Music has properties that defy human understanding.
Why a collection of notes and sounds can mean so much to people confounds scientists and sociologists to this day. In some incredible studies, music has even exhibited the ability to keep people healthy.
In these articles, we see that the “immune-boosting” properties of music are worth investigating. So without further ado, here is the Immune Booster Playlist, which taps into the various feel-good moods that music can inspire. Listen and help yourself through the tough times – it can only help!
Bruce Springsteen – “Born to Run” (1975)
Since its release, Springsteen’s “Born to Run” has been a signature song for motivating empowerment, an enthusiastic grasp at taking on the world. It’s desperate, life-affirming, and undeniably exhilarating, even after almost five decades and millions of listens. The song instantly bursts with energy, grabbing hold of the listener with its legendary guitar hook and never letting up.
Metronomy – “Love Letters” (2014)
Who doesn’t like love? Metronomy’s bright indie-pop got an emotional makeover in 2014 with their album Love Letters, which contained some of Joe Mount’s most sensitive and nuanced songwriting. The title track “Love Letters” combines this vulnerability with funky rhythms and a repeated background vocal figure, making it worthwhile as a catchy pop tune or an in-depth examination of the audacity of love.
Fleetwood Mac – “Tusk” (1979)
Tusk shifted everyone’s perspective of Fleetwood Mac, but it was not an abnormal release for the time – punk music was on the rise, metal music was almost a decade old, and soon more intense and diverse musical styles would dominate the 80s over the soft sounds of 70s pop music. The band’s 1979 album still had Rumours-esque pop songwriting, but these tracks alternated with explosive, miscellaneous sounds that demonstrated unprecedented experimental leanings in the pop world. Listen to “Tusk” to hear the excesses that predated the raucous 80s rock groups.
Duke Ellington / John Coltrane – “In a Sentimental Mood” (1963)
One of the greatest standards in jazz music history, the memorable tune of Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” has gently elevated spirits for nearly 100 years. This recording with John Coltrane shows its soaring potential, with Coltrane’s sax taking on an almost vocal quality while Ellington’s glistening piano effortlessly glides above the melody.
Coldplay – “Champion of the World” (2019)
The last Coldplay album, Everyday Life, displayed several adventurous turns for the band, but “Champion of the World” resonates as a truly freeing and inspiring track. As the song builds from its mellow, stripped-down verses to a radiant, uplifting finale, Chris Martin’s lyrics detail the against-all-odds journey that all champions face as their wildest dreams become their reality. Yes, it’s cheesy, but Coldplay’s earnest delivery convinced the world of their greatness.
Elbow – “New York Morning” (2014)
The slow-burn build of “New York Morning” has a thrilling lift to it, but the most affecting appeal comes from its overall themes. With about 15 years of a music career behind them at the time, Elbow delineates the acceptance and understanding that comes with age. This song creates a comforting and healing mood in its atmospheric approach, with the lyrics discussing the combined effort of everyone that makes New York its distinguished self.
José James – “Trouble” (2013)
Music that inspires romance has a distinct vibe compared to generic feel-good music; since Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” turned into the iconic seduction song, slow R&B, and funk-soul replete with grooving bass and airy background horns typically indicated romantic themes in music. José James’ vastly underrated Blue Note debut No Beginning No End is filled with such songs, with “Trouble” as one of its many peaks.
While any song on this record would fittingly lift your spirits, “Trouble” has stellar interaction between its many parts, each sparsely conversing until the lilting hook in the chorus blends each element.
Robyn – “Dancing on My Own” (2010)
With palpable sexual energy, Robyn’s dance music is extraordinary not just for its club intensity but even more so for its vulnerability. Mingling with its driving, insistent beat, her voice pleads to be heard from across the dancefloor, a simultaneous outward cry and inward reflection to her lover and his new flame. “Dancing on My Own” remains Robyn’s most well-known track for a reason – this is one you can’t miss on an uplifting playlist.
Florence + the Machine – “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” (2015)
The voice of Florence Welch gained prominence with “Dog Days are Over,” one of the best songs from the Florence + the Machine debut record. Since then, her passionate vocals became a modern music staple, with gospel-like energy that can roar and whisper with equal intensity. On the song “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful,” Welch demonstrates her dynamic range by stretching her vocal and songwriting abilities to their maximum highs and lows.
OneRepublic – “Kids” (2016)
OneRepublic became superstars with 2014’s “Counting Stars,” but “Kids” is arguably even more exhilarating. With a hook that causes instant jubilation, this song’s anthemic nature looks to the past and future by infusing nostalgia with pristine modern pop. Like many OneRepublic tracks, “Kids” is essential for your happy playlists.
Liam Payne / Rita Ora – “For You” (2019)
Though featured on the soundtrack of the ill-fated Fifty Shades Freed film adaptation, Liam Payne/Rita Ora collab track “For You” is anything but disappointing. This song is a dramatic declaration of joy and love, with transcendent dynamics created through excellent songwriting and production. The creators of this one are unsurprisingly some of the best in the business – Ali Tamposi co-writes following her success with Camila Cabello’s “Señorita,” with further co-writing and co-producing by Ali Payami (Taylor Swift’s “Style”) and Andrew Watt (a frequent collaborator with Post Malone).
Frank Turner – “Get Better” (2015)
Rousing rock music with inspirational lyrics seems like a thing of the past, but singer-songwriter Frank Turner shows that channeling Springsteen, vintage punk, and hope in music can still pack a modern punch. With such a direct, deliberate message, Turner proclaims that people can get better because they still have a life ahead of them. These confident yet poignant lyrics are the type of thing needed to break from the occasional monotony of life.
The Proper Ornaments – “Now I Understand” (2014)
If you need a friend to tell you “it’s okay, it’s alright,” The Proper Ornaments have got your back. Led by Veronica Falls guitarist James Hoare, this side project has now released four albums of jangly indie-pop, all with subdued and amicable music to soothe low spirits. The first record has a few notable hidden gems – the lo-fi muddle of “Now I Understand” stands out by blending in sunny melodies and calming rhythms.
DragonForce – “Ashes of the Dawn” (2017)
Power metal turns the darkness of metal on its head for a positive and inspirational spin, channeling 80s speed metal riffs and solos with lyrical themes of fantasy, hope, emotion, and glory. DragonForce have famously sped through their blindingly fast songs for nearly two decades now, with the dueling guitars of Herman Li and Sam Totman getting better with each new release. The British band’s 2017 album Reaching into Infinity has the same dramatic enormity that they’re known for, with strong songwriting to match – end your playlist with the instant-classic hook from “Ashes of the Dawn,” and you’ll start the day already feeling triumphant.
Happy listening! Stay safe, everyone! Here's a Spotify collection of the IMMUNE BOOSTER playlist - - -