Music, even at the worst of times, has the ability to lift spirits like nothing else can.
But one song in particular has more power than the rest, to help us find our mojo when we’re feeling a little low.
According to cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Jacob Jolij, Queen’s 1970s hit Don’t Stop Me Now has all the ingredients of a feel-good song.
Jolij analysed data from a survey conducted by electronics company Alba, which asked 2,000 people to reveal their favourite uplifting songs.
From his study, he drew this conclusion: a fast tempo (roughly 150 beats per minute), a major key and happy lyrics are the key common elements of a feel-good song. Songwriters take note.
“My analysis confirmed very nicely what we already knew from the literature: Songs written in a major key with fast tempo are best at inducing positive emotions,” Jolij, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Groningen, told HuffPost.
“Virtually all ‘feel good’ songs were in major key (save one or two), and all of them were at least 10 BPM faster than the average pop song.
In second place was Abba’s Dancing Queen, followed by The Good Vibrations’ by The Beach Boys and then Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl.
Surprisingly, Pharrell Williams’ Happy didn’t make the top 10.
However, Jolij explained that our own associations with songs often determine the emotions they stir in us.