British electronics manufacturer, Alba, surveyed 2,000 UK adults about what their favorite feel-good songs were. Now using science to figure out something as subjective as a “feel-good” song can be tricky, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done!
Out of the survey came songs like ABBA’s Dancing Queen, The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations and Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl, but the top song wasn’t Pharrell’s Happy. Its actually from the band Queen and it was one of their hits from 1979–Don’t Stop Me Now.
You weren’t expecting that I bet.
Remember though that the study was conducted in the UK and the Queen chart topping hit was at least in the top 10, unlike the US where it just broke the top 100. This doesn’t stop it though from still being an awesome song. The song with a positive message and a cheery Broadwayish feel, has over 100 million views on YouTube and counting!
A Cognitive Neuroscienist, Dr. Jacob Jolij, analyzed the results and said there were three important key factors that made it a “feel-good” song: “Songs written in a major key, with a fast tempo are best at inducing positive emotions. ” wrote Dr. Jolij in an email to the Huffington Post. According to Dr. Jolij “virtually all ‘feel good’ songs were in major key (save one or two), and all of them were at least 10BPM faster than the average pop song.”
So there you have it scientifically what makes these songs make you feel so very good.