Top five songs to brighten a dark mood

Good News

Just when you thought your day couldn't get worse, out come the rain clouds, your car gets towed,and that massive stack of papers on your desk? Yeah, you need to have that filed by tomorrow.

By the time you drag yourself home, it's all your can do to pour a cold drink, slip on your favourite CD and put up your feet. Suddenly, there's a perceptible shift in your mood; you may even experience an involuntary mouth spasm, which on any other day would qualify as a smile.

So in honour of music's ability to change just about any mood, here are five songs that make life a little brighter.

Walking On Sunshine — Katrina and the Waves
It's a little cliché and a whole lot of camp, but you'd have to be made entirely of thunder clouds not to feel the infectious glee of this new wave classic. Put it on when the rain won't quit and there's nothing to do but cry … or dance.

Don't Worry Be Happy — Bobby McFerrin
Worth it for the price of whistling alone, Bobby McFerrin's 80s ode to joy has that rare ability to make the largest of burdens seem irrelevant for three minutes and thirty seconds. The chorus' simple mantra serves as a reminder that while we can't control everything in life, we can certainly choose our attitude toward it.

Beautiful Day — U2
The band took a calculated risk when they released this track as the lead single off their 2001 album, "All That You Can't Leave Behind." It was a song that, according to lead singer Bono, had "no hook, a weak chorus, and no one would play it on the radio." Multiple Grammys later, it was clear something hit the right chord. Between the tune's breezy melody and uplifting lyrics, U2's departure from heavier fare resulted in a musical boon for good-mood seekers.

Joy to the World — Three Dog Night
It's got a talking bullfrog, reams of aquatic life and one of the catchiest, most ridiculous, most throw-back-your-head-and-smile choruses of all time. We dare you to listen to this tune and resist its call to be joyful.

Outkast — Hey Ya
Kanye was wrong. It was Outkast's Andre 3000, not Beyonce, who produced one of the greatest videos of all time with his rollicking tribute to Beatlemania. No matter how many years go by, this 2003 tune, with its up-tempo beat and playful call-and-response, still sounds fresh. Just try to listen without involuntarily moving at least one body part.

(Photo credit: Reuters)