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