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This song makes people so happy

Half believe the power of music is actually underestimated, and 38 percent recognize it can deliver amazing highs and lows.

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(Photo by Jorge Fakhouri Filho via Pexels)

By Oliver Lewis, 72Point via SWNS

"Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys has been revealed as the song that makes people happiest, according to a scientific formula developed by a university professor.

The 1966 hit single ticks all the boxes in the formula devised by Dr. Michael Bonshor, who has a Ph.D. in music psychology and has researched music in relation to wellbeing extensively.

To create a happy song, Bonshor believes combining a combination of a major key, 7th chords, 137 BPM, strong beat, four beats in every bar, and a verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure is a sure-fire way to produce one.

It should also have a short intro, repeated riffs, high volume, bright tone and a mix of predictability and surprise.

Other tracks which follow this formula include "I Got You" (I Feel Good) by James Brown, "House of Fun" by Madness and "Get the Party Started" by P!nk.

The happy formula has also been turned into a pitch-perfect track, called "The Lighter Note," featuring upbeat notes, peppy chords and feel-good musical breaks – which has been produced by Jamie P and Oliver Price and is available on Soundcloud.

The track was commissioned by Müllerlight, which teamed up with Bonshor and also conducted research of 2,000 adults that discovered 32 percent turn to music daily to improve their mood.

Bonshor said: “Previous studies have found songs are perceived as happy if they are in a major key, with a sweet spot of approximately 137 beats per minute.

“We like ‘7th chords’ as they add interest; regular chords use three notes, whereas ‘7th chords’ add an extra note which provides a sense of musical ‘tension’ and ‘relief.'

“Alongside this, cheery songs usually have a strong 1-2-1-2 beat to them, so that you can dance along – and a short introduction means the song kicks off with a bang straight away, and there’s not a long build up.

“We like high volume when it comes to how our happy songs are made, with notes played in a bright and bouncy way by instruments such as trumpets or electric guitars instead of mellower instruments.

“Finally, a repetitive rhythm or guitar riff that people can latch onto and becomes memorable is the cherry on the cake.”


The research also found 46 percent of adults said singing along to their favorite tracks is a great way to boost their mood.

And of those who have specific tunes they turn to in order to cheer them up, on average, they have eight numbers on rotation which do the trick.

Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) said these songs have an upbeat feel to them, and the same percentage said they remind them of good memories which put a smile on their face.

While 38 percent said their happy tracks were generally released throughout their teenage years.

It also emerged it takes an average of just 14 seconds for these songs to start working their magic.

Pop, rock and dance were ranked as the three happiest genres of music, while 71 percent feel music is one of the most powerful influences for changing or reinforcing their mood.

Half believe the power of music is actually underestimated, and 38 percent recognize it can deliver amazing highs and lows.

When reflecting on why music is important to them, 48 percent put it down to the powerful memories it can evoke and 29 percent like the fact they can share with others.

And 36 percent have even put on uplifting music around loved ones when they are feeling down to try and lift their spirits.

The poll, conducted via OnePoll, also explored the general listening habits of the nation, with the average Brit listening to more than 20 tracks each day.

While half of those who tune in regularly do so within the comforts of their home, 26 percent consume the most when they are driving.

Toby Bevans, from Müller Yogurt & Desserts, said: “Music is one of the most powerful ways to put a smile on your face, especially during these first few months of the year.


“I know that a good playlist energizes me when I’m putting off going for a run when it’s cold and rainy outside.

“We’re going one step further by looking at exactly what about music makes us happy, so that we can create the ultimate feel-good track.

“We hope everyone gets a spring in their step when they listen to 'The Lighter Note.'”


  1. "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys
  2. "I Got You" (I Feel Good) by James Brown
  3. "House of Fun" by Madness
  4. "Get the Party Started" by P!nk
  5. "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel
  6. "Sun Is Shining" by Bob Marley
  7. "I Get Around" by The Beach Boys
  8. "YMCA" by Village People
  9. "Waterloo" by ABBA
  10. "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire

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