What songs make you feel happy, sad

Posted at 07/21/14 6:01 PM

MANILA – A recent study by Spotify shows that certain songs are scientifically proven to put a smile to your face, or bring tears to your eyes.

Spotify worked alongside Jacob Jolij, a professor in cognitive psychology and neuroscience at the University of Groningen, for the study, which shows that music can trigger emotional responses.

“Music can have powerful effects on our emotions: from making us happy to enabling the ability to overcome fear, certain music can trigger emotions and hormones that directly affect our moods,” Jolij said.

Jolij and Spotify went on to compile some of the “most effective” songs that “can take us from sad to happy or angry to optimistic.”

Below are the emotion-inducing tracks and some notes in a press release by Spotify:

Happiness – “Birthday” by Katy Perry

According to the study, happy songs usually have an up-tempo rhythm, positive lyrics and a major key.

It added that the tempo of Katy Perry’s “Birthday” encourages active movement, which is good for a person’s mood. The major key, meanwhile, unconsciously reminds someone of a falling pitch, which is often associated with dominance and confidence.

Sadness – “Something I Need” by OneRepublic

The study said sad songs such as this one have the opposing features of happy tracks – slower, in a minor key, and generally more negative lyrics.

It added that the minor key in “Something I Need” unconsciously reminds the human being of a rising pitch, which is associated with defeat and uncertainty.

Optimism – “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors

Because optimism requires happiness, optimistic songs share some traits of happy songs such as a major key, according to the study.

But unlike in happy songs, the lyrics are more important in optimistic tracks as these go beyond improving one’s mood, and American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life” meets this requirement.

Anger – “Bad” by David Guetta

Anger may be a negative emotion, but it still shares something with happiness as it involves movement, according to the study.

It said “Bad” by David Guetta can help channel angry feelings with its strong rhythm and minor key.

Overcoming fear – “Magic” by Coldplay

According to the study, music that can help you overcome fear needs to be slow and relaxing, but have major chords to evoke positive feelings and lyrics that deal with negative thoughts.

It said “Magic” by Coldplay fits this category.

Excitement – “Wake Me Up” by Avicii

The study said songs of excitement are a lot like happy tracks, only with a stronger beat.

It said Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” can easily make a person dance with excitement.

Nostalgia – “All of Me” by John Legend

The study referred to “All of Me” by John Legend as a nostalgic hit for its sentimental lyrics, which can remind anyone of someone special.