Your song, your story: a happy playlist

Young people around the world share songs that help boost their mood and wellbeing

Music can help to improve your mood. Your song your story is a feel-good playlist to help boost your wellbeing. Young people around the world have chosen a song and shared a story about how it helps them. Read through the activity below and take a listen.

large music note

Esther on music and wellbeing

"I created this playlist because I believe that music is a great way to tackle loneliness. Sharing your favourite songs with others can connect people when they feel further away than ever before. Listening to music has always been an important feature of my happy place. I hope that this collaborative playlist of songs that make people happy can do the same for you and help you feel a little less lonely."
Esther, British Red Cross volunteer 

Esther is also a member of the Generation Digital project, which aims to connect isolated people through technology.



Listen to the playlist on Spotify


Using the playlist as inspiration 

1. Read through the songs and stories list below. Why did people choose their song? How are the reasons similar and different? Do you relate to anything they say? 

2. Now listen to the songs, reading each story again. Can you connect with how they feel? Do any of the songs make you feel happy? What songs would be in your playlist?

3. Start a conversation with someone you know about music, or something else that helps you feel better. Explain why. Sharing things like this helps us realise we are not alone in what we feel.



(Sittin' On) the dock of the bay - Otis Redding Not too sure why but those first cords just make me happy inside 
Lovely Day - Bill Withers
 Need I really say more?
Backflip - Rivers Cuomo Reminds me of how happy I felt when I watched the show that it came from. Even though it was a kids show, and I'm technically an adult, I feel like it reminds me that I'm still young y'know.
Stand Out - Tevin Campbell It reminds me of my childhood when the world seemed limitless and I could be whoever I wanted and do whatever I wanted.
Hideaway - Tessanne Chin It brings me back to being in Jamaica with my head sticking out the window as a kid with my family. Every time I play that song, I’m just happy.
You’ll be in my heart - Phil Collins
It’s comforting, makes me feel like I’m not alone
Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd  Kind of a sad one but really relatable when you’re feeling lonely
Leezie Lindsay - Eddi Reader The quiet atmosphere this song set is really nice, it can calm me down when I am lonely and kind of sad.
Ghost Of You - 5 Seconds Of Summer  I sing this one with my friend and it reminds me of her when I’m not with her
What’s up - 4 Non Blondes  This song really encapsulates being a young person to me, and not really knowing what’s going on but telling yourself it’s ok to not feel ok all the time, especially when you sing the chorus really loud. Plus, it reminds me of a TV show me and my best friends used to watch together and now they live on the other side of the world and listening to this song helps me feel closer to them.
One Day Like This - Elbow  My dad used to play it a lot when I was younger and it’s just filled with hope
Romantic Ageru yu (The Dragon Ball end theme) - Bosa nova version This song makes me feel like I’m going on an adventure, full of excitement, it’s going to be lots of fun on the journey, the future is bright! Seriously, that’s how I feel about this song, one of my top ten!
Brothers on the slide - Cymande It’s both jazzy yet modern and makes me feel like my music taste is more sophisticated than it really is!
Black Betty - Caravan Palace
The tempo is fast and fun!
Dare - Gorillaz
It was one of the first songs that I listened to by the Gorillaz. It’s extra special to me because the Gorillaz were the first band that I discovered on my own that I actually liked
Good Times - Roll Deep & Jodie Connor Reminds me of the dance parties that my siblings and I had when we were younger. This song was all over the radio and it was always a good time when we heard it
Drop in the ocean - OMI & AronChupa It’s got an upbeat tempo and always makes me feel like dancing. Dancing makes me happy :)
Tiger Feet - Mud
Just can’t help but dance around when this comes on.
Lollipop - Mika I like it because my sister introduced it to me when we were younger and it reminds me of when I was little and life was good
Different Colours - WALK THE MOON This song is all about celebrating our differences and supporting each other which is a powerful message when you feel lonely. In particular, the lyrics ‘We carry each other, we're just different colors’ resonates with me because regardless of where you come from and what your struggles might be, it’s important to remember that there are others to help carry you through it.
September - Earth Wind and Fire I can’t be in a bad mood when I hear this song - certified anthem and no mistake. It’s just got such a good and instantly identifiable opening few seconds that get me in a boogying mood!
Brown Skin Girl - Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid This song never fails to put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. The message of loving and appreciating your natural beauty and your perfection just the way you are is made so much more poignant by the dynamic of Beyoncé singing it with and for her daughter. It fills me with so much hope that the next generation of little girls are learning how to love themselves and recognise their value regardless of the colour of their skin much better than we did, and that they will make this world better, brighter and more equal.
We’re All in This Together - High School Musical
It’s a fun care-free mainstream song, but it actually has a deep reassuring and positive message.

The songs listed above were chosen by young volunteers. Mentioning them on this page is not an endorsement by the British Red Cross.