Music can’t cure the virus, nor can it replace whatever or whomever we are grieving during this time. What music can do is offer a brief reprieve, and the right song can transport you to a happier place. With that in mind, here’s the first installment in Rolling Stone‘s new weekly playlist series, “Music at Home”: 10 pop classics, new and old, meant to spark joy in a “break glass in case of emergency” situation. Listen below, and you’ll find it hard to avoid smiling — or, if you’re feeling up for it, dancing — as soon as the music begins.
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Run Away With Me”
Scientists have determined that it is impossible not to feel like your soul is levitating out of your body the minute you hear the triumphant horns that launch this Emotion track.
Fleetwood Mac, “Everywhere”
This sparkling Tango in the Night highlight has Christine McVie firing on all of her pop cylinders. Like all of Fleetwood Mac’s best Eighties songs, it sounds like you’re skipping through an enchanted forest.
Kygo & Whitney Houston, “Higher Love”
For Houston superfans, her cover of the Steve Winwood hit was a gem lost to time. Thankfully, Kygo added his signature trop-pop sound to the freshly unearthed cover in 2019 without comprising another transcendent vocal performance from one of history’s best singers.
Dua Lipa, “Don’t Start Now”
Really fun quarantine game: challenge yourself to see how long you can sit still while listening to Dua Lipa’s empower-pop disco turn. The trick to winning is to actually lose the challenge.
Janet Jackson, “Someone to Call My Lover”
Jackson’s All for You is a true sunshine-pop masterpiece, but her romantically hopeful reworking of America’s “Ventura Highway” will leave your heart feeling like it’s been painted gold.
Let those heavy, wavy synths cover you like a weighted blanket. Kid Cudi had the right idea when he was vibing out to another classic Oracular Spectacular track during MGMT’s Coachella set many moons ago.
Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris, “We Found Love”
Blasting this EDM classic at full volume might piss off your neighbors — but it will make you feel like you’re in a club, surrounded by friends, finding love in a hopeless place.
The Killers, “Mr. Brightside”
Miss karaoke? Screaming along to the Killers’ signature song on a Zoom call with friends will be a quick fix for that.
One Direction, “One Thing”
There is no bad mood a boy band can’t fix. This early hit from the gone but never forgotten 1D is sweet enough to take your mind off the state of the world for a little more than three minutes.
Gigi D’Agostino, “L’amour toujours”
This Italo dance classic is so delightful that even its usage immediately after the particularly brutal climax of Uncut Gems this year couldn’t diminish its sheer joy.