Today on Blogcritics
Home » Uncategorized » The Top 25 Positive Songs of Popular Music

The Top 25 Positive Songs of Popular Music

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook38Share on Google+3Pin on Pinterest4Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon36Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

You can listen to all 25 songs in this playlist for free by clicking here.

Popular music is filled to the brim with superficial songs about sex, drugs and money, but it can also be used to uplift, or present a philosophy lesson within the confines of a three to four minute song.

For this playlist I wanted to select the top 25, positive, feel-good songs in popular music. Not just happy songs mind you, but songs that can be used much like a self-help book. The lessons contained in these 25 songs can be viewed as enlightening or sappy, depending on your point of view.

One of the best things music can do is to lift us up, or help us think about how to be better people. Some would call this ”preachy” while others would just use the word “happy”.
I have tried to ignore the fact that some of these songs have been overplayed, or have not aged well, and instead focused on selecting tracks with an overwhelmingly positive message. Many of the artists who made the cut are worthy of more than one track, but I have chosen to limit the list to contain only one song per artist.

I have ranked the top 25 from my own experience, and since music has a different impact on all who hear it, your list will certainly differ from mine, but one thing I am sure of is that these 25 songs are truly positive, inspiring, and for the most part, loved.

Please add your disagreements and/or picks to the comments. One glaring omission for many will be the absence of John Lennon’s Imagine. And although it could fit, the notion of a world with no heaven pulls me down.

And so, I present the top 25 positive songs of popular music:

25.  “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
24. “Hold On Tight” by ELO
23. “Everyday People” by Sly & The Family Stone
22. “Dancing In The Streets” by Martha and the Vandellas
21. “Top Of The World” by The Carpenters
20. “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers
19.  “Thank You For Being A Friend” by Andrew Gold
18. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
17. “Beautiful Day” by U2
16. “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder
15. “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens
14. “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” by Simon & Garfunkel
13. “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash
12. “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
11. “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina And The Waves
10. “A Beautiful Morning” by The Rascals
9. “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye
8. “Do You Realize??” by The Flaming Lips
7. “Heart Of Gold” by Neil Young
6. “Love Train” by The O’Jays
5. “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” by The Isley Brothers
4. “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive” by Ella Fitzgerald
3.  “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles
2. “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
1. “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley

Powered by

About Robert of the Radish

  • Al Barger

    Outstanding. I’m particularly pleased with the inclusion of “Simple Man.” I consider those to be words to live by.

    You didn’t get anything from the realm of country, so I might suggest a couple of especially good bits of philosophical perspective, “Who’s Gonna Feed Them Hogs” by Tom T Hall, and Roger Miller’s classic “You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd.”

  • MrG

    I know there’s already one Beatles song, but…”Good Day Sunshine” for sure belongs on any list of “Positive Songs.”

  • Curtis Summers

    I would have put James Taylor with “Your Smiling Face” or “Shower the People” or “You’ve Got a Friend”.

  • Apoorv

    I’d add “Everyday” by Buddy Holly and a song or two by ABBA.

  • Phillip Winn

    Great, great, great playlist!

  • Shannon Thomas

    “What’s Going On” made your list???? It’s all about everything that is wrong with the world. People crying, dying, not enough love, world filled with war, protests, police brutality, the generation gap (who are they to judge us simply because our hair is long) Not very positive or optimistic. But still a fun post.

  • Aaman

    How do you feel after the playlist ends?

  • monica trif

    I love Queen and The Beatles, so it’s a pleasure to listen it. Maybe my playlist will be a little diferent but I like this music, also your articol is good,

  • El Bicho

    Good list, although I have to agree with Shannon. Not sure how “Imagine” pulls you down but what’s taking place in “What’s Going On” doesn’t. Thought for sure when I saw the Marley album you would pick “Positive Vibration”.

  • J. P.

    My selection is “Save The Country” by Laura Nyro. If you don’t come out of that one feeling good, you have no soul.

  • Rodney Welch

    And you forgot “Psychoticbumpschool” by Bootsy’s Rubber Band.

  • Robert

    Shannon/El Bicho,

    If I may explain my thought process on my selection of “What’s Going On”.

    This song has always inspired me in a very positive way.

