The Up Beat
By Amy Wong

Positive Playlist: Spirit-Warming Songs from Up North

Maybe it’s the chill in the air this December day. Or the cold that I’m trying to stave off (as Edward mentioned in his blog, it’s been going around). Or Susan Boyle’s rendition of Canadian songwriter-poet Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

In any case, I went to put together a positive playlist and found myself drawn to songs written and sung by our neighbors to the north. It’s been said that people from cold climes are moody and depressive. Well, I can’t tell from these songs. They’re all different—some are peppy, some are chill; some are new, some are old—but each in its own way is uplifting.

Which is the point, since this a blog about positive thinking. I hope the songs on this list warm your spirit like they do mine.

Feist, “1234”
Remember this catchy tune from the iPod nano commercial a few years back? There’s just something about hand-clapping that makes me happy. (If you feel the same way, check out my positive playlist of happy songs with clapping.)

The Stellas, “Riding in the Back Seat”
What a sweet celebration of parenthood. You can see the love Marylynne and Brad Stella have for each other and for their daughters. (If those adorable girls in the back seat look familiar, you’re probably hooked like I am on the new TV drama Nashville. Lennon and Maisy Stella play the daughters of the main character and totally stole the show in Episode 3.)

Nelly Furtado, “I’m Like a Bird”
I can’t believe it’s been 12 years since this came out. Hearing it still makes me feel joyous and free (though I won’t be going back to crowd-surfing anytime soon).

Bahamas, “Lost in the Light”
I don’t know if it was Afie Jurvanen’s intent when he chose the stage name Bahamas, but this song definitely takes me away to a place that’s mellow and peaceful.

k.d. lang, “Hallelujah”
I know I already mentioned this Leonard Cohen classic, but how could I resist Canadian icon k.d. lang’s version? Simple, beautiful and sung with such emotion.

Amy Wong is the executive editor of Guideposts and was a founding editor of Positive Thinking. She lives in New York City with her adopted dog, Winky, a natural-born positive thinker who believes that everyone has a treat for her and every day is the best day of her life. Amy hopes to be that optimistic someday (she’s working on it!).