Music is created purely from emotions and feelings. Feelings of love, despair, elation, or heartbreak. There’s a song for whatever emotion you may be feeling, including the feeling of pure happiness. When artists can find that perfect balance of upbeat production and relatable lyrics, there’s only so long before the song becomes a hit. Each of the pop songs on this list effortlessly captures the feeling of pure joy into a single track and will leave you feeling on top of the world!
1. “Cruel Summer” – Taylor Swift
I decided to start this list off strong with our first song, and who better to start off with than the Artist of the Decade? Even though this song was written long before the coronavirus pandemic, Taylor really wasn’t kidding when she said this summer was cruel. This song perfectly captures the feeling of a summer love that’s doomed from the start but does it in the most explosive manner. From the dynamic verses to the powerful chorus to the intense bridge, this song is one of Taylor’s best, has to be screamed at the top of your lungs each time you listen.
Favorite line: “And I scream ‘For whatever it’s worth / I love you ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?'”
2. “Bulletproof” – La Roux
We are throwing it back to 2009 with the next song on our list and for good reason. “Bulletproof” by La Roux is one of those songs for me that will never get old and gives me a feeling of happiness each time I hear it. Maybe it’s the enchanting chorus or the phenomenal vocals that do it for me, but either way, this song should be everyone’s go-to if they’re feeling down.
Favorite line: “Been there, done that, messed around / I’m having fun, don’t put me down”
3. “Happily” – One Direction
In honor of the recent 10th anniversary of this iconic band, I’ve decided to add one of my absolute favorites by them onto this list. “Happily” by One Direction tells the story of someone wishing their relationship hadn’t ended and their significant other was still happily with them. This song is a burst of energy from beginning to end, from the build-up of the verses that lead into the energetic chorus.
Favorite line: “I don’t care what people say when we’re together / You know I wanna be the one to hold you when you sleep”
4. “Hallucinate” – Dua Lipa
It’s clear from her latest album Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa is a pop force to be reckoned with. Her newest single from the album, “Hallucinate”, is everything you could want and need from this pop queen, and so much more. This song is a breath of fresh air and truly gives you a feeling of euphoria that only really good music can give you.
Favorite line: “I hallucinate when you call my name / Got stars in my eyes”
5. “Firework” – Katy Perry
We’re throwing it back again with the next song on our list, but not really because this song has always been and always will be relevant. “Firework” by the iconic Katy Perry sounds exactly how it’s named; a burst of colors, stunning vocals, and beautiful lyrics. The chorus is practically a firework itself, with the build-up of the pre-chorus leading to an explosion of exceptional pop music.
Favorite line: “If you only knew what the future holds / After a hurricane comes a rainbow”
6. “Into You” – Ariana Grande
From the very first line of this song, you know you’re in for a good time. Pop queen Ariana Grande didn’t hold back when it came to creating “Into You”, and frankly I’m glad. This song is the definition of pop perfection, from the soft verses to the incredible chorus that is bound to get you dancing no matter what. One of the best things that has been done in pop music is the final “I’m so into you, into you, into you” in the choruses.
Favorite line: “I’m so into you / I can barely breathe”
7. “I Lived” – One Republic
The next pop song on our list is the perfect encapsulation of nostalgia and pride and makes anyone who listens feel exactly that. We all know that Ryan Tedder is a stellar songwriter, but he and the rest of the band really went all out with this song. The best way I can describe the feeling this song gives me is that it feels like driving with the top down with your hands thrown in the air.
Favorite line: “I owned every second that this world could give / I saw so many places, the things that I did”
8. “Green Light” – Lorde
There’s no artist on this planet quite like Lorde and she proves this with “Green Light”. Even though the message of this song isn’t exactly rainbows and butterflies, the feeling that comes with it is pure freedom. From the subtle piano at the beginning to the out of this world production in the choruses, this song is happiness, despair, longing, and euphoria all at the same time. Whether you’re driving down the street screaming the lyrics in your car or having a dance party in your bedroom alone, this song will always be there for you.
Favorite line: “She thinks you love the beach, you’re such a damn liar / Well those great whites, they have big teeth”
9. “Cut to the Feeling” – Carly Rae Jepsen
When I think of songs that exude pure happiness, “Cut to the Feeling” by Carly Rae Jepsen is probably at the top of that list. Carly is no one-hit-wonder, for this song is upbeat and fun from the very first second. The burst of colors and joy that come from the chorus of this song is completely contagious, perfect for when you need a pick me up or a rush of positivity.
Favorite line: “I wanna cut through the clouds, break the ceiling / I wanna dance on the roof, you and me alone”
10. “Unwritten” – Natasha Bedingfield
The final song on our list in from the beautiful Natasha Bedingfield, who brought us the iconic song “Unwritten”. This song was always a favorite when I was growing up, and nothing has changed. There’s just something so satisfying when screaming the words “Feel the rain on your skin” at the top of your lungs. This song makes me feel on top of the world. When you think your story is over, give this song a listen and remember that it’s never too late to be brand new.
Favorite line: “Today is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten”