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10 Perfect Songs to Get You Through a Horrible Day

Kendrick Lamar Beyonce Mark Ronson
Frederick M. Brown / Jason Merritt / Dominique Charriau, Getty Images

We all have bad days. When Monday morning comes and your boss won’t get off your back or Wednesday (better known as Hump Day) hits, bringing nothing but bad luck, it’s hard to smile through the madness. But you’re not alone.

While you may internalize your frustrations on the job and push through to finish out the day, others need a little more encouragement to brush off that foul mood. Even Beyonce knows it’s not easy. “All these people on the planet working 9 to 5 just to stay alive,” she sings on her track “Haunted.” Rhymefest echoes those sentiments on “Mr. Blue Collar” featuring Malik Yusef. “You already know what it is when you workin’ a whole lotta hours for just a few dollars,” he raps.

To help out with the daily struggle of the gig you hate or just the burden of facing that co-worker or classmate that gets on your last nerve, The Boombox has devised a list of tracks to lift your spirits. Spanning different decades, the songs are upbeat, lighthearted and promote good vibes. Everything you need to quickly put a smile on your face. Whether it’s the airiness in the melody or the positivity of the lyrics, these songs will easily make your day more bearable.

Here are 10 Perfect Songs to Get You Through a Horrible Day.


1

“Uptown Funk”

Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

 

 

If there’s one track you can’t ignore in 2015, it’s Mark Ronson‘s “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars. From the steady clapping rhythm to the brass section, this is the ultimate party track. Off Ronson’s upcoming album, Uptown Special, the song carries the U.K. producer’s signature throwback sound. “I’m too hot (hot damn) / Called a police and a fireman / I’m too hot (hot damn) / Make a dragon wanna retire, man,” Mars sings, urging you to embrace your dapper side.

 

2

“i”

Kendrick Lamar

 

 

Even if you’re not a Kendrick Lamar (which would really be surprising), you can’t turn away from the sounds of “i.” Aside from his smart lyricism and a killer flow, the rapper ditches the typically heavy bass of hip-hop records to go for a more lively feel. “i” is all about self-love and the perfect pick-me-up track when you’re feeling down. Throw this on to instantly change your mood and shout “I love myself.”

 

3

“Hey Ya!”

OutKast

 

 

If you ever need a high-energy track, look no further than OutKast. Songs like 2000’s trunk-rattling banger “B.O.B.” will certainly get you off your feet. Then there’s Andre 3000 and Big Boi’s 2003 anthem, “Hey Ya!,” the perfect tune to lift your spirits. The sonic combination of funk and rock will energize you after a lagging day. And who doesn’t want to be told to “Shake it like a Polaroid picture?”

 

4

“I Love Your Smile”

Shanice

 

 

From the moment you hear the “do dos,” you’ll immediately bop your head to Shanice’s 1991 track, “I Love Your Smile.” Off her album, Inner Child, the song details why she’s the right girl for her man and gives a nod to her unsatisfying job — something many can relate to. “The clock at work says three / And I wanna be free / Free to scream, free to bathe, free to paint / My toes all day / My boss is lame you know, and so is the pay / I’m gonna put that new black mini on my charge anyway / ‘Cause I love your smile,” she sings. Toward the end of the tune, you’ll hear Janet Jackson and her then-boyfriend, René Elizondo, Jr., laughing, which will surely put a smile on your face.

 

5

“This Is How We Do It”

Montell Jordan

 

 

Twenty years after Montell Jordan dropped “This Is How We Do It” in 1995, the song still has the power to get people on their feet. While it’s the most fitting soundtrack for a Friday night (“This is how we do it / It’s Friday night and I feel alright / The party’s here on the West side”), the tracks works at any time of day — whether you’re walking out the door or sitting at your desk. Turn up the volume when this one comes on to get you hyped up for TGIF.

 

6

“Mo Money Mo Problems”

The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Ma$e & Diddy

 

 

It’s no secret that the more money you bring in, the more problems seem to come crashing down on your life. But the Notorious B.I.G. helps to lighten up your mood with his 1997 smash hit, “Mo Money Mo Problems.” With the help of Diddy and Ma$e and a sample of Diana Ross’ 1980 song, “I’m Coming Out,” Biggie reminds you that no matter the struggles you face, you’re still winning (“Me lose my touch? Never that!”).

 

7

“Bootylicious”

Destiny’s Child

 

 

Destiny’s Child have released a number of club bangers throughout their career but none as catchy and twerk-worthy as their 2001 song, “Bootylicious.” Although it might not be the most appropriate thing to do in the middle of your office or classroom, there’s nothing wrong with a little booty popping at your desk, right? And if twerking isn’t your thing, you can always play the air guitar along with the sample of Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen.”

 

8

“Universal Mind Control”

Common feat. Pharrell

 

 

Feel like you’re a working robot? You can channel that mechanical mindset into Common‘s 2008 upbeat tune, “Universal Mind Control.” Off the rapper’s eighth album of the same name, the tune features Pharrell, who also produced the effort with his Neptunes brethren Chad Hugo. The blippy sounds paired with Common’s energetic flow will get your gears turning. And by the end of the track, you should be surprised with the work you’ve accomplished.

 

9

“Good Life”

Kanye West feat. T-Pain

 

 

Kanye West may give grandiose and sometimes jarring speeches, but he reigns in his thoughts to make a powerful yet lighthearted song on “Good Life” featuring T-Pain. The 2007 tune makes you feel like you can conquer the world and take on the awful day you might be having at the moment. “I go for mine, I got to shine” is the right mantra to chant when you’re feeling down in the dumps.

 

10

“The Best Things in Life Are Free”

Luther Vandross feat. Janet Jackson

 

 

Luther Vandross is king of crafting emotional ballads, but the late crooner had some upbeat jams up his sleeve too, namely this one with Janet Jackson. As part of the soundtrack to the 1992 film, Mo’ Money, starring Damon Wayans, “The Best Things in Life Are Free” combines R&B, dance pop and house for a rocking number that is impossible not to dance to. Thank stellar production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for that. After pressing playing, you’ll immediately start dancing in your chair.

 

Bonus

See 100 Surprising Hip-Hop Facts

 

 
 

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