Behold the power of music. It can make us cry, feel nostalgic, and smile from ear-to-ear. But did you know that there are some types of music that make you smile more than others? According to science, there are key criteria that make songs “happy” — and others, not so much.
It’s all in the beat
In theory, as music becomes faster, it becomes happier. A high tempo of 150 beats or more per minute subconsciously makes you feel energized.
For example, Adele’s “Hello” clocks 79 beats per minute, while Travolta’s “Greased Lightening” comes in at 160 beats per minute.
Songs that sit in a major key on the musical scale evoke positive emotions, according to cognitive neuroscience researchers. Think of traditional tunes played during times of merriment: “Wedding March,” “Happy Birthday,” and Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration.”
Songs that incessantly repeat a word or phrase are almost always guaranteed for smile success. Scientists say that when a phrase repeats, it captures your brain’s motor circuitry, making you feel like the music is pulling you along for the ride.
So, which top songs are guaranteed to get you smiling? Here’s some music that will get you toe-tapping and feeling happy — according to science.
Uptown Girl, Billy Joel
Shake It Off, Taylor Swift
Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen
Brave, Sara Bareilles
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