Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' is the world's greatest feel-good song, science proves

Rock News 14/02/2019

When times get tough, cranking a solid tune is one of the best ways to unwind and uplift your spirits, but it turns out some songs are better at cheering you up than others - and science has the data to prove it.

So how exactly does science measure 'feel-good-nes'? With an equation, of course. Here it is:

Rating = 60 + (0.00165 * BPM – 120)^2 + (4.376 * Major) + 0.78 * nChords – (Major * nChords)

That collection of words and numbers measures beats per minute, scale and the amount of chords used. According to the cognitive neuroscientist who wrote the equation, Dr. Jacob Jolij, those are the three key components that make a tune uplifting. 

“A feel good song is very personal. Music is intimately linked with memory and emotion, and these associations strongly determine whether a song will put you in a good mood or not,” Dr. Jolij told Telegraph.

However, there are some key criteria for composers to consider when creating feel good songs - namely lyrical theme, musical key and tempo.

"Holiday-themed lyrics naturally remind us of happy times, while a major third musical key sounds happy to our ears and something we associate with confidence.

"A high tempo of 150 beats per minute also subconsciously triggers a sense of energy. Combine these three ingredients together and you have the formula for the perfect ‘feel-good’ song.”

After Dr. Jolij crunched the numbers, his data found that Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' was the most uplifting popular song from the last 50 years. Great choice, Doc.

Cheer yourself up by cranking the Queen classic above, or check out the full top 10 bellow, there are a few more rock tunes that made the cut.

1. Queen - Don't Stop Me Now

2. Abba - Dancing Queen

3. The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations

4. Billie Joel - Uptown Girl

5. Survuvor - Eye of the Tiger

6. The Monkees - I'm a Beliver

7. Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun

8. Jon Bon Jovi - Living on a Prayer

9. Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive

10. Katrina & The Waves - Walking on Sunshine.