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Music for Optimism

by Kay Clancy and Victor Perton

Many of you will know that music can make you feel better, did you know that music also has a physical effect on your body?  While you are listening there are changes in your autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling blood pressure and heartbeat, along with changes in your limbic system, which is responsible for feelings and emotions.

There is a wealth of great research that supports this:

  • A review of 23 studies involving 1500 people, conducted in 2009, found music helped to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety in heart disease patients.
  • Research from the University of Missouri revealed that music benefits your psychological wellbeing showing that you can raise your mood by listening to happy and upbeat music.
  • A study of 1000 pupils undertaken in Finland, in 2013, revealed that those pupils who engaged in singing classes reported higher satisfaction at school in almost every area.  The research also showed that these pupils got along better with others highlighting a broader benefit than the self.
  • A study published in 2011 by McGill University in Canada found that listening to music releases dopamine, the feel good chemical, in your brain.

There are many more studies that show music makes you more generous, feel more empathetic, changes how you feel about people who are different from you and boosts co-operation.   So many great reasons to turn up that dial on music for optimism


“Blessings all pon mi life and
Me thank God for di journey, di earnings a jus fi di plus
Gratitude is a must”

Mr Blue Sky

“Hey there Mr. Blue, we're so pleased to be with you
look around see what you do, everybody smiles at you”

You Get What You Give

“Don't let go, you've got the music in you
One dance left, this world is gonna pull through
Don't give up, you've got a reason to live
Can't forget, we only get what we give”

I'm Here

“I believe I have inside of me
Everything that I need to live a bountiful life"

Masterpiece (Mona Lisa)

"Every part of me is a vision of a portrait of Mona, of Mona Lisa
Every part of me is beautiful"

Be Nice

“I do not want negative energy
If you get what you give, give me positivity
Be different, be nice
Just smile, I promise it'll change your life”

I Choose to be Alright

“Heaven or hell yeah, I'm living it well yeah
And from my disaster, I choose to be alright”

Good Times

“Good times, these are the good times, Leave your cares behind, Our new state of mind, ”

When You're smiling

"When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you.  When you're laughin', the sun comes shining through”.

I Need Faith

Wake Up Boo

“Wake up, it's a beautiful morning
The sun shining for your eyes
Wake up, it's so beautiful”

You Should be Dancing

“What you doin' on your bed on your back? Hey!
You should be dancing, yeah!”


"No matter how hard reality seems just hold on to your can win as long as you keep your head to the sky.  Be Optimistic"

Old Church Choir

"There ain't nothing gonna steal my joy, no there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy"

Good Morning Starshine

"Good morning starshine, the earth says hello. You twinkle above us, we twinkle below"

Open Your Eyes

‘Every morning you wake up, and you have a choice, you can choose to be happy or you can choose to be miserable. Today, we choose to be happy.’ 

Three Little Birds

"Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright".

Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive

"You've got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive, E-lim-i-nate the negative, Latch on to the affirmative, Don't mess with Mr. In-Between" 

Optimistic by August Greene

Cockeyed Optimist

Optimist by Zoe Keating


The Optimist by Evie Irie

Radical Optimism by LUZ1E

Optimism is Contagious by Harold Payne

Happy by Pharrell

Optimism by Hubert Bommer

Best Day - Kesha

Put on a Happy Face

When the Lights Go On Again

Vikki Broughton Hodges on the optimism of “Annie”

“The movie (Annie) was based on a popular musical that won seven Tony Awards when it premiered in 1977, including Best Musical, and ran for nearly six years on Broadway because of its positive message about optimism in the face of adversity — the setting is New York City during the Great Depression and the lead character is an orphan looking for a family… Annie’s sense of optimism is an uplifting part of the musical that sends people home with a smile on their face.”

Edward Elgar’s Symphony No. 1

Timothy Tuller, Saint John’s Cathedral

“Edward Elgar’s mammoth Symphony No. 1 … This late-Romantic masterpiece… brimming with an undisputedly English sense of nobility and optimism in the face of adversity. An orchestral music lover’s dream, it is a piece that puts every section of the orchestra through its paces.”

Vera Lynn - We'll Meet Again

Kate McLouglin wrote, "Though today We’ll Meet Again is inseparable from the second world war in most people’s minds in the UK, it was actually Lynn who forged the connection, turning a song about absence in any situation into a classic expression of wartime optimism. Lynn was broadcast singing the song throughout the war and its message of hope and resilience lifted national morale."

When Dame Vera Lynn said 'we'll meet again' to me

Movin' On Up

Brandon Tensley writes, The power of "Movin' On Up" can't be diminished that easily, however. DuBois is gone, but in important ways, the radical optimism so associated with the late actress remains -- thanks to a theme song that turned out to be much, much more.

Wild's "Goin Back"

A sweet sonic immersion of buoyant folk pop laced with meaning and emotive depth, Goin’ Back aches with sincerity and pure, unadulterated passion. WILD balance unbridled optimism and hope with intimate outpourings that capture both stillness and a life in motion: Uplifting and invigoration, this is music meant for feeling the fullness of our existence; for embracing the good and the bad, the large and the small


Laura B Whitmore writes, "Acclaimed folk, Americana singer-songwriter Luke Wallace delivers a solid dose of confident optimism with whispery cool vocals and an earthy groove on “Biosphere.”

Luke sings... "I said no nobody - no no nobody nobody gonna bring me down"

There will be a Better Day 

I'll be with you in Apple Blossom Time

Optimist by Jahn Teigen

Can't Stop that Feeling by Justin Timberlake

High Hopes by Panic

High Hopes by Frank Sinatra

It's A Beautiful Morning by The Rascals

Greatest Day by Take That

Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by SHAKIRA

My Way by Frank Sinatra


Ordinary World - Duran Duran

It's a Beautiful Day

I can See Clearly Now

WILD: "This is Our Time"

Stevie Wonder:

Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing

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