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Melodies of Happiness

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

If your Spotify needs a refresh with some feel-good vibes, you’ve stumbled upon the right article. We all connect with music in some way, but there’s a unique power in tunes that feel uplifting and bring a sense of happiness. Whether you’ve got a niche taste or you’re all about simplicity, I’ve got your back with a deep dive of my favorite feel-good album recommendations. So, whether you’re into something specific or just looking for a good time, there’s a little something for everyone.

Leon Bridges’ debut studio album, “Coming Home,” released in 2015, has earned widespread praise for its nostalgic and soulful sound reminiscent of classic R&B and soul music from the 1960s. In this musical journey, Bridges captures the essence of vintage soul, rhythm and blues. The album’s smooth melodies and lush arrangements create a throwback to the golden era of soul. This album touches upon many thematical emotions such as love, heartbreak, and self-discovery through simple yet profound storytelling. Some of my favorite standout tracks that bring me nostalgia and calamity are “Coming Home,” the lively “Smooth Sailin’,” the soul-stirring “River,” and the optimistic “Better Man.” Bridges’ soulful vocals and infectious grooves truly define this timeