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Mix tape: Mood-boosting music picks

When you listen to music that makes you feel good, the brain releases a substance called dopamine believed to motivate you and boost your mood.

Blasts from the past

“Break my stride” — Matthew Wilder (1983)

If you were in your first year of high school in the early 1980s, you’re bound to remember this one hit wonder by Matthew Wilder. Remixed in 1996, Unique II revamped the boppy little number into a dance hit which went straight to the top of the charts.

“Karma chameleon” — Culture Club (1983)

If you’ve never heard this song, you are truly missing out. It was number one in 16 countries and, despite the confusing lyrics, lead singer Boy George said the song was about being true to yourself and karma biting you in the backside if you weren’t.

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“Walking on sunshine” — Katrina and the Waves (1983)

Plug in your headphones and turn up your iPod, “Walking on Sunshine” is a feel-good classic guaranteed to put a spring in your step and a smile on your dial.

“Wake me up before you go go” — Wham (1984)

It’s okay to admit you still go weak at the knees over George Michael. This blast from the past will have you wanting to dig out a Choose Life t-shirt and pull on your favourite pair of rainbow-coloured leg warmers.

“Footloose” — Kenny Loggins (1984)

You’ll be kickin’ off your Sunday shoes and getting footloose when you turn up this 1980s classic which has stood the test of time. If all else fails just think about Kevin Bacon circa 1984 and his great dance moves.

“Run to paradise” — The Choir Boys  (1987)

Hard rock band The Choir Boys got their start playing pubs on the northern beaches area in Sydney. No list of feel-good songs is complete without these Aussie rockers and “Run to Paradise” has become an Australian anthem.

Music you can’t help dancing to

“Dance again” — Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull (2012)

JLo’s no longer just Jenny from the block. She’s back and this song sparkles so much, even Perez Hilton is a fan.

“Forever” — Chris Brown (2007)

The “Forever” JK Wedding Entrance clip went viral on YouTube. After just seven days, it had almost two million hits. You won’t be able to help but smile after watching it!

“I gotta feeling” — Black Eyed Peas (2009)

Tonight’s going to be a good night. The perfect way to get into party mode as you doll yourself up for a night on the town.

“Numa numa” — O-zone (2004)

It’s sung in Romania, but who cares if you don’t know the words? Make them up as you go along. It’s catchy, it’s fun and you won’t be able to get the tune out of your head.

“Party in the USA” — Miley Cyrus  (2009)

Love or hate Miley Cyrus, you’ll find it hard not to put your hands up when the taxi man turns on the radio and this Miley song comes on.

“Sexy and I know it” — LMFAO (2011)

The all-time favourite number one song to work out to, you’ll be sure to feel sexy (and know it) whether you’re pounding the pavement or punching and kicking at a body combat class.

Tunes for when you’re in luurve

“Down” — Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne (2009)

This upbeat groovy track by Jay Sean is sure to set the mood. Turn the lights down, light a few candles coz you oughta know, tonight is the night to let it go.

“I’m yours” — Jason Mraz (2005)

A toe-wriggling, bottom-jiggling smash for Mraz, who saw his reggae-flavoured “I’m Yours” hang around on the Billboard Charts for 18 months.

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Songs to pull you through the hard times

“So what” — Pink (2008)

Pwaarf! Who needs a man? With this little empowering gem from Pink, you’ll be able to scream at the top of your lungs and guess what I’m having more fun, now that we’re done. I’m going to show you tonight.

“The middle” — Jimmy Eat World (2001)

With lyrics like just be yourself, it doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else and it just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride, “The middle” is the perfect pick-me-up for when you’re broken-hearted.

“I will survive” — Gloria Gaynor (1978)

The ultimate girl power anthem. You’ll feel like Kelly Clarkson after this little number — stronger! Released over 30 years ago, this song has stood the test of time.

More Mood-boosting ideas:

Mood-boosting home ideas
Become a morning person
4 Tips to get in the mood

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