Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees and Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ are among the happiest songs ever released.
A poll of 1,300 adults aged 30-55 has revealed the top 50 tunes most likely to put you in a good mood.
Electric Light Orchestra – aka ELO – took the crown with their 1978 hit ‘Mr Blue Sky’, with a fifth of all respondents selecting it as the ultimate feel good tune. Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’, Livin’ on a Prayer’ by Bon Jovi and ‘Walking on Sunshine’ by Katrina and the Waves also featured in the top 10.
The study, which was carried out by Greatest Hits Radio, showed the happiest songs were released in the late 70s, with Abba, Elton John and CHIC all making the top 20.
ELO’s Jeff Lynne said: “Thank you for voting for my song Mr Blue Sky as the song that makes you the happiest. “I’m really chuffed about it, it’s great. What a great thing. Thank you so much.”
It emerged 58 per cent of adults said songs that make them happiest are ones released during their youth.
And more than one song from the hit 1978 film Grease features in the list, with ‘You’re the one that I Want’ coming in at number 15 and Summer Nights at 26.
Greatest Hits Radio presenter Pat Sharp said: “It’s great to hear that people are listening to the Radio more, and that music is such a mood lifter. Especially in these times of lockdown where we need uplifting and upbeat music in our lives more than ever before.
“As the home of the Good Times and the biggest songs of the 70s 80s and 90s, we always believed that there was a strong and positive connection between our listeners’ formative years and feelings of nostalgia and happiness, and this survey confirms that.
“It’s interesting also that faster paced music increases the happy vibes and is one of the reasons that Greatest Hits Radio is so energetic and uplifting.
“We’re all about reminding you of the good times in life, without making you feel old.”
The study also saw The Boo Radleys hit ‘Wake Up Boo’, Ricky Martin’s 1999 number one ‘Livin La Vida Loca’ and Cyndi Lauper’s timeless ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ named among the happiest songs of all time.
‘Pop royalty’ to feature in the top 50 include Madonna with ‘Into the Groove’, Prince with ‘1999’ and Whitney Houston’s unforgettable ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’.
Dexys Midnight Runners Brit Award-winning single ‘Come on Eileen’, ‘Celebration’ from Kool and the Gang and Kenny Loggins’ ‘Footloose’ also made the list.
And 85 per cent of those polled said their happiest year for music bought back nostalgic memories of some of their ‘best days and life experiences’.
Since lockdown began, 72 per cent of respondents have been listening to ‘a lot more’ radio to help lift their mood.
Behavioural scientist and broadcaster Paul McKenna explained why certain songs make us happy.
He said: “We associate the song to good times from the past. To some extent we get transported back there.
“We begin to create all the neuro chemical changes, and all the happy neurotransmitters that are associated with a certain song that uplifts us, get released again.
“So, listening to happy songs that we love is very good for our health psychologically and physically.”
TOP 50 HAPPIEST SONGS
1. Mr Blue Sky – Elo
2. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
3. Stayin’ Alive -Bee Gees
4. Dancing Queen – Abba
5. Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi
6. Come on Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners
7. You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon
8. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
9. Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
10. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
11. Wake Up Boo – The Boo Radleys
12. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun- Cyndi Lauper
13. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Sylvester
14. Livin La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin
15. You’re The One That I Want – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
16. Good Times – Chic
17. Crocodile Rock – Elton John
18. Flashdance What a Feeling – Irene Cara
19. December 1963 (Oh What a Night) – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
20. That’s The Way I Like It – KC and the Sunshine Band
21. Celebration – Kool and the Gang
22. 1999 – Prince
23. Finally – Ce Ce Peniston
24. You’re The First The Last My Everything – Barry white
25. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
26. Summer Nights – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
27. Jump (For My Love) – Pointer Sisters
28. I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
29. Footloose – Kenny Loggins
30. Dancing in the Street – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
31. Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac
32. Let’s Groove – Earth Wind & Fire
33. Into the Groove – Madonna
34. I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred
35. Walk Like An Egyptian – Bangles
36. You Should Be Dancing – Bee Gees
37. Always On My Mind – Pet Shop Boys
38. Hot Stuff – Donna Summer
39. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
40. Dancing on the Ceiling – Lionel Richie
41. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross
42. Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns n’ Roses
43. Move on Up – Curtis Mayfield
44. Take on Me – A-ha
45. Le Freak – Chic
46. I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) – Proclaimers
47. We Are Family – Sister Sledge
48. I’ll Be There for You – Rembrandts
49. Ain’t Nobody – Rufus & Chaka Khan
50. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate