Pandora Has Seen a 111 Percent Rise in the Demand for ‘Happy’ Music Since 2020, For Some Reason

People are wanting happier music these days. Wonder why?

In 2020, things were down. Maybe you heard about this. Between a world-shifting pandemic, a bitterly divisive election season plagued with conspiracies and global recession, things were a little sticky. And when things get sticky, we turn to music to boost our spirits and turn things around.

That’s according to a mid-year report from MRC Data, which found that “55 percent of music listeners said one of the most important things that the music industry can provide this year is offering ‘uplifting’ and ‘happy’ music.”

Pandora actually found that to be extra true, reporting that it saw a whopping 111 percent increase in people searching for “happy” music on its music streaming service. The demand for musical “pick-me ups” motivated the creation of a whole new series of curated playlists of encouraging music.

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You can even see this in the recent output from pop artists. Lorde, the famously melodramatic master of moody melodies, surprised fans with a sunny collection of zen’d out bliss with her most recent Solar Power. Lil Nas X’s Montero is a similarly breezy trip. It seems that the more prickly the world around us gets, the more we want our music to reflect something aspirational — a state we can’t get to without a little extra help.

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