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Life’s a Road Trip and Here’s the Playlist

roadtrip dino reichmuth

As someone who’s been on many a long road trip, I can personally say it’s crucial to have the right tunes (or the right podcast) on the road with you. Whether you’re operating as both the driver and the DJ or you have a DDJ (Designated Disk Jockey), what you listen to is important for keeping up morale when you’re on a long trip. That’s true not only for the literal trips we take in life, but also for the trip that is life itself.

In honor of Steven and Chris’s current Anxiety Road Trip, I asked the members of our Best Friends Community for help in creating a road trip playlist for keeping our spirits up as we travel through life’s journeys, face mental health-related challenges, and more. 

Below are those recommendations along with some descriptions of how these songs brighten people’s moods and lift them up. We have also linked to the Spotify playlist. Be sure to follow our account for future community playlists! 

1. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

“Apparently there was a study showing it is one of the happiest songs in the world.”

2. “Juice,” “Soulmate,” and “Jerome” by Lizzo
3. “Cross the Line” from “Bring It On: The Musical”
4. “It Happens” by Sugarland
5.“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
6.“Rise” by Katy Perry
7. “Modern Chemistry” by Motion City Soundtrack
8. “Waitin’ in School” and “My Bucket’s Got a Hole” by Ricky Nelson

“Oldies in general make me think of weekday mornings, getting ready for school, because my mom would turn on the oldies station on the radio while we ate breakfast. It’s just such a happy, easy going, memory. For these specific songs they’re just so upbeat and fast paced that they always make me smile. “ – Hannah Stevens

9. “So Much Better” from “Legally Blonde: The Musical”
10. “My Shot” from “Hamilton”
11. “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked
12. “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles
13. “Get Better” by Frank Turner
14. “Four Simple Words” by Frank Turner

“Frank Turner is seriously the best car ride freedom feeling music. Also, he is amazing live.”

lady with headphones from

15. “Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
16. “Diane Young” by Vampire Weekend
17. “Life in Pink” by Kate Nash
18. “Odds Are” by Barenaked Ladies
19. “Bad Listener” by Beartooth

“Bad Listener is just kind of a song that pumps me up and helps me see that sometimes I need to do what’s best for me rather than overextend myself for another person.”

20. “Fear” by Blue October
21. “I Am Here” and “F**kin’ Perfect” by P!nk
22. “Speechless” from “Aladdin”
23. “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King
24. “Down by the Sickness” by Disturbed

“I know, I knowit’s a very angry song. But it always helps. So cathartic.”

25. “Stars” by Skillet
26. “Perfect” by Simple Plan
27. “Cry Pretty” by Carrie Underwood
28. “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
29. “Saltwater Gospel” by Eli Young Band
30. “My Church” by Maren Morris
31. “AAA” by The AAA Girls feat. Alaska Thunderfuck, Willam, and Courtney Act

“Not a joke; we love this song in our house! If it was a colour, it would be bubblegum pink. My daughter has it on several times a week; and her singing along with several misheard lyrics moments brings me huge joy.”

32. “Restless” by Same Fischer
33. “Makeba” by Jain
34. “Golden Years” by David Bowie
35. “Holding On” by Julio Bashmore feat. Sam Dew

“It helps especially if you think of “her” as a family member. I think of my mother and my niece.”

36. “What I Need” by Hayley Kiyoko
37. “Party Hard” by Andrew W.K.
38. “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness
39. “Trouble” by TV On The Radio

“This song makes me feel like everything’s going to be okay.” – Sara Schwartz

40. “Brave” by Sara Bareilles
41. “Confident” by Demi Lovato
42. “Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down)” by Chumbawamba
43. “SING” by My Chemical Romance
44. “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance

“Every once in a while, I pull out my old MCR CDs from high school and college. My favorite is the Black Parade album and the song that I always have to belt out alongside with Gerard Way is Welcome to the Black Parade. It’s just this wonde­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­rful message of carrying on and not giving in through the darkness in life. ‘Do or die, you’ll never make me because the world will never take my heart…we’ll carry on.’” – Katie Clarke

45. “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” by Fall Out Boy
46. “Dancing’s Not a Crime” by Panic! At the Disco
47. “Way Down Hadestown” from “Hadestown”
48. “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfeld
49. “Open Happiness” by Butch Walker
50. “Don’t Try Suicide” and “Delilah” by Queen

“Well just by the name… when I am feeling low and figuring that no one understands I have a song that says….. hey, don’t do that. To be honest, I love Queen as a group. Another favorite of mine is Delilah…pretty much a song about Freddie’s love for his cat… I can relate with my love for my own furry babies.”

listening to headphones

51. “All That and More (Sailboat)” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise
52. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & the Waves
53. “Cheer Up” by Great Big World
54. “This Year” by The Mountain Goats
55. “Flying” by James Newton Howard
56. “Freezepop Forever” by Freezepop
57. “Whistle” by Katy Tiz

“Idk where I even first heard the song cuz it’s not really my normal kind of music…most of my happy music involves cursing or some kind of ‘fuck off’ hidden meaning in the lyrics lol, BUT I used to hate my job and cry a lot on bad days…it’s my number one emotion for some reason and this song would help me get through the day sometimes and give me that extra boost of spirit if you will.”

58. “Raging Fire” by Phillip Phillips
59. “Sincerely, Me” from “Dear Evan Hansen”
60. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
61. “Battle Cry,” “Save Our City,” and “Good Will Hunting by Myself” by Ludo
62. The collective discography of The Smiths

“It may sound really counterintuitive, but when I am at my worst I love to listen to The Smiths. Morrisey knew a thing or two (or ten) about depression, and his songs make me feel as though someone else is there in my dark hole of pain and suffering. That usually helps me find a way out.”

63. “Let Your Heart Hold Fast” by Fort Atlantic
64. “Pretty Shining People” by George Ezra
65. “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman
66. “Here Comes a Thought” by Rebecca Sugar (from Steven Universe)

“It is hopeful and optimistic. It reaffirms that bad or painful thoughts are only thoughts and that they will pass if you let them. Allowing the painful feelings to exist is how you can move past them.” – Zachary Ainsley

67. “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World
68. “Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows” by Lesley Gore
69. “San Francisco” by The Mowglis
70. “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars
71. “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa
72. “Dear X” by Disciple

“Dear X is pretty much a “Dear Karen” letter in song form. And it really helps me realize that it doesn’t own my life.”

You can find the full playlist here on Spotify. For a preview of the songs check the Spotify player below. Thanks to everyone in our community who contributed to it! I hope you enjoy it and that it will inspire you to make your own playlists to pick you up when you’re down. In the wise words of Chumbawamba,

“I get knocked down, but I get up again.”


Katie Clarke

A few words about me

Katie is a gentle soul with a snarky side who loves curries, traveling, and cats, is very afraid of losing all her friends and/or being lost at sea, and thinks cake is dreadfully overrated as a food item. She aspires to be as good a human being as she can be and to leave the world a little better than how she found it.