Ultimate Happy Music Playlist

The weather in Charlotte right now is INCREDIBLE. It’s in the mid-70s and it’s absolutely blowing my mind. Though locals are telling me it’s “not normal” summertime weather, I’m choosing to ignore them and will go on pretending Ryan and I moved to the most magical place on earth with sunny summer days that are warm enough for sundresses but cool enough for a light sweater.

Since it’s not ridiculously hot outside today, I waited a little while and didn’t take Sadie out for a run until 9:30 a.m. which truly would be unthinkable in Florida right now unless I wanted to collapse after five minutes in a pool of my own sweat. I give SO much credit to those of you who live in hot places and run miles and miles in the summer. You deserve extra credit or something. Heat wipes me out!

And speaking of running with Sadie, here’s a photo that Ryan snapped last week when we got home after a five miler.

Big Dog on Lap

As my Instagram buddies out there know, it made me laugh because it so perfectly captures Sadie’s neediness and total disregard for my desire to enjoy some solo stretching after a run. But then again, I learned a long time ago that if I am on the floor, I’m fair game. What is it about a human on the floor that makes dogs react like it’s Christmas morning!?

Anyway, today’s four-mile run ended up being the best run I’ve had in months. I’m not sure what made it so great, but I truly enjoyed every minute and I am not someone who ever enjoys every minute of a run… ever. While I do find joy in running, today’s run was the kind of awesome run that comes along once in a blue moon. I think the weather, leaving my Garmin at home, running at an easy pace, a joyful running partner (Sadie) and a rockin’ playlist had a lot to do with it.

I spent some time putting together a summertime playlist last night and about halfway through, I realized all of the songs were ridiculously happy and upbeat. It’s the kind of playlist that will probably annoy the heck out of you if you’re feeling cranky but make you want to sing in your car if you’re in a good mood. And no, Pharrell’s “Happy” is not on it because I am a member of the 5 percent of the population who cannot stand that song. But I do love the handful of songs you’ll see below!

Hopefully some of the following songs will make you smile and make it onto your next workout playlist when you need a little pick-me-up. There’s a mix of ‘90s music, classic rock, hits from today and totally cheesy girly music.

Happy Music Playlist

Feel free to give a shout out to one of your go-to “happy songs” in the comments section! You guys always give me great ideas for my next playlists!

Ultimate Happy Music Playlist

And yes, I almost didn’t put the Miley Cyrus song on there for fear of ostracization, but it’s so darn catchy I couldn’t resist. I feel your judgment and I accept it.

Question of the Afternoon

  • What song can you always count on to boost your mood when you’re feeling down?


  1. says

    I’m at the point where “4 Minutes” by Madonna (ft. Justin Timberlake) should be getting REAL old, but I can’t stop listening! Definitely pumps me up when I’ve just about had it on my runs.


  2. Carly says

    I’m totally with you in your opinion of Happy…it’s so darn annoying. I love songs I can “sing” along with, and at one point that meant many Glee covers haha. My first stop on my ipod right now is Wild Ones..still love that song!


  3. says

    Weather’s been fantastic in Iowa/Nebraska this summer, too, which is great. I don’t have AC in my car! Also, my dog and all my cats like to play with me when I try to stretch.
    As for music, I’m working on C25k, and wouldn’t you know it, the “Frozen” soundtrack from “Frozen Heart” all the way to “Fixer Upper” gets me through the whole workout. 🙂 It’s fun and uplifting.


  4. says

    HAHA I totally agree with Beks- the frozen soundtrack puts me in an amazing mood! I started listening to it even before I had seen the movie because I heard it was so good. And it was!!


  5. says

    Love this playlist! I’m a country fan so right now I can’t get enough of Rascal Flatts’ “Payback” and “Girl in a Country Song” by Maddie and Tae.


  6. says

    “I feel your judgment and accept it.” Hahaha, that was great 🙂 Thanks for the song choices. I hope my run tomorrow is as happy as yours was today!


  7. says

    For some reason listening to Nickel Creek usually gives me that happy feeling, even if the songs don’t scream HAPPINESS! I just listened to Tomorrow is a Long Time and it put a smile on my face.


  8. says

    That first song made me smile with happiness and I’m not even listening to it! It started playing in my head lol. This list is awesome! I’m also part of that 5%… it’s just not my fave! I haven’t been listening to much music on my runs, so I don’t have any suggestions, but I need to pull my dusty ipod out!


  9. says

    Anything Michael Jackson!

    Have you heard that new song out called “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor – EXTREMELY catchy…check out if you haven’t.

    Also, a new one out called “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne – I just heard it this weekend on the radio and it instantly became a new favorite. Mix of today’s music + old school Whitney Houston.

    Colbie Caillat never lets me down either 🙂

    Ok, that’s enough haha


  10. says

    Weirdly, Fergalicious is my go to song when I’m feeling nervous. I used to listen to it before track meets in high school. Something about it just totally gets my head away from thinking about whatever is making me anxious.


