What Is a “Happy Playlist”?

A second cousin to the “mixtape” of yore, a “happy playlist” is a curated list of positive, upbeat songs—with or without lyrics—collected on a disc or on a digital or streamed playlist. Listening to a “happy playlist” is an informal way of utilizing music therapy techniques to improve mood.

What Is the Difference Between an Upbeat Playlist and Music Therapy?

Music has a way of transforming your emotions and mood. Music has the power to motivate you, such as starting each day with a motivational or uplifting song. And while this experience will feel therapeutic, it isn’t formal music therapy.

Music therapy is a clinical, established, evidence-based use of music interventions led by trained therapists within a therapeutic relationship.

In everyday life, people can use music for stress reduction by playing instruments or singing, as well as listening for relaxation.

How Happy Playlists Can Be a Spiritual Tool

By Rev. Elizabeth Mora

As I’ve traveled along the spiritual journey for 40 years, I’ve accumulated a plethora of tools to help me grow. Practices such as prayer, affirmations, tapping, meditation, and journaling are life-changing.

However, there is one tool I’ve found that can lift me out of a dark time better than the others: The Happy Playlist.

It started with a friend who mentioned a really upbeat song they played every morning to wake up feeling good. I quickly found it online and saved it. The Happy Playlist was born.

I added all my favorite positive songs—New Thought standards, crazy pop songs, and comedic show tunes. Whatever lifted my spirits went on the list.

I soon discovered this playlist was more than just a collection of great songs. It became another life-changing option for my spiritual tool kit, and it took on a very specific role.

The Happy Playlist became an instant cure for a bad day. 

Despite all the years of personal growth, there are still times when God seems far away and life seems too much. Sometimes affirmations or the Bible or deep breathing just don’t help lift my mood.

That is when I discovered the spiritual power of The Happy Playlist. Spirit nudged me to listen to music during one of those dark moments, and my mood lightened in a remarkably short time.

It almost seemed too simple.

I’ve always enjoyed music, but this was different. This collection of songs specifically picked by me and for me hit my brain (and heart) like a laser. It was like getting a shot of the perfect pain reliever, and a wave of healing was delivered.

Science confirms what happened to me. Numerous studies show that music works on our brains in a positive way. Music with words, without words, and even sad songs can improve our mood and our body.

Music before surgery can reduce recovery time. It is treatment for depression, anxiety, and many mood disorders, and with no side effects. Here’s hoping doctors include The Happy Playlist in their prescription options.

I invite you to find your favorite songs and save them so you can listen to them whenever they will help.

Start your day with a few. Give yourself a midday pick-me-up by playing one when you take a break. The Happy Playlist may be just what the doctor ordered.


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