What is the world's happiest song?

October 18, 2019

When it comes to music, we all have a favourite song. Music makes the world go round after all! But what is the world’s happiest song? Scientists attempted to ascertain the one tune that should leave us feeling happier than all others. But what is it? Read on to find out!

Jacob Jolij is a scientist that came up with a formula to work out the world’s happiest song. He studied 126 songs from a period of over 50 years and surveyed 2000 people in an attempt to find out which songs made the public happy. Initially it appeared to be Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen that was the clear winner. But after changing the formula slightly, a new winner was crowned!

As Jolij notes in his research, it turns out that “we generally like songs with a tempo that deviates from the average pop song tempo, that are in a major key, and are a bit more complex than three-chord songs, unless the song is a major key.” With this in mind, happy songs tend to have around 150 beats per minute, which is a significant amount more than the average 118 beats per minute. Don’t Stop Me Now has 156 beats per minute and is in the key of F major. The result? One of the world’s happiest songs. But not the happiest!

Using his ‘Feel Good Formula’, Jolij further refined what creates a happy song and rated tunes from 1 to 100, giving a better statistical model overall. In addition, the happiest songs focus on positive themes and lyrics or were utterly nonsensical, which differentiate them from most other songs in the charts.

With this in mind, the world’s happiest song is apparently Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra and you’ll hear no complaints from us! I’m a Believer by The Monkees, I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts (the Friends theme) and Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega are also right up there. In fact, the top 10 looks like this:

1.      1. Mr Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
2.      2. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
3.      3. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
4.      4. The Riddle – Nik Kershaw
5.      5. I’m a Believer – The Monkees
6.      6. I’ll Be There For You – The Rembrandts
7.      7. Pamela – Toto
8.      8. Mambo No. 5 – Lou Bega
9.      9. Our House – Madness
10.   10. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Wham

So the next time your DJ asks which songs you want played at your wedding, party or event, you know the ten tracks to choose!

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash 



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By Henry Fosdike