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100 songs to help lift your spirits during a pandemic

The headlines lately have been grim. The coronavirus pandemic has killed thousands worldwide and sickened many others. It’s prompted most entertainers to cancel their tours and, like the rest of us, stay home.
To help pass the time, and lift your spirits, USA TODAY (and a few helpers) assembled a list of 100 songs that are either fun, catchy or upbeat and will — we hope — make you smile and ease your worries, at least for a few minutes. They’re a mix of currents and retro hits from all genres, presented in no particular order.
From our playlist to yours, enjoy!
100 songs to get you smiling amid a pandemic
1. “Happy,” Pharrell (2013): When bad news comes, talking this and that, this song brings the positivity.
2. “Better Be Good to Me,” Tina Turner (1984): If there’s a bad Tina Turner song, we’ve yet to hear it.
3. “Blessed,” Elton John (1995): “I promise you that, promise you that, promise you that // You’ll be blessed.” Thanks, Elton.
4. “Neutron Dance,” Pointer Sisters (1983): Those shoulder pads! Vintage 1980s.
5. “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars (2016): Hard to pick just one Bruno Mars song …
6. “Rainbow,” Kacey Musgraves (2018): A good reminder that there’s a rainbow waiting for us on the other side of troubled times.
7. “Good as Hell,” Lizzo (2016): Lizzo knows her worth. Do you?
8. “I Feel for You,” Chaka Khan (1984): “Let me rock you, that’s all I wanna do”
9. “You Make My Dreams,” Daryl Hall and John Oates (1980): Love that ‘stache, Oates.
10. “Don’t Stop Me Now,” Queen (1978): Stop yourself from going out and dance with Mister Fahrenheit instead.
11. “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” New Kids on the Block (1988): Your little sister totally had a crush on Joey.
12. “Shiny Happy People,” R.E.M. (2003): There’s that word again … happy.
13. “Can’t Feel My Face,” The Weeknd (2015): “But I love it, but I love it, oh”
14. “Count Your Blessings,” Nas and Damian Marley (2010): “Give thanks to the master”
15. “Three Little Birds,” Bob Marley and the Wailers (1984): The calming vibes and lyrics like “Every little thing’s gonna be alright” is a welcome escape.
16. “Swingin’,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1999): No need to be Petty, now or ever.
17. “Shining Star,” Earth, Wind and Fire (1975): “You’re a shining star // No matter who you are”
18. “Everyday People,” Sly and the Family Stone (1969): We’re all in this together.
19. “Dancing Queen,” Abba (1976): We saw you jamming to this one at the grocery store.
20. “Come Together,” The Beatles (1969): The right message at the right time.
21. “Margaritaville,” Jimmy Buffett (1977): We could all use a margarita — or three — right about now.
22. “Little of Your Love,” HAIM (2017): “You gotta give me just a little of your love, baby”
23. “Friends in Low Places,” Garth Brooks (1990): We’re singing “I’ll be OK” a little louder now.
24. “The Glory,” Kanye West (2007): One of many hits from Kim Kardashian’s hubby.
25. “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey (1981): “Just a city boy // Born and raised in South Detroit // He took the midnight train goin’ anywhere”
26. “Get Together,” Jesse Colin Young (1988): Smile on your brother. And your sister. And your neighbors. And, well, everyone.
27. “What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong (1967): That voice quells anxiety every time.
28. “It’s Gonna Be Me,” NSYNC (2000): It’s gonna be May before this mess is over, some experts claim.
29. “Enjoy the Silence,” Depeche Mode (1990): Lots and lots of silence right now, thanks to all the self-quarantining.
30. “I Knew I Loved You,” Savage Garden (1999): A sweet, sweet love song.
31. “Girl You Know It’s True,” Milli Vanilli (1988): Yes, they were impostors, but the song’s still solid.
32. “Everybody,” Backstreet Boys (1997): “Backstreet’s back all right ”
33. “Barbie Girl,” Aqua (1997): Guaranteed to get stuck in your head. (Sorry.)
34. “Dynamite,” Taio Cruz (2009): Dance party of one, anyone?
35. “Fine by Me,” Andy Grammer (2012): Don’t agree with this pick? It’s “Fine by Me.”
36. “Love Shack,” The B-52s (1989): “Tin roof / Rusted!”
37. “Halo,” Beyonce (2008): We could use an angel or two right about now.
38. “Caribbean Queen,” Billy Ocean (1984): An R&B classic.
39. “…Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears (1998): She’s a lovable hot mess. (Aren’t we all, though?)
40. “The Ghost Inside,” Broken Bells (2010): A unique sound that draws you right in.
41. “Biggest Part of Me,” Ambrosia (1980): An ’80s classic.
42. “Never Gonna Let You Go,” Sergio Mendes (1983): “I’m never gonna let you go // I’m gonna hold you in my arms forever” – a song to serenade your partner in quarantine.
43. “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” George Michael and Aretha Franklin (1987): Two legends unite.
44. “Sucker,” Jonas Brothers (2019): The JoBros make the list. Natch.
45. “Gotta Tell You,” Samantha Mumba (2000): A one-hit wonder that gets us dancing.
46. “Trippin,” Conro (2018): Never forget: “Ain’t nobody like you.”
47. “I’m So Into You,” SWV (1992): “You are so fine // You blow my mind”
48. “I Found My Soul at Marvingate,” Mono Mind (2018): Funky. In a good way.
49. “Romantic,” Karyn White (1991): Feeling romantic? Some say we’ll see a baby boom nine months from now.
50. “Feelin’ Alright,” Joe Cocker (1969): We wish we could say the same. Soon, maybe.
51. “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Justin Timberlake (2016): Try to forget this was part of the “Trolls” soundtrack.
52. “HandClap,” Fitz and the Tantrums (2016): Clapping is mandatory.
53. “Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen (2011): We’ll definitely call you, Carly Rae.
54. “You’re the Inspiration,” Chicago (1984): We could all use some inspiration in our lives.
55. “Crush,” David Archuleta (2008): One of two songs to make the list with this title.
56. “Bug-A-Boo,” Destiny’s Child (1999): A “TRL” staple. We’re feeling nostalgic, what can we say?
57. “Good Feeling,” Flo Rida (2011): We’re holding on to a “Good Feeling” about the future.
58. “Helena Beat,” Foster the People (2011): “I took a sip of something poison but I’ll hold on tight”
59. “Fancy,” Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX (2014): We wish we were this “Fancy.”
60. “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” Kenny Chesney and David Lee Murphy (2018): We picked this one because … duh.
61. “No Letting Go,” Wayne Wonder (2002): Don’t let go of hope.
62. “Shake It,” Metro Station (2007): Shake your booty to this one.
63. “One Step at a Time,” Jordin Sparks (2007): An “American Idol” standout hits the big time.
64. “Just Dance,” Lady Gaga (2008): Actually, anything from Gaga should do the trick.
65. “Lucky Star,” Madonna (1983): When you wish upon a star …
66. “Moves Like Jagger,” Maroon 5 (2010): Hiiiiiiiiii, Adam Levine.
67. “Pound the Alarm,” Nicki Minaj (2012): A great party track that sounds just as good in our living room as the club.
68. “Good Time,” Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen (2012): “It’s always a good time” as long as we practice social distancing, right?
69. “Fun,” Pitbull featuring Chris Brown (2014): Something “Fun” to lighten the mood.
70. “Crush,” Jennifer Paige (1996): The other “Crush” on our list.
71. “Don’t Stop the Music,” Rihanna (2008): Seriously, music is the only thing keeping us sane right now.
72. “C’est La Vie,” Robbie Nevil (1986): Remember him? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Still, listen to the song.
73. “I Love Your Smile,” Shanice (1991): You can thank my dentist for these pearly whites.
74. “Drive By,” Train (2012): “Oh I swear to ya, I’ll be there for ya // This is not a drive by”
75. “How Will I Know,” Whitney Houston (1985): We miss you, Whitney.
76. “Scream & Shout,” Will.i.am featuring Britney Spears (2012): It’s what happens when you’re cooped up in close quarters with loved ones.
77. “Rainbow Connection,” Kermit the Frog (1979): Because … the Muppets.
78. “Fergalicious,” Fergie (2006): “I be up in the gym just working on my fitness” is what we’re singing while doing push ups in our living room.
79. “Where is the Love,” Black Eyed Peas (2003): We could certainly use more in the world today.
80. “The Power of Love,” Celine Dion (1993): “Even though there may be times // It seems I’m far away // Never wonder where I am // ‘Cause I am always by your side”
81. “Shut Up and Dance,” Walk the Moon (2014): Go ahead and dance. No one’s looking.
82. “Heart of Rock and Roll,” Huey Lewis and the News (1983): This news isn’t fake news.
83. “Straight Up,” Paula Abdul (1988): “Do you really wanna love me forever // Or am I caught in a hit-and-run?”
84. “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy,” Rod Stewart (1978): Well, do you?
85. “Always Be My Baby,” Mariah Carey (1995): Hey, we could’ve picked one of her Christmas tracks. You’re welcome.
86. “Feel Good Inc.,” Gorillaz (2005): It’s the foot-tapping feeling and not necessarily the lyrics that put this song on our list.
87. “I Love It,” Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX (2012): Bet you’ll love it.
88. “Feel It Still,” Portugal. The Man (2017): So. Many. Awards.
89. “Come and Get Your Love,” Redbone (1973): Yet another love song to help us through.
90. “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” Shania Twain (1997): “We don’t need romance, we only want to dance” is our new mantra.
91. “ME!” Taylor Swift featuring Brendon Urie (2019): Don’t worry, Swifties. Your gal made the list.
92. “I Do (Cherish You),” 98 Degrees (1998): Boy band mania!
93. “Baby Baby,” Amy Grant (1991): “Baby, baby // I’m taken with the notion // To love you with the sweetest of devotion”
94. “Stacy’s Mom,” Fountains of Wayne (2003): Cheesy and catchy. A killer combo.
95. “Here Comes the Sun,” Richie Havens (1971): Sunny days are ahead, right?
96. “Good Vibrations,” Beach Boys (1966): The Boys are here for us.
97. “Let’s Dance,” David Bowie (1983): “If you say run // I’ll run with you // And if you say hide // We’ll hide”
98. “9 to 5,” Dolly Parton (1980): Love. Her.
99. “Go Your Own Way,” Fleetwood Mac (1977): Just make sure you stay at least 6 feet apart.
100. “Tubthumping,” Chumbawamba (1997): “I get knocked down // But I get up again” plus the name just makes us smile.
This list, culled from USA Today, contains basically American and European songs, but we agree with the writers that they could be useful in these dire times.

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