The Right Music to Lift Your Spirits in Hard Times

It goes without saying that these are tough times for us all – but music can be a welcome distraction, a unifying force and an endorphin level-raiser all rolled into one…

Dr V Vandana, clinical psychologist at Vikram Hospital in Bengaluru said, “Music does have a positive effect on one’s health. It helps reduce the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and post surgery pain.“

Music is known to reduce stress, help deal with depression and elevate mood. Music also helps people perform better in controlling their high blood pressure and in reducing anxiety, she said.

Interestingly , there’s a link between productivity and music. “Listening to music that we like and music that has no words may impact productivity positively. Taking breaks from work to listen to music is beneficial too,“ Vandana said.

In times of crisis, we need musical pick-me-ups more than ever – so here is our feel-good playlist!

  • The Beatles – All You Need is Love
    • It’s easy to forget how important the human connection is during these difficult socially isolated times. This song spreads a message of hope and unity like few others, wrapped up in an effortless pop melody that anyone can get on board with.  We’re all in this together – and we’ll get through it together, too.
  • Queen – We Are the Champions
    • It has been commandeered as a sporting anthem for obvious reasons, but really, one of Queen’s finest moments as a band is suitable for a multitude of occasions – not least our current circumstances. Like a rock version of You’ll Never Walk Alone, Freddie Mercury’s soaring voice does our hearts good and pulls us through glum times when we need it most. 
  • Elton John – I’m Still Standing
    • It was written in the wake of his battle with various addictions, but if there’s one song that epitomizes defiance in the face of adversity, it’s Elton John’s 1983 hit. If you’re looking for air-punching exhilaration, this is the one.
  • David Bowie – Heroes
    • Now we’re into ‘goosebumps’ territory. If there’s one artist that can span generations, eras, and genres, it’s Bowie – and this 1977 track of his is a spellbindingly unifying soundtrack to the current madness. Those woozy guitars, his magnificent vocals, and the lyrics all combine for the very epitome of the word ‘spine-tingling’.
  • Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry, Be Happy
    • There’s a hell of a lot to be said for simplicity in pop music. Sometimes, all you need is a catchy melody, a strong message, and a badass whistling solo. Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 a capella hit has all three; even the youngest members of your household will get on board with this one.
  • The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
    • There’s no way that you could listen to this Beach Boys song and remain unmoved. ‘Genius’ is an incredibly overused word, but Brian Wilson’s incredible composition on this 1966 masterpiece is a true work of art. It does exactly what it says on the tin.
  • The Wonders – That Thing You Do!
    • If you’re looking for a sub-3 minute stick of musical dynamite, you’ve come to the right place. The Wonders were a fictional band from the 1996 film That Thing You Do!, but if this isn’t the perfect pop song, we don’t know what is. Written by the genius that was Adam Schlesinger – who very sadly passed away recently – it’s impossible not to get caught up in the elation of this tune.
  • ABBA – Dancing Queen
    • When in doubt, the answer is always ABBA. There are any number of tracks from the Swedish icons that would fit the bill here, but Dancing Queen is as majestic a pop song as they come, not to mention the ideal soundtrack for a boogie ’round your kitchen.
  • Bill Withers – Lovely Day
    • Sadly, we may have lost the late, great Bill Withers recently, but the soul legend’s legacy lives on in songs like this. Released in 1977, it hasn’t lost any of its charms more than 40 years on. This is a great tune to kick off your day. 
  • McAlmont & Butler – Yes
    • Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful, uplifting, inspiring songs ever written. Even without Bernard Butler’s glorious melody and sweeping string arrangement, David McAlmont’s empowering lyrics make this a modern classic. One play of this is guaranteed to lift you out of any funk – turn it up and sing it loud.

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