to dance with their loved one.
26. I Just Want to Celebrate, Rare Earth
“That’s why I’m telling you, I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah. Another day of living, yeah. I just want to celebrate another day of livin’. I just want to celebrate another day of life.”
Simply being alive is a great reason to be happy. In this song, it is even a cause of celebration.
27. I Could Be Happy, Altered Images
“I would like to climb high in a tree. I could be happy… Or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy…”
This song is about what makes the singer happy. It could be something as simple as climbing a tree, or it could also be a holiday to a favorite vacation spot.
She ultimately can’t decide—there are too many choices.
“Happy is a yuppie word. Nothing in the world could fail me now. It’s empty as an argument. I’m running down a life that won’t cash out.”
In this song, Switchfoot tells us that happiness is only a construct.
This thought-provoking song leaves us with some questions, such as
29. Happy All the Time, Sam Williams ft. Dolly Parton
via Sam Williams
“If money could buy happiness, I’d sell my childhood home. Trade square feet for memories where I’m not alone. If money could buy happiness, wouldn’t that be great? I’d sell my live screenplay to Hollywood, just for love in exchange.”
This song from Sam Williams, featuring Dolly Parton, raises a question: What if we could buy happiness like a product off Amazon or other merchant sites?
Would it take away our loneliness? Would it bring us love?
30. Happiness Is, The Verve Pipe
“My happiness is wherever I find it. And I wanna find it with you.”
Here’s a song from The Verve Pipe about being happy wherever we are. The catch is, they prefer to feel that happiness when they’re together with somebody.
31. For Once in My Life, Stevie Wonder
via Stevie Wonder
“For once in my life, I have someone who needs me, someone I’ve needed so long. For once, unafraid, I can go where life leads me. Somehow, I know I’ll be strong.”
In this song, Stevie Wonder expresses how he has gained courage and strength to face life’s challenges. He now has the will to be happy because he has someone to love.
32. Happy Anywhere, Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani
via Blake Shelton
“I’m running wide open. I was born with my feet in motion. But since I met you, I swear. I could be happy anywhere. Any map dot location. You’re always my destination. You’re the only thing I’m chained to. I could be happy anywhere. I could be happy anywhere with you.”
Here’s a song from Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani, whom he married in 2021. For these musical artists, happiness can found anywhere, as long as they can share it with each other.
33. Happy Days Are Here Again, Barbra Streisand
via Barbra Streisand
“Happy days are here again. The skies above are clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy days are here again.”
This is a song celebrating the return of happiness in someone’s life. If you’ve made it through tough times recently, this song could be a wonderful addition to your happiness playlist.
34. Only Happy When It Rains, Garbage
“I’m only happy when it rains. I’m only happy when it’s complicated. And though I know you can’t appreciate it, I’m only happy when it rains.”
This song is an example of how the definition of happiness is different for each of us. In this song, the singer/narrator expresses happiness in situations where most people would be miserable, such as rain, complications, etc.
35. Love (Can Make You Happy), Mercy
via Mercy Atis
“Love can make you happy if you find someone who cares. To give a lifetime to you and who has a love to share.”
In this song, the narrator declares that love can be a reason for happiness. This happens when you find someone who cares and is willing to build a life with you.
People have different definitions of happiness, and we all find happiness in different ways.
This collection of songs about happiness tells us some of its possible sources and meanings.
Which track is your favorite?
Hopefully you enjoyed this collection as much as we enjoyed compiling it.
If you’re looking for other song collections for specific topics, here are several resources you might want to check out: