Prompt Images

I spend as much of my day as possible listening to music. I’ve been this way since college, and I’m genuinely concerned about my ability to function after I have a kid and have to, you know, actually listen to them instead.

But until then, I’m all headphones all damn day. As such, my mood usually dictates what’s blasting out of them at any given moment. There are some times, however, when I need the music to change my mood. And more often than not, I need something to cheer me up. Usually, I’ll just jet on over to “Park Side A,” the best of Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park playlists, but as they say, some jobs you need to do yourself.

Therefore, I present to you the elements of my Happy Hour playlist: exactly 59 minutes of songs that perk me right up.

Sweet Songs that Give Me Feels

“Love On a Farmboy’s Wages” by XTC

The opening song from “Park Side A” (because my Rowell obsession will not be quelled!) is just so incredibly sweet but not overly saccharine. How does one feed love on a farmboy’s wages?

“Us” by Regina Spektor

We can all agree that the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack is brilliant, right? It introduced me to Regina Spektor, as this song plays during the film’s opening sequence. Like the relationship between Summer and Tom, “Us” is sweet but a little sour and uncomfortable.

“Lullaby” by Anthony Green

As the lead singer of my favorite band (Circa Survive) and the father to FOUR adorable boys, Anthony Green is bae. This gorgeous little song was written for his oldest son, and I can’t wait to sing to my own sleeping baby.

Non-Pop Songs that I Want to Dance To

“Sweetness” by Jimmy Eat World

Who wouldn’t feel inspired to start jumping up and down once Jim Adkins first belts out “Whoooa-ooa-ooa-oa-oa-oooooa”? This gets my blood pumping and makes me want to go to a show in a venue that has no seats so I can jostle around in the welcomed anonymity of a crowd.

“House of Wolves” by My Chemical Romance

When The Black Parade came out, my high school best friend and I came up with dance moves for every song. This song is one of my favorites off the album, and I think we had the best moves for it.

“Send My Love to the Dance Floor I’ll See You in Hell” by Cobra Starship

This is the song that comes to mind when I think of Cobra Starship’s vibe: poppy rock with a smirk. Also, it’s just begging to be the soundtrack to a dance party montage; “Hey Mr. DJ, you gotta put a record on / I wanna bury this town tonight / I wanna dance all night.”

“Play the Guitar” by B.o.B featuring Andre 3000

Let’s all ignore the fact that B.o.B is inexplicably a flat-Earther these days. Instead, focus on how he can skillfully toe the line between rock and rap (and NOT in a shitty Limp Bizkit kind of way). And it makes me smile that he name-drops Andre 3000 in “Airplanes Pt II” and then does a song with him! Perfecto.

“Yoga” by Janelle Monae featuring Jidenna

My interest in Janelle Monae is very recent—actually more recent than my interest in Jidenna, which was sparked by his appearance in Netflix’s Luke Cage. So when I found out that they had a song together, I had to check it out. And I was not disappointed! How could anyone be disappointed in a song that contains the line “You cannot police me so get off my areola”? #QUEEN (which is also another great song by her)

Sassy Songs that Make Me Smile

“Black Mamba” by The Academy Is

TAI was one of my favorite bands in high school, and this song stood out the second I heard the line “Take a long walk off of the shortest pier you can find.” The sass! The shade! The flippance! But more than that, this is a song about doing what you love and not letting anyone else fuck with your vision. *kisses fingers*

“I Love You (But I Hate Your Friends)” by Neon Trees

The title alone is hilarious. It also aptly describes how I felt about my high school boyfriend and the people he hung around with. But mostly, I just like this song because I like Neon Trees—a band that is regularly sassy.

“It’s My Party” by Jessie J

I slept on Jessie J for far too long. I knew “Price Tag” and “Domino” and that she sings that jazzy song from Easy A (when Emma Stone shows up in her Scarlett Letter garb for the first time). But I didn’t KNOW Jessie J until now. And the first track off her second album, Alive, is so much fun and SO sassy: “If you were wondering if I give a damn, well I do not / It’s my party / I’ll do what I want.”

Silly Songs that Make Me Laugh

“Attitude City” by Ninja Sex Party

I described this band to my mom and sister as “If Tenacious D had started on the internet with a weird costume gimmick.” Watch the video; it’s hilarious.

“Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl” from Bob’s Burgers

God, I love this show. And I love when Gene comes up with songs that are surprisingly high in production quality. This song, which caps the season five premiere, is the best one. Don’t @ me.

“Hugs” by The Lonely Island

Andy. Jorma. Akiva. Pharell. A song that equates hugging with casual sex. These four are hug playboys, and I’m here for it!

Miscellaneous Songs that Just Had to Be on This Playlist

“Witches” by Sir Sly

Is there anything more annoying that finding out a song you love is bonus content for a particular platform? That’s how I felt after I bought Sir Sly’s first album and “Witches” WASN’T on it. This is a great song; the subject isn’t exactly happy, but it feels like a treat every time I hear it since I can only get it in one place. (That’s the reason why you bastards do this, isn’t it?)

“Smile Like You Mean It” by The Killers

This was honestly a hard choice. I feel like Hot Fuss is a nearly perfect album, so how could I choose just one song? But honestly, thinking of how I feel so light and free when I sing along to “Smile Like You Mean It,” I knew this was the way to go.

“Rehab – Remix” by Amy Winehouse featuring Jay Z

I just really like when rap verses are in pop songs. Also #RIP

N. Alysha Lewis

N. Alysha Lewis is an editor and blogger with author aspirations whose love can absolutely be bought with french fries.

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more