  11. Bridget says

    Yes! Good call with Abba too! I’m also a member of that anti-Happy club – I didn’t realize there were more of us!..(trying not to sound like the most negative person ever..:))


  12. Brittany says

    Some of my favorites:

    Neon Trees – Sleeping with a friend- the chainsmokers radio remix

    John Legend – All of me – Tiesto’s birthday treatment remix

    Calvin Harris – We’ll be coming back

    Eric Turner – Dancing in my head – tom hangs remix

    LOVE all of these right now 🙂


  13. says

    Not only do I not like “Happy” by Pharrell, but it actually kind of makes me feel angry, haha! Glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like it, I was beginning to think I must be an extreme pessimist for disliking a song with that title:)


  14. says

    Lately Michael Jackson’s songs have been the only songs that keep me going at the end of my run, they’re just so catchy and keep me moving! I love “I wanna dance with somebody”, used to dance to it all the time when I was little 🙂


  15. Allyssa says

    I love the song come on eileen also!! Plus, no Miley judgement, love her also! But another song that always makes me happy is “You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oats!


  16. says

    I notice you have a Glee song on your list. Are you a Glee fan? I have a ton of Glee music on my running playlist. One of my favorites is a boy-band mashup…it’s N’Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” and Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way.” It’s pretty fantastic =)


  17. says

    We have the same terrible taste in music. And by terrible, I mean amazing 😉 Add some Gaga and old school B. Spears in there and I’m good to go! Also, check out “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson with Justin Timberlake. Unreal!


  18. says

    I can not listen to “Party in the USA” without the goat remix popping into my head. Soooooo funny. Look it up you just have to. The “I knew you were Trouble” goat remix is funny to but the Miley one it’s stuck in my brain permanently.


  19. says

    You are one of the only other people I know who would add ABBA Dancing Queen and Save Ferris Come on Eileen to a playlist. LOVE IT! I would have to nix Miley and replace it with Benny and the Jets 🙂


  20. lauren thompson says

    You should talk to Itunes about making playlists for purchase. I would TOTALLY buy your running playlists. 🙂


  21. says

    Love the addition of Paul Simon!

    A few of my upbeat favs:

    Shake It Out- Florence + the Machine

    Bonefied Lovin’- Chromeo

    I Love It- Icona Pop


  22. says

    I live in the Charlotte area also and this weather lately has been bliss. It’s not normal, but hey…I will take it!

    My favorite “happy” song is Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore. But pretty much anything upbeat will do the trick in a pinch.


  23. says

    A good music playlist completes a run for me. In fact it’s essential. Thank you for the list, it will go to good use 🙂

    Recently got into Chillstep such as ‘Shona by Jake Chudnow’ and ‘Prayer in C by Lilly Wood & The Prick (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)’. Brilliant for a euphoric jogg 😀


  24. says

    I absolutely love your playlist. They’re all songs that when they come on you’re kind of obligated to sing and be happy! I also like Man in the Mirror… Not entirely sure why but that song gives me life ha!


  25. Alexis W. says

    Love it! Thank you! I’m only two hours north of Charlotte – in Blacksburg, VA and am having similar weather! It’s so nice to not have my pup dying on runs and me as well 🙂 What software do you use to get your music and make your playlist? I’m on a budget and am trying to avoid my beloved two-click purchases on Itunes


  26. says

    This is such a great playlist!
    Mine is “Roar” – Katy Perry
    Love to blast this song on the way to work at 4 a.m. and sing at the top of my lungs.


  27. says

    What a cute dog picture of you and Sadie. Seriously though, I am in love with this summer! I am in KY and we have been having very similar mid 70’s- low 80’s weather and its PERFECT <3
    I can get on board with that play list, all great songs. I not so secretly love Miley so I'm quite OK with the last song 😉


  28. Lisa says

    We could TOTALLY rock out together in the car or on a run — almost all of these are on my playlists! Don’t be ashamed of the Miley song – it really is a “feel good” song! Lately I’m really into “Problem” by Ariana Grande. Can’t help but dance and want to MOVE when it comes on! And also….”Night Fever” by the BeeGees HAHA! Can’t help it – it’s a great song!


  29. says

    Seeing this pic I feel like you live in my neighborhood! I have been a reader for a few years and also recently moved to charlotte. I am also right down the greenway from Birkdale! Would love to meet up for a run or coffee if you are interested. My husband and I have also been house hunting and we think we finally found the one! Email if you are interested in meeting up!


  30. says

    Humans on the floor = a dogs playground. Ours does the same thing. His favorite is giving us ‘hugs’ where he presses his head against our faces – if we move, he moves just as fast to keep his furry face on ours. It’s obnoxious and adorable at the same time. Ohh dogs 🙂


  31. julie says

    Just about anything by pitbull gets me going and right now I LOVE ” All about that bass”. Great beat and great message.


  32. says

    I like your taste in music! I’ve had several of these songs on various playlists. “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem” is a good one, too.

    It’s funny…I have a summer running playlist that I plan to share and I had “Party in the USA” on it, then decided to remove it b/c I was a bit embarrassed 😉 Perhaps I’ll add it back now!

    Enjoy the cooler weather while you can…it’s swampy here in Florida.



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