Today is Blue Monday (January 16) – officially the most depressing day of the year. You could probably do with some cheering up. So without further ado, here’s 50 of the most uplifting songs of all time, starting with The Strokes’ ‘Someday’. The definition of the word ‘insouciant’, ‘Someday’ is louche and irresistible. Shrug it off, Casablancas insists, and have another beer.
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48. Friendly Fires, ‘Paris’. The aural equivalent of a high school yearbook, ‘Paris’ is a song about hopes, dreams and friendships. With a killer chorus. Listen to our Spotify playlist of all these tracks here.
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47. Blind Melon, ‘No Rain’. This California group are best remembered for their chilled out 1993 single. So laid back, it’s horizontal, ‘No Rain’ pledges that everything’s going to be alright – promise. Sadly, Blind Melon’s time in the sun was short-lived. Singer Shannon Hoon died of an overdose in 1995.
44. David Bowie, “Heroes”. Post-London 2012 we associate this song with sporting triumph, but it was originally inspired by producer Tony Visconti’s illicit affair with backing vocalist Antonia Maaß, which Bowie watched unfold while writing the song. Oh, and note the double quote marks. They’re deliberate. Implication being: are real people ever truly heroes?
43. ELO, ‘Mr Blue Sky’. “Sun is shining in the sky, there ain’t a cloud in sight”. This prog-pop masterpiece is one of Paul McCartney’s favourite songs. No surprise as it’s the best song The Beatles never wrote. Fun fact: The song was played as a wake-up call to astronaut Christopher Ferguson during the final mission of Space Shuttle Atlantis.
41. Sigur Ros, ‘Hoppipolla’. The track that launched a thousand advert-imitations. Calming and soothing, like a cup of tea and a hug at the same time. The fact it’s become almost a parodic byword for ‘epic’ shouldn’t blind you to the song’s startling power to push your positivity buttons.
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40. Nirvana, ‘Son Of A Gun’. This Vaselines cover is snot punk to the max, and the closest Kurt Cobain ever came to singing a melody you might reasonably describe as ‘jaunty’. Listen to our Spotify playlist of all these tracks here.
35. Jackie Wilson, ‘(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher’. It’s impossible not to feel better after listening to this. You could play ‘…Higher And Higher’ to a rock and it would start tapping its toes happily (though we’ve not tested this hypothesis under laboratory conditions).
34. No Doubt, ‘Just A Girl’. For all those who think that Gwen Stefani is just Vivienne Westwood and Harajuku, check out this track from 1995, the band’s breakthrough single. On this track, she goes hard. Plus, it’s pretty much the closest thing you can get to The Nineties, distilled into three minutes.
29. U2, ‘Beautiful Day’. A track about living with less and appreciating the little things. Bono’s humble (by his standards), The Edge brings back his classic 80s guitar sound, and the whole thing comes together gloriously. Listen our Spotify playlist of all these tracks here.
22. Kings Of Leon, ‘The Bucket’. The titular bucket seems to be a reference to a suicide pact of some sort, but this song for friendship is unfailingly upbeat in spite of it. Listen our Spotify playlist of all these tracks here.
The Beatles, ‘Here Comes The Sun’
And our number one most uplifting song ever is… The Beatles, ‘Here Comes The Sun’. George Harrison’s song bottles the feeling of the first days of spring. Just listening to it puts a skip in your step. Listen to our Spotify playlist of all these tracks here.