I don’t know about you, but the combination of brighter days, lighter nights, and wee Nicola’s most recent announcement on the new ‘roadmap’ has begun to restore my optimistic streak to pre-lockdown levels. From what I can see, the feeling is contagious. The prospect of getting back to all the things we used to take for granted, getting out of this particularly dreary winter, and throwing myself wholeheartedly into the excitement of graduate life has had me re-examining the music library for songs to fit the mood. This has led me down something of a rabbit-hole of classic feel-good tunes. So I thought I’d share some of my favourites. Most fall into the ‘oldie but goodie’ category but, what can I say? I like the classics.

Now, without any further rambling, here’s a selection of my recommendations for a cheery, things-are-looking-up kind of day:

The Beach Boys: Barbara Ann, Help Me Rhonda, Kokomo, Good Vibrations, Wouldn’t it Be Nice, Fun Fun Fun

Most Beach Boys songs can’t help but make you happy. They are the musical personification of sunshine and holidays. These songs are some of their best (in my humble opinion) and cheeriest, setting the scene for the summer that hopefully awaits us.

The Drifters: Saturday Night at the Movies, Come on Over to My Place, Under the Boardwalk, Save the Last Dance for Me

I love the Drifters’ style of singing. The singer in me is in absolute awe of the harmonies, but music-nerdery aside these particular numbers were made for a sing-along. The topics might have made them bittersweet in recent months, but with days and nights out almost on the cards again its time to celebrate these absolute crackers.

Dean Martin: (Open up the Door) Let the Good Times In, Lay Some Happiness on Me, Volare, I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am

Few things can beat a bit of Dino. These are some of his more upbeat numbers which, along with the velvet voice, really help settle your soul.

Sam Cooke: (What a) Wonderful World, Twistin’ the Night Away

Sticking with the crooners for a minute, these two songs showcase Sam Cooke’s unique voice while delivering some contagious optimism. I’m a particular fan of ‘Twistin’ the Night Away’ at the moment, looking forward to doing just that when we’re finally able to go for a dance again.

Elton John: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, Are You Ready For Love, Wonderful Crazy Night

If you’re feeling a bit more glam-rock (we all do now and again) you can’t argue with a bit of Elton John. Especially if you can grab a friend to duet and/or dance with.

Electric Light Orchestra: Mr Blue Sky, Hold On Tight, All Over the World, Rockaria!, Rock’N’Roll is King

Along with the party staple ‘Mr Blue Sky’, many ELO songs are perfectly constructed to make you want to dance around the kitchen. The ones I’ve included here some of the most upbeat, but I fully recommend exploring more of their albums if you haven’t before (the All Over the World compilation album is one of the best).