A Study of pop songs from the last fifty years unlocks the ultimate uplifting top ten of all time, with Pharrell Williams’ Happy the most feel good song of the decade so far,New Irish research, commissioned by Alba at Argos, reveals Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen),  Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor) and Dancing Queen (Abba) as the top three most uplifting pop songs since 1960, With 45 per cent of Irish people using music to lift their mood, Alba reveals the failsafe formula for the ultimate tracks to lift the nation’s spirit.

A major third key, high tempo and holiday-themed lyrics are today revealed as the perfect formula for the ultimate feel-good song by technology brand Alba, available at Argos, working with Dr Jacob Jolij, expert in cognitive neuroscience and emotion at Holland’s University of Groningen.

Dr Jolij sifted through 126 songs from the last fifty years, and combined this with Irish people’s feedback to analyse why certain tunes make people happy and develop the complex equation:

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(FGI: Feel Good Song, BPM: Beats Per Minute, K: Key)


With nearly half (45 per cent) of Irish people using music to lift their mood and close to eight in ten (77 per cent) using it to motivate them, the boffins at Alba also worked with Dr. Jolij to uncover the nation’s top ten feel good tunes from the last fifty years. These were confirmed as:


  1. Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen) 1978
  2. Eye of the Tiger (Survivor) 1982
  3. Dancing Queen (Abba) 1976
  4. I will Survive (Gloria Gaynor) 1978
  5. Uptown Girl (Billie Joel) 1983
  6. Living on a Prayer (Jon Bon Jovi) 1986
  7. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper) 1983
  8. I’m a Believer (The Monkeys) 1967
  9. Walking on Sunshine (Katrina & The Waves) 1983
  10. The Boys are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy) 1976

Using the findings from Dr Jolij’s research, Alba has created a Spotify playlist of the most popular songs from each decade called Alba’s Top Feel Good Tunes, revealing the No.1s to be:

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Dr. Jolij said: “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. 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 140 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.”

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Ruth Scott, RTE 2FM DJ and Alba Music Ambassador at Argos, added: “Alba has a long history of helping people tap into music, so we wanted to find out what makes it so infectious. The power of music should not be underestimated. Chart hits like Pharrell Williams’ Happy and Florence and The Machine’s You’ve Got The Lovehelp to boost our moods, while pop classics like Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl rekindle fond memories and unite generations; not to mention Survivor’s famous Eye of the Tiger anthem that is a failsafe way to provide some much-needed motivation.”

The research by Alba, available at Argos, found that nearly seven in ten people (67 per cent) in Ennis, Swords and Naas are least likely to be influenced by family in their musical tastes, while nearly 70 per cent of residents of Mullingar and Newbridge rely on music to improve their mood. Meanwhile nine in ten people in Carlow, as well as Waterford (88 per cent) use music to motivate themselves.

Whether it’s an MP3 player, mobile or tablet, Alba injects a splash of colour into everyday tech products. The full range is available to buy exclusively at Argos or check and reserve at for free, instant pick-up from more than 40 stores nationwide.

Music lovers can listen to the top feel good tracks on Spotify by searching Alba’s Top Feel Good Tunes.

Written by Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Part time actor and security professional and brutally honest when it comes to opinions.