University Mental Health Day: Our Favourite Feel-Good Songs


Black Box – ‘Ride on Time’

What should a feel-good anthem accomplish? Obviously, it has to make you feel good but there’s so much more to it than that. A feel-good anthem, for me at least, has to make you want to groove. It has to make you want to stand up and shout, “I feel GREAT,” even if a moment ago you were singing ‘Happy Birthday’ alone to yourself doing what you kept saying was only a Bridget Jones impression. The song has to make you want to dance your worries away and no song should contain that much energy, surely? Unless you’re listening to Black Box’s anthemic ‘Ride On Time’. An Italian house and disco fusion of the 90s, ‘Ride On Time’ is one of the decade’s most iconic songs – its legacy on the dancefloor surpassing 30 years of pure feel-good joy. No other song has so much power in helping shed away the blues and launching people into a dancing fit, erratically moving about to those soulful house beats, or thinking those lusty and empowering lyrics are all about yourself. Even if you’re not a fan of house or disco, Black Box were 90s legends, their music (but most definitely ‘Ride On Time’ at least) deserving to be in every person’s streaming library. Stop reading, say “HEY SIRI PLAY ‘RIDE ON TIME'” and live the pure power of feeling good that only Black Box can instill.

Sam Pegg.


Natasha Bedingfield – ‘Strip Me’

Natasha Bedingfield has a gift – one that was brought back into the spotlight when her 2004 single ‘Unwritten’ was thrust into our Spotify playlists this year. Anyone but You was a good’un, and it reminded the world of just how feel-good Natasha’s 2000s bops are. But although that single’s a banger and a serenity song in its own right, ‘Strip Me’ provides the boost that you need during adversity and it’s one of my favourites of hers. I first heard it in the credits of Morning Glory with Rachel McAdams. It comes at a time when (spoilers) everything the protagonist has worked for comes together in her favour. It’s a boost for when things are tough: “Take what you want, steal my pride/ Build me up or cut me down to size… I’m only one voice in a million/ But you ain’t taking that from me”. With it comes a euphoric feeling that everything’s going to be okay. So now every time I listen to it, I’m reminded of a film I love and given an energy boost to fuel my day.

Rosie Spurrier. 

Thirsty Merc – ‘In the Summertime’

Ever heard of Australian rockers Thirsty Merc? Unless you’re Australian, most likely not! While the Sydney rockers achieved five Top 40 singles in their home country between 2003 and 2010, their international success has been limited. However, this song is not one of those five, yet it has become arguably their biggest song since its use as the theme tune from Network 10’s documentary/reality series Bondi Rescue.

Taken from the band’s 2004 self-titled debut album, its combination of breezy riffs as well as its laidback, escapist lyrics and vocal delivery means it deserves a prime spot on your summer playlist this year. Lyrically, ‘In the Summertime’ song sees frontman Rai Thistlethwayte recounting the delights of summer-living, with the “sweet times” and “hot nights” receving a particular focus. With most UK summers seeing very little good weather to have many “sweet times”, to me the song is certainly more representative of traveling away somewhere during the season. It also reflects a desire of living your best life and escaping from the stresses of everyday during the season, with “nobody breathing down my neck now”.

In terms of its rock musicality, it’s hardly changing the landscape and would fit perfectly in a playlist with easy-going classics like Train’s ‘She’s On Fire’, Dave Matthews Band’s ‘Crash into Me’ or the Eagles’ ‘Take It Easy’. Yet it captures a similar breezy vibe to a tee, complete with a sense of optimism that seems to be missing from UK culture more often than not.

Although Thistlethwayte’s lamenting of June approaching (marking the start of the Australian winter) stands out oddly from a solely UK-persepctive, that only adds to its sense of international, perfect-for-holiday flair. After all, you’ve got to be willing to adapt while traveling away somewhere!

Callum Joynes.


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Previous News Editor (20-21), previous Editor-In-Chief (21-22), and now the Deputy Editor & Culture PR duo extravaganze, I'm just someone trying to make their way through the world of journalism... (trying being the keyword here).

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