Music is a powerful tool for feeling all types of emotions. Even if a song doesn’t specifically intend to make someone feel a certain type of way, it’s still an open invitation to allow any emotions to come through when you are listening. It’s because of this that the “feel good” genre of music, at this point in time, is grossly unnecessary and should be banished.
Before we begin, it’s important to me to clarify that in this context “feel good” music isn’t a bad thing, we all do what we need to get through the day. Songs like Lovely Day and Dancing Queen are absolute bangers that instantly provide the serotonin we need. What I’m referring to in this article are songs like “Happy” by Pharell Williams or “Heaven” by Fitz and the Tantrums. The type of songs where we just need to be as happy as we can and that it’s all going to be okay! Like sure that’s a good mindset to have but there is something tone deaf about an artist worth millions of dollars trying to tell the everyday folk that it’s going to work out-while making bank on top of it. We don’t have the same problems guys, read the fuckin’ room.
The beautiful thing about music is that any song can bring you joy. “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd? “Bring Back the Plague” by Cattle Decapitation? “Private Idaho” by the B-52’s? All extremely different vibes that will still bring joy to the right listener. There isn’t a need to put out songs that stress that it’s going to be okay or to keep trucking along, music already does that in its own way that is unique to each person. I get boatloads of serotonin from listening to Ghost but they aren’t singing anything close to upbeat and joyous-that’s why music is so powerful in its own right.
The last nearly four years since the covid pandemic has really pushed the need for positivity and unity-two extremely important things. While we need those feelings daily, they also need to be balanced with a more somber vibe. It’s an unrealistic expectation to be happy all the time, and dammit it’s okay to listen to your sad songs and shove Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes into your face like the world is ending. I don’t need Lizzo or Justin Timberlake to tell me to pick myself up by the boot straps and be a beacon of sunshine. It’s unrealistic and frankly insanely oblivious to life’s progression of ups and downs.
Take this journey called lift however you need to and don’t feel like you have to be in a good mood because Pharrell Williams told you to be.