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Using science to determine something as subjective as a "feel-good song" is bound to raise some hackles. But that didn't stop British electronics manufacturer Alba from surveying 2,000 UK adults about what their favorite feel-good songs were.
They cited songs included ABBA's "Dancing Queen" to The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" to Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl."
So what song topped them all? No, not Pharrell Williams' "Happy."
It was Queen's 1979 hit "Don't Stop Me Now."
Well, let's bear in mind that this was a small sampling of British adults; "Don't Stop Me Now" was a Top 10 hit in the UK, but only hit No. 86 in the US. But it is a cheery song that kind of resembles some big Broadway barnburners of today, has over 100 million views on YouTube, and is beloved by fans of the film "Shaun of the Dead."
But we sense U.S. audiences would have a different choice of tune, even if they did settle on Queen as the band who sang it (how about "We Are the Champions" or "We Will Rock You")?
Cognitive Neuroscientist Dr. Jacob Jolij analyzed the data for Alba and said there are three things that make a song "feel-good."
"Songs written in a major key with fast tempo are best at inducing positive emotions," wrote the University of Groningen, Netherlands assistant professor of psychology, in an email to the Huffington Post. "Virtually all 'feel good' songs were in major key (save one or two), and all of them were at least 10 BPM faster than the average pop song."
Added Jolij, "Although you cannot really pinpoint one song as the ultimate feel-good song, what we can do is identify specific features of songs that lift people's spirits. The more data we have available, the more we can learn about how music affects our moods."
So, take it for what you will, even if you're not 100 percent feeling good about the choice.