Neuroscientist Dr. Jacob Jolij of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands made a playlist that consists of the most uplifting and feel-good songs and shared his formula for finding more similar tunes.
Dr. Jolij created the playlist as commission work for electronic brand Alba from Great Britain. Alba previously conducted a big survey of customers and asked them about their taste in music and what songs they listen to when they want to feel happier.
“Basically, they asked me whether I could find a general pattern in the songs that respondents reported as ‘feel-good songs’, and whether they could use this pattern to come up with a ‘formula’. I found this an interesting challenge, so I said yes,” Dr. Jolij writes on his blog.
When it comes to finding the formula for feel-good songs and using it to find more of them, he finds that’s a little trickier. There are some features you can extract like tempo and mode. Jolij found that two big things stuck out—the tempo of the song and a difference in the key. The tempo of feel-good songs is higher than the average pop song, and most of such songs are in a major key.
You can find the playlist he composed on Spotify: