Rough day on the job? No matter how much you enjoy your work, there are bound to be days when you reach your tolerance limit for grating office antics. So, we’ve come up with a handy list of musical prescriptions that should banish those blues in no time. The next time there’s too much on your plate, or your coworker insists on recounting the intricate details of what their dog did on Saturday, just listen to these songs on the way home and you’ll go straight to your happy place.
1. “Shiny Happy People,” R.E.M.
If you wanna be a shiny happy person, start singing about them! Even though this song may have lost R.E.M. some credibility in the short term, even the harshest naysayers develop Stockholm syndrome and grow to let this song’s playful enthusiasm wash over them. Don’t believe us? When R.E.M. was featured on an episode of Sesame Street, they sang this song with the two-headed monster, among others. That’s right, this song is SESAME STREET level happy.
2. “Workin’ Man Blues,” Merle Haggard
It can be hard to get out of bed and head to work when you really want to stay curled in a fetal position in bed, browsing blogs on your phone until you literally can’t think of any more websites to check. We feel your pain. You know who else feels your pain? Merle Haggard. Haggard released this song in 1969, but the message remains just as true today. Sometimes you have to dust off the boiling frustration of a 9 a.m. meeting (seriously, what sadist schedules those things?) and sing the blues.
3. “I Wish,” Stevie Wonder
While you’re stuck in traffic on the freeway with nothing but your aux cord and cheeky license plates to keep you entertained, maybe it’s time for a little driver’s seat dance party. This song has the supernatural power to liven up your grumpy mood till the bass and horns have you groovin’ in your seat and throwing up clumsy mistimed hand motions like Leonardo DiCaprio at Coachella. But hey, after such a long day, who cares? You deserve to go crazy in your own world for a bit.
4. “Pork and Beans,” Weezer
Speaking of acting like a crazy person and not caring who sees, I give you “Pork and Beans”: Rivers Cuomo’s great ode to giving precisely no thought about what anybody else thinks of you. Sure, your boss is riding you about finishing up that report, Mom still wants to set you up on a date with her accountant’s daughter, your friends are always riding you for never wanting to come out with them on the weekends, but you know what? Screw them (at least for the next three minutes). Stare at those brake lights in front of you and scream these lyrics like there’s no tomorrow.
5. “Love Shack,” The B-52s
It’s not a party unless you throw some New Wave into the mix. Yeah I know, The B-52s are kind of silly and hit their peak when your mom was sporting crimped hair and neon bicycle shorts. But this is probably the only time of day you’ll be able to be silly. When you get home, you’re going to have to watch TV, make dinner, and tidy things up like a tax-paying responsible person. Dare to be a little bold for a second and spout out some campy cheer in Fred Schneider’s trademark monotone style. It’ll do you some good.
6. “Mr. Blue Sky,” ELO
Last but not least, possibly the happiest song in history: “Mr. Blue Sky.” Who can resist singing about a clear blue sky after the rain’s gone away when you’re feeling down? The final key to clearing up your 9-to-5 blues is to think about a different blue: remember that bright pale-blue sky that decided to come out and make you forget about your 18 unanswered emails.
- “Happy,” Pharrell Williams
- “Bust a Move,” Young MC
- “The Humpty Dance,” Digital Underground
- “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper
- “Just a Friend,” Biz Markie
- “I Want You Back,” The Jackson 5
- “I Want to Dance with Somebody,” Whitney Houston
- “I Got You (I Feel Good),” James Brown
- “Walking on Sunshine,” Katrina and the Waves