The 20 Best Feel Good Songs of the 80s

Van Halen

Ahhh, the 80s. This was a decade that was so beloved by countless numbers of people who were coming of age at the time. There was, after all, so much to love.

The pop culture alone was rich and ever-changing. You never had to settle for anything that didn’t really speak to you because you had more iconic movies and music than one person could ever digest in a single decade.

If you’re in the mood for some feel-good songs that just happen to come from one of the most important decades in music, the 1980s, here they are.

20. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) (The Proclaimers)

It’s easy to see why so many people fell in love with this song when it originally came out, not to mention why they still continue falling in love with it to this day. After all, it is one of the quintessential feel-good songs of the entire decade.

Who wouldn’t enjoy listening to an upbeat song about loving someone so much that they would literally travel anywhere in the world just to be with them, even if it only meant being able to see them for a short while?

19. It’s In the Way That You Use It (Eric Clapton)

Eric Clapton has long been considered one of the most popular musicians of all time. He released some of his best work during the 1980s and this is one that definitely tops the list.

Like so many other songs released during the 1980s, it’s a song that is all about taking what you have and making it work for you, whatever that might be. For the most part, people usually relate the song to physical characteristics but in reality, it could mean virtually anything.

18. We Are The Champions (Queen)

Anytime you need a song that will make you feel motivated to get out there and do something constructive, this is one that should be on your playlist. It’s one of those songs that you can’t help but fall in love with and if you’re like most people, you’ll end up playing it on repeat.

Even when you’re faced with one of those days that makes you feel like you can’t hardly do anything right, this song can give you that reserve that you need to get back up and go at it again.

17. Where the Streets Have No Name (U2)

Even back in the 1980s, this was a popular song. It’s one of those songs that can mean a lot of different things to different people. That always makes a song more popular because it’s easier for each individual who hears it to identify with it on a personal level.

The song regained a newfound sense of popularity recently when it was released as part of the soundtrack of the popular animated musical “Sing 2.” Listening to the soulful lyrics as performed by Taron Egerton and others, the lyrics take on an entirely new meaning that will definitely make you feel all the feels.

16. Burning Heart (Survivor)

The 1980s seemed to be the decade for heartfelt romantic anthems that both energized you and tugged at your heartstrings. This song is certainly no exception. When you listen to it, you’ll probably end up wanting to get out there and run a mile while simultaneously reaching for a box of tissues.

15. Livin’ On a Prayer (Bon Jovi)

This was easily one of the songs that solidified the band and set the stage for their future successes. It’s a song that talks about surviving through difficult times and doing so by staying together.

Moreover, it’s one that everyone can identify with because the lyrics are about every person that’s ever been through any type of adversity. Everything isn’t tied up in a pretty little bow in the song, and that’s what people love so much about it. It’s gritty, real and ultimately triumphant.

14. Faith (George Michael)

Even if you don’t tend to be a huge fan of music from the 1980s, this is one of those songs that you just can’t get enough of. You hear it once and it just starts playing again and again in your head until you have to listen to it.

It’s got a great beat and there’s something about the lyrics that just draw you in. It’s easy to understand why it has remained so popular, even all these years later.

13. Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen)

Okay, who doesn’t love a song about dancing to great music, regardless of the decade in question? This is one of those songs that makes you want to move your body. Even if you don’t think that you have the rhythm required to dance properly, you’re likely to find your body simply moving to the music with this one. Don’t resist it. Just sit back and enjoy it.

12. Man in the Mirror (Michael Jackson)

Are you looking for a song that has a good message behind it, all while sounding absolutely superb? If that’s the case, you don’t really need to look any further than this one right here. It is a song about confronting all of those hard questions that none of us like asking about ourselves.

The song talks about looking into those dark corners and seeing the things truly repulse you about yourself. After all, you can’t correct any of these things until you’re able to look at them objectively.

If that’s something you’re struggling with, this is a song that might help you get past those hurdles.

