Top 20 Songs That Will Always Make You Smile

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Sean Harris & Victoria Toltesi
Who's ready to smile? For this list, we'll be looking at those songs that have the power to change your mood and make the world feel like a brighter place. Our countdown includes "Walking on Sunshine", "I Got You (I Feel Good)", "Happy", “Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough”, and more!

Top 20 Songs That Will Always Make You Smile

Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 20 Songs That Will Always Make You Smile.

For this list, we’ll be looking at those songs that have the power to change your mood and make the world feel like a brighter place.

What song never fails to put a smile on your face? Let us know in the comments below!

#20: "Walking on Sunshine" (1983)

Katrina and the Waves
Life always looks that little bit better when the weather's on your side, but for Katrina and the Waves, happiness just doesn't come any stronger than this! "Walking on Sunshine" is happy song-writing at its very best, coupled with a catchy, 'can't get it out of your head' kind of melody! A regular on many movie and TV soundtracks, it's a record best played at the beginning of the day, and is the perfect fit for any summer playlist! It'll have you heading to the beach in no time.

#19: "Dancing Queen" (1976)

Whether it really is 'Friday night and the lights are low', or just any other evening of the week, this song will always leave you smiling from ear to ear. A worldwide number one hit for Swedish Euro disco pioneers ABBA, "Dancing Queen" is probably one of the most iconic records of the twentieth century. From the piano intro to the harmonic fade-out, we've been 'digging the dancing queen' for decades now, and we'll likely do so for decades to come as well!

#18: "Mr. Blue Sky" (1978)

Electric Light Orchestra
Another weather-related record at number 18, and one of the most instantly upbeat songs ever sung! With lyrics that literally play out the replacement of a rainy day with a sunny one, "Mr. Blue Sky" personifies the summer sky itself, and turns him into one helluva hero! Written by Jeff Lynne during a stay in the Swiss Alps, the ELO frontman had struggled for inspiration during a dark and misty two weeks in the country, but then the weather brightened up and so did his writing... Thus came the record you're probably singing along to right now!

#17: "I Want You Back" (1969)

The Jackson 5
The Jackson 5 had more skill than most when it came to making us smile, and though we almost went with the iconic “ABC”, "I Want You Back" just about edges it! The very first Jackson 5 single to be released by Motown Records, it launched the five-piece on their way to worldwide fame, and showcased to everybody the pop king potential of one Michael Jackson! Despite its love lost lyrics, the song is infectiously uplifting, no matter how hard your day has been.

#16: "Uptown Funk" (2014)

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
A supremely stand-out song from more recent memory, "Uptown Funk" flows through just about everybody's veins when this record plays - and that is definitely something to smile about! Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars bring out the very best in each other for this one to create a worldwide hit with playful lyrics and a party startin' belter of a beat! Mars had previously got us grinning with "The Lazy Song", but while 'chillin' in our snuggie' sounds good, 'hittin' our hallelujah' sounds even better!

#15: "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (1965)

James Brown
"Uptown Funk" might never have been a thing at all, were it not for our next artist! Widely considered the founding father of Funk in general, James Brown could tap into human happiness unlike anybody else! "I Got You" is a signature tune, and a go to record for anyone who feels like getting their groove on! Dancing (and smiling) comes naturally whenever and wherever this song plays, and we all but guarantee that you're at least tapping your toes this very second!

#14: "Happy" (2013)

Pharrell Williams
Forgive us if this choice seems a little on-the-nose, but "Happy" will have its listener feeling just that. When this song plays, the smiles seem to flow as freely as Pharrell Williams' award winning vocal work! A track produced as part of the "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack, it features in the film at a pivotal moment when super-villain Gru has fallen in love... The character dances through the streets saving ducklings and catching Frisbees, inspiring us all to get out and do the same thing!

#13: “Sweet Caroline” (1969)

Neil Diamond

Ever since its release in 1969, the song has developed its own unique history. Originally, Diamond stated it was written for JFK’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy. However, he later admitted that he was writing it for his wife, Marsha. Sweet Marsha just doesn’t flow the same . It developed a strong significance for the people of Boston, as it has been played at every Boston Red Sox home game since 2002. In 2013, Diamond announced that he would donate the royalties to help victims of the Boston Marathon attack. This wholesome history only improves the smile factor of this song. Good times really never looked so good.

#12: "Here Comes The Sun" (1969)

The Beatles
Clearly, the sixties were a decade well worth smiling about, as our podium places are filled with records from the era! Up next, the Beatles, who with "Here Comes The Sun", created one of the most hummable hooks ever known! It's a record that we owe entirely to George Harrison who wrote it in Eric Clapton's garden and using one of Clapton's acoustic guitars. A song saturated in positivity, "All You Need Is Love" might've made our Beatles entry, but "Here Comes The Sun" has our smile just that bit broader!

#11: "My Girl" (1964)

The Temptations
Our faces might ache from having smiled so much so far, but buckle up because we’re only half way there! A record with nothing but positive energy running through it, "My Girl"s lyrics are romantic beyond comparison... And it's rhythmic, wave-like delivery helps lighten the mood of anybody listening! If you've had a hard day at the office, or gotten a poor grade at school, throw this on and dance away. Nothing can make you smile like “My Girl”.

10. “Three Little Birds” (1977)

Bob Marley and the Wailers

This laid-back reggae beat is a great way to start your day, or to finish it off. Legend has it that the song was inspired by canaries that used to visit Marley at his home. While this has not been proven it is a wholesome thought. The song’s lyrics are timeless and send the message of letting go and accepting the way things are, because eventually everything works out. This message combined with the reggae rhythm makes it a relaxing song perfect for those days you’re feeling down, or if you just want to lay back and watch the world go by.

#9: “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” (2010)


The FIFA World Cup is a time of excitement and where athletes push themselves to their physical limits. In 2010, it created one of the happiest anthems in the history of sports to commemorate the event. It has everything you could want from a pump-up song with inspirational lyrics, Afro-Colombian rhythm, and a catchy beat. The song did face controversy, though, as many felt like an African artist should have been chosen since Africa was hosting the event. Despite this controversy, the song has experienced international success and continues to bring smiles to athletes and non-athletes alike.

#8: “Move On Up” (1970)

Curtis Mayfield

If you need 9 minutes of uninterrupted happiness in your life, and really who doesn’t, then look no further than “Move On Up.” A combination of 70’s soul and funk, it was released on Mayfield’s debut solo album titled “Curtis.” Mayfield sings about the roller coaster ride that is life. At times it may get rocky, but you should forever keep moving and never give up . The song has been influential in soul music and beyond, so it made sense when Kanye West used a sample of the iconic song in his 2006 single, “Touch the Sky” . Detailing his rise to fame, Kanye’s version only reasserts the message in “Move On Up.”

#7: “You Can Call Me Al” (1986)

Paul Simon

You know that when a song has a penny whistle solo you’re in for a good time. The title and chorus of the song was born out of a funny encounter where composer/conductor Pierre Boulez called Paul and his wife, Peggy, by the names Al and Betty . We’ve all had those moments, but like Bob Ross might say, this proved to be “a happy little accident” and created this gem of a song . The actual meaning of the song is open to interpretation due to its metaphors, but generally it’s all about finding yourself in the world, something that definitely needs some musical inspiration.

#6: “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (1979)

Michael Jackson

Have you had enough yet? No? Then we’re not stopping here! There are so many great Michael Jackson songs to choose from, but ultimately we went with “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” since it marked many firsts in what would be a historic career. It was Michael’s first solo record under Epic Records. It marked his first solo Grammy and American Music Award, and it also presented his signature vocal ‘hiccup.’ The song is pure electricity and it’s next to impossible not to dance when it starts to play .

#5: "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (1966)

The Beach Boys
As with many entries on today's countdown, the idea of happiness is often synonymous with an idea of innocence - but in no other song is that relationship better felt than in this one! "Wouldn't It Be Nice" is an idealised version of the future, sung from one love-struck sweetheart to another. Fairly conservative as far as rock 'n' roll records go, it served as the opener to the Beach Boys' legendary Pet Sounds album, and has become a must-listen for any soon-to-be married couple.

#4: “Celebration” (1980)

Kool & the Gang

Basically all you need to know about the next entry is in the title. When this little number starts to play, your body moves with a will of its own. “Celebration” was written with help from all 9 members of ‘the gang.’ With so many talented artists coming together, it’s no wonder that it has experienced international success. A staple for parties and weddings, it guarantees that everyone will come to the dance floor and have a good time. You don’t even need a reason to put this on, so what are you waiting for? Why not go put it on right this second and celebrate!

#3: “September” (1978)

Earth, Wind & Fire

It's got groove that will make you move, plus, it's certified gold baby! This was songwriter Allee Willis’ first attempt at writing for the band. She learned from Maurice White, the band’s front man, that sometimes the groove is more important than the lyric; which explains the repetition of “Bada Ya.” It is the very groove of the song, the seamless flow of the lyrics, and White’s peppy tenor that makes it such a joy to listen to. A perfect way to chase away the blues.

#2: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (1988)

Bobby McFerrin

Well, you heard the man, or in some cases that freaky-singing fish hung on the wall. Fish aside, this was the first a cappella song to take the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and even knocked out Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in the process . The simple mantra of ‘don’t worry be happy’ was actually inspired by Meher Baba, a spiritual master, who would repeat this message to his followers . Those uplifting four words, combined with the song's soothing melody, are bound to melt anyone’s worries away.

Before we get to our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:

“Send Me on My Way” (1995), Rusted Root
An Essential For Any Road Trip Playlist

"You Make My Dreams" (1981), Hall and Oates
A Throwback to Carefree Summer Days in the 80s

“It’s a Beautiful Day” (2013), Michael Bublé
It’s Impossible to Have a Bad Day if This Song’s Playing

“Nine in the Afternoon” (2008), Panic! at the Disco
A Feel Good Tune at Any Time of Day

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967), Marvin Gaye & Tammi Tarrell
There Ain’t No River Wide Enough to Stop Us From Playing This Track at Every Occasion

#1: “Don’t Stop Me Now” (1978)


Queen songs can make you happy just singing along, this is partly because the lyrics always flow seamlessly with the music. “Don’t Stop Me Now” is definitely no different. It’s fast, upbeat, and with lyrics like ‘a tiger defying the laws of gravity,’ this song will have you feeling indestructible. For reasons that defy logic, it didn’t receive immediate success in the US and took some time to climb the charts. Nevertheless, it’s a timeless track now, and never fails to brighten up the room, no matter the occasion.