    It’s the lyric:

    “You see, war is not the answer
    For only love can conquer hate
    You know we’ve got to find a way
    To bring some lovin’ here today”

    that really sets it off for me as a song that delivers positive vibes. The use of the negative only serves to remind us of why we need to work on being good people. For me, this song is overwhelmingly positive and inspiring.

    In regards to “Imagine”. For people who believe in a God, or any type of afterlife, Lennon’s words ring pale and are anything but inspiring as they effectly disregard mankind’s greatest hope.

  • Robert


    I agree about JT, I had “Shower the People” in the original list of 42 songs, and I only cut it, becuase I wanted to make it more compact.

  • Pico

    “You Gotta Be” – Des’ree

  • jerry

    “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley & The Wailers

    Good song for sure. Definitely makes me smile everytime I hear it.

  • DukeDeMondo

    nice selection Robert. Might i suggest also Live Forever by Oasis, Your Fuckin Sunny Day by Lambchop (which marries a great, sarky lyric to a melody feels like the first kiss of the dawn after ninety-nine weeks of night), Let’s Make This Precious by Dexy’s Midnight Runners (Burn It Down, maybe, as well) and Bowl Of Oranges by Bright Eyes; “So I came upon a doctor who appeared in quite poor health / i said there’s nothin that i can do for you you can’t do for yourself / he said oh yes you can, just hold my hand, i think that would help / so i sat with him a while and i asked him how he felt / he said i think i’m cured… no, in fact i’m sure… thank you stranger for your therapeutic smile”

    if that doesn’t make you feel like all of God’s creation is wrapped around you like a hotpress-warm dressin gown, then i don’t know what will.

  • Matt

    “The Long Run” by The Eagles

  • katie d

    india arie – god is real; the truth; strength courage and wisdom; theres hope

  • Seth Coleman

    You my friend have helped me find songs that will definatly help me stay in a path of love and light, thank you.
    One song that always cheers me is He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. I do not know if it fits into your top 25 and am not trying to change it which i would guess most are trying to do. Just seeing if it would benefit you.

  • Steve

    Great playlist – thanks.

    Some more…
    Almost Like Being in Love
    You Gotta Have Heart
    Accentuate the Positive
    Come Rain or Shine
    T’aint What You Do
    It’s a Good Day
    Sunny Side of the Street

  • jody

    thanks for the list!
    I’d add
    Everything’s Coming Up Roses
    High Hopes

  • Alejandro Diaz

    Please add WHAT A FEELING of Irene Cara, what you think about?

  • Helper

    Norman Greenbaum – Spirit in the Sky
    Shooter Jennings – Manifesto No. 1
    Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want

  • oren_licus

    Survivor – Destiny’s Child?

  • Jonathan JonArch

    I heard a song years ago which I always listen at when I’m down…sure the mood of the song may not be the most positive one, but it surely alweays lift me up. ‘ don’t give up’ from Peter Gabriel

  • whatever

    Add “Be thankful for what you got” by William Devaughn good list btw

  • matty

    Ha… All of these songs are amazing songs including the ones everyone has posted… heres a few more

    Raise a little hell – Trooper
    Drive – Incubus
    with my own two hands – Ben Harper
    I need to wake up – Melissa Ethridge
    (inconvenient truth song/al gore)

  • Fra

    Great list. Thank you!

    What about “Feeling Good” by either Nina Simone or Michael Bublé?

  • Fra

    Not to mention “Moondance” by Van Morrison!

  • Svend

    Uhh, a really nice list, sure is!

    Not to say it’s not a perfect list, but “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys is another great positive song

  • Yo Dude

    I’ve been trying to make a list of positive songs from more recent popular songs without much luck. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • Lilmissmovie

    Beatles Here Comes the Sun
    Happy by Natasha Beddingfield
    Island in the Sun by Weezer
    Life is a flower by Ace of Base

  • Anony

    “Light and Day” Polyphonic Spree. Check it on YouTube. Even the name is positive.

  • Sue Johnson

    Some great songs people.

    My fave….

    Thank You For The Music – ABBA

    hey…. I found some really great positive song lists, lyrics and stories in a world of positivity. (check out top ten positive songs) @


  • Big Jay

    The Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow

  • CC

    These are Days – 10000 Maniacs
    Right Now – Van Halen

  • Maarten Dijkstra

    I like your playlist very much! Here are some more songs with a positive message:

    Queen – The Miracle
    Michael Jackson – Keep the Faith
    Billy Joel – You’re Only Human
    Fleetwood Mac – Don’t Stop
    Sounds of Blackness – Optimistic
    BJ Thomas – Raindrops

  • Andrew

    Finer Things by Steve Winwood

  • charles blair

    these songs i use at the top of my days to put me in a powerful vibration.

    i just called to say i love you – stevie wonder

    whitney houston – dance withsome one

    shiny and happy people – i think rem

    wake me up before you go – wham

    hit the beat square –

    i suggest everyoen muscle test the most powerful songs..

  • Candice Bingham

    There’s an indie artist named Monday Michiru. She has a song called “Higher” on her Optimista album. It is the most positive and motivational song I’ve ever heard. If this one doesn’t get you pumped, I don’t know what will!! By the way, Gloria Estefan’s “Get on your Feet” is a great one too!

  • Dr Dreadful

    Pick Somebody Up – Raul Midon

  • sa

    Ginger Ninja – Sunshine.

    That song will make you happy.

  • Odusia

    Hi, nice selection! but I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t find on your list Burt Bacharach’s song – Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.. It’s so postive and always makes me smile :) Greetings!

  • hisho

    “Lose Yourself” by eminem will definitely change ur mood and make u do something positive

  • Lizzy Hart

    I like Franki Love’s Shadow song… it’s really amazing & uplifts me – – – you can hear it at:

  • Toni

    How about a more contemporary list too? I love Hope by Shaggy, not a classic but very catchy.

  • bRue

    Renegades of Funk – Rage against the machine version :)

    Thanks for sharing your list.

  • diabeticgirl

    Mr. Bluesky by ELO great song can’t be sad when you listen to it

  • Petko

    This rang list is corrupt… and for old people. So old songs in the top 😀

  • richierich

    Good Life – OneRepublic

  • Zack

    I love this site! Music is a wonderful gift and I’m glad that other people are recognizing that songs can be used to communicate positive messages. If you need some other idea’s of songs, I would love for you to check out my music review site. Also, I would love to add your link to my site so that we can swap idea’s.

  • Jerry

    What about the theme song of the Muppet Show? :-)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Gotta get in on this! Scrolling down the artists on the Pandora menu:

    Celebration – K.C. and the Sunshine Band
    I’ve Got a Name – Jim Croce
    Evergreen – Barbara Streisand
    The Rose – Bette Midler
    The Sweetest Taboo – Sade
    Sailing – Christopher Cross
    Black Water – The Doobie Brothers
    Your Song – Elton John
    Pink Houses – John Cougar Mellencamp
    Over the Rainbow – Israel ‘Iz’ Kamakawiwo’ole
    Sail Away – Enya
    Dreamboat Annie – Heart
    Summertime – Will Smith
    We Got the Beat – The Go-Go’s
    Joy to the World – Grand Funk Railroad
    Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Reminiscing – Little River Band

    And my vote for the most upbeat song:
    Saturday in the Park – Chicago

  • earthcub

    Be the Change by Rhythma. It’s on youtube.

  • Echo

    You’re right, we are all different. There are definitely others that are ranked higher in my book than some of these. They are good, just not the best 25 of all time. Personally, I also like:

    I am Woman – Helen Reddy
    Weight of the World – Chantal Kreviazuk
    It’s My Turn – Diana Ross
    Better Now – Collective Soul
    I’m Still Standing – Elton John
    Life is Good – Brittini Black
    Every Day – Bon Jovi
    (Reach Up for the) Sunrise – Duran Duran
    Never Will I Break – 3 Doors Down
    Change Your Mind – Sister Hazel
    Great Escape – Sister Hazel
    I Stand – Idina Menzel
    Rainy Day People – Gordon Lightfoot
    Love is All Around – Sammy Davis Jr.
    Just to name a few….

  • arugula rose

    The Playing for Change project has a song called “Don’t Worry” that I love.
    Moment of Truth, Gang Starr
    What I like about you, the Kinks
    Keep Keep Movin’, Dub Pistols
    You’ve Got to Earn it, the Staple Singers
    Beautiful Struggle, Talib Kweli (anything by him really)
    Umi Says, Mos Def
    Love is my religion, Ziggy Marley
    Everything is Everything, Lauryn Hill
    Can I Kick It? , A Tribe Called Quest
    The Middle, Jimmy Eat World
    Where is the Love, Black Eyed Peas
    Breath, Stretch Shake, Mase & P Diddy
    Teach your children, Cosby, Stills, Nash & Young
    Free, Cat Power
    Hyper-Ballad, Bjork
    I will survive, Cake
    I will follow you into the dark, death cab for cutie
    My beloved monster, Eels
    Turn me round, Mavis Staples
    Do Your best, Femi Kuti
    Somebody’s gotta do it, the Roots
    Because We Can, Fatboy Slim
    Shine, Younger Brother
    One Day, Mtisyahu (and Nature is awesome)
    In the Aeroplane over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel
    All these things that I’ve done, the Killers

  • samantha

    good life-one republic.

  • mrzeeblues

    you need to add that you are beautiful no matter what they say words cant bring you down

  • LH

    where is we are the world, heal the world, man in the mirror, black and white and a host of awesome positive MJ songs

  • sky

    I love these songs, but lately I listen to
    Daniel Johns songs from Think Positive Album. I like them as well.

  • Friida

    yeah, i found this list looking for survivor – destiny’s child

    rules !

  • capa

    Good. Thanks for the list. I was looking for so good taste

  • imo

    i click on it and just get a link to download realplayer which i did.. how do i actually listen to the songs?

  • C

    Livin’ Joy – Don’t stop movin’

  • Amber C.

    travis tritt- great day to be alive.

  • Kevin

    What about “Heal the world?”

  • Francina Behrednt

    I like the song ”believe it or not” ….it has such a positive effect on me!

  • anaya love

    I know lots of people but I say beyonce love top

  • Michael Perez

    Lost Souls by Tupac Shakur, if you have a little thug inside you. Fisherman by the Congos.

  • sarah

    this list sucked they are not recent

  • Evelyn

    Can someone list the original list? When I click the link it takes me to an advertisement.

  • Jonas W Moore

    1. Matisyahu: One Day

    2. Moby: Body Rock

    3. Jamiroquai: Use The Force

    4. Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven

    5. Bob Marley & The Wailers: Three Little Birds

    6. Stevie Ray Vaughn: Life Without You (The Live bonus track version on the “In Step” album)

    7. Augustus Pablo: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown

    8. Jamiroquai: Canned Heat

    9. Matisyahu: Jerusalem

    10. Jethro Tull: Bungle in The Jungle

    11. Matisyahu: Live Like a Warrior

  • Sean K

    More positive tunes from the 70’s:

    Respect Yourself – Staple Singers
    The Wall – Kansas
    Everything’s Coming Our Way – Santana
    I Just Want To Celebrate – Rare Earth
    Shining Star – Earth, Wind & Fire
    All Day Music – War

    Also check out Aretha Franklin’s version of Bridge Over Troubled Water.

  • headtheball

    Bruno mars billionaire

  • Vignesh

    Imagine by John lennon.

  • Dawn

    I must agree with your selections I too have created a list from several genre and generations. I do particularly agree with your choice in Queen- the time period when this song, and albums were made were the time when Freddy knew he was dying and the emotion he emotes in the music is compelling. Don’t stop me now, Headlong, powerful stuff!

    Some songs that I think are omitted in the list are:

    1) Change your mind – Siister Hazel

    2) Try – Pink

    3) I hope you dance – Leanne Warmack

    4) I will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

    5) Perfect -Pink

    6) The Middle – Jimmie Eat World

    7) I believe I Can Fly – seal

    Thanks for a thouhtful list, and think about expanding the playlist :

    • eric

      ok, first of all i believe i can fly is by r kelly not seal – – and jimmie eat world is actually jimmy with a y

  • Michelle
  • Michelle
  • Cuhl

    I believe I Can Fly – R. Kelly

  • Dominique Nicodeme

    Where’s Bruno Mars with Marry you :)) or Kiss Me (Sixpence none the richer)

  • Katie

    I think Royals and Price Tag have good messages.

  • reviewcric

    Best positive songs !

    1) Shaggy – hope
    2) Doobie Brothers – Long train running
    3) Billy Joel- Don’t ask me why
    4) Right Said Fred – I’m too sexy
    5) Bobby Mcferrin – Dont worry be happy
    6) Stone Temple Pilots – Plush ( unplugged)
    7) OMC – How Bizzare
    8) Shaggy – It wasnt me
    9) John Butler – Ocean
    10) Ziggy Marley – True To Myself
    11) Billy Joel – Piano Man
    12) Ingrid Michaelson – The Way I Am


  • mene

    Александр Панайотов – Нереальная
    Patrick Nuo – Beautiful
    OneRepublic – Counting Stars
    Chris Brown – Crawl
    James Morrison – Undiscovered
    Taio Cruz – I Can Be
    Hillsong – Sing (Your Love)
    Donny Montell and Sasha Song
    UNCONVENTIONAL SOUL (Sasha Song and Hywel Sam) – At Your Door
    Deva premal- love mantra–PjWoySqI
    The Lumineers – Ho Hey
    Andrew Belle – Sky’s Still Blue
    Jutty Ranx – I See You
    Lena – Stardust
    With you all the time – Gareth Gates
    Dr Kucho – Holy Spirit
    Ivi Adamou – Kanw Mia Euxi
    Mae – Awakening
    Justin Timberlake (all over again)
    li jian – blooming
    li jian
    Aia I ‘Ola’a Ku’u Aloha
    lee ryan close too you
    Craig David – World Filled With Love
    Andy Aguilera – Amor Por Siempre
    Extreme – More Than Words
    Nyusha – Eto Novyj God
    A Life To Live – The Attic
    Mantas – saule nesiu
    Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
    Sasha Son ft. Nora – Say Yes To Life
    Boys Like Girls – Thunder
    Whenever You Love Somebody – Audiotree Live
    Sugar Ray – Into Yesterday
    Raging Fyah – Far Away
    Dan Balan – ЛЮБИ
    Faydee – Shelter your Heart
    Daniel Lopes – I Love You More Than Yesterday
    Drake – Hold On We’re Going Home
    Jay Stever – Любовь настала
    Leo Kalyan – Need U 100%
    royal melody one night
    Colbie Caillat – I Do
    Antony and The Johnsons. Fistful Of Love
    Гайтана – Самый лучший
    Гайтана – Нет родней – Gaitana
    John Mayer – Your Body Is A Wonderland
    Laza Morgan – This Girl
    Mandy Moore – I Wanna Be With You
    Cas Haley – I Wish That I
    Lal Dupatta
    Chris Brown – With You
    Darren Hayes of Savage Garden – So Beautiful
    Michael Bublé – “Everything
    “Я ТВОЯ” – Полина Гагарина (Ya Tvaya)
    Jesse Mccartney Feat Ludacris – How Do You Sleep
    Always Be My Baby Mariah Carey
    Justin Nozuka “After Tonight”
    Lee Ryan – When I Think Of You
    Nick Carter – Who needs the world
    Baggy b – tau
    Tessanne Chin – Hideaway
    Endless Love Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross
    David Guetta – Just a Little More Love rmx
    Klangkarussell – Sonnentanz ft. Will Heard
    Playmen & Alceen feat Mia – Feel Your Love
    Dr. Kucho! “Holy Spirit” (Old School Radio Mix)
    Leonid Rudenko feat Kvinta & Nicco – Destination
    Pate No.1 feat. Colinda – shining star
    That’s Right & UnderVibe – CRAZY LOVER
    Sean Paul ft.Alexis Jordan-Got 2 Luv U
    Drake – Hold On We’re Going Home
    royal melody one night
    leo kalyan – need u 100%

  • Rachel Firth

    “Unwritten” Natasha Bedingfield

  • jzjsja

    Happy by pharrell williams

  • Think Positive

    Put Your Records On -Corinne Bailey Rae

  • Dan

    Very good list (and I agree with you in that I find Imagine to be depression). The Flaming Lips song is a great inclusion; I know the song but including it on such a list would never have occurred to me.

  • Shiva

    It’s a beautiful day… Queen

  • Kevlar

    “Magical Mystery Tour” by the Beatles

  • T.V Media Center

    Check this Out I really like this song it uplifts me

    Title : Mindz on Artist: Tru Goddess

    They should play more uplifting music like this

  • Tony

    an oldi by Oliver “Good Morning Sarshine”
    Gives a different view of our physical positioon on this planet “good Morning Starshine. You twinkle aboe us. You twinkle below”