11. I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor)

The title says it all here. It is a song about meeting adversity head on and coming out on the other side of it better than you were before. More importantly, it’s a song about knowing ahead of time that regardless of what comes your way, you’re going to make it.

The lyrics create a situation where it simply can’t be any other way because the storyteller won’t allow things to go any other way. It really is a song about becoming the master of your own destiny and refusing to give up until things go your way.

10. Never Gonna Give You Up (Rick Astley)

This is one of those songs that has a great beat. It tends to get stuck in your head and you’ll likely end up listening to it again and again.

Just as the title implies, it is a song about loving someone so much that you’ll never give up on them, no matter what type of circumstances might come your way. The very idea of having that type of love Is beautiful.

Having the story told in a song that is as catchy as this one is even better.

9. Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar)

Have you ever struggled with issues about self-confidence? Maybe there is a certain person in your life that you’ve always had trouble standing up to. If that’s the case, you need to play this song on repeat before you talk to them next time.

It’s a song about no longer accepting being treated in an inferior manner.

As opposed to fearing this type of confrontation, the person in the song goes right up to the individual in question and tells them to do their very best with whatever they’d like to throw at them because they no longer care enough to let it bother them.

8. Juke Box Hero (Foreigner)

Everybody wants to be a hero at one time or another. Who says that you can’t be a musician and a hero at the same time? This is a song that features that heavy classic rock sound of a power ballad that was so popular during the 1980s.

At the same time, the lyrics are talking about becoming so popular in music that the individuals in question become something of a legend in their own right.

7. I Want to Break Free (Queen)

Who hasn’t experienced some type of situation that they simply wanted to get away from? Maybe you’re not happy in your home life or perhaps you have a job that doesn’t exactly stimulate you to jump out of bed in the morning.

Whatever the case might be, this is a great song to listen to whenever you’re feeling like you need to make a change in your life. It’s a song about getting away from the things that hold you back and seeing who you can really become when you’re no longer tied down.

6. My Life (Billy Joel)

This is a great song about letting others know that you’re going to live life on your own terms and they can do the same, provided they’re not always sticking their nose in your business.

In fact, the lyrics in the song basically say exactly that. The storyteller wants to be left alone to make their own decisions and they’re not interested in listening to the opinions of others.

5. You’re the Inspiration (Chicago)

At its core, this is a love song but it is truly inspirational. It talks about loving someone so much that they inspire the storyteller to become a better person. This impacts virtually every aspect of their life and before they know it, they start to transform their life for the better.

How can a song like that fail to do anything but inspire you?

4. Amanda (Boston)

If you really want a genuine love song that is as uplifting as it is entertaining, this one should definitely be on your playlist. It has that classic sound that the group became so famous for, yet there is a certain tenderness to it as well.

3. Jump (Van Halen)

Here you have a song that has been featured on countless numbers of soundtracks over the years and it’s easy to understand why. It’s energetic, fast-paced and hard to stop thinking about. Even people that don’t consider themselves die-hard fans of the group usually end up loving this song.

2. Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey)

Whenever you’re feeling a bit down, this is a great song to get your spirits back up. After all, the title pretty much says everything you need to know. It’s a song about holding on to the belief that things will get better if only you stay in the fight and keep trying.

Everyone has days where they feel like giving up, but it’s important not to actually do so. This is a song that can motivate you to keep going, even on the hard days.

1. Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us Now (Starship)

This is a truly beautiful power ballad, the kind that basically defined the 1980s. It’s a love song but it’s also a song about taking that love and using it as inspiration to accomplish anything you want in life.

The lyrics talk about being so happy because of this love that as long as these two people are together, there is literally nothing they cannot face. There are few sentiments that are more beautiful than this.

It’s easy to understand why this became one of the most popular songs of the entire decade. Even more importantly, it remains something of a foundation song for the decade and it’s popularity has only served to increase as the years have passed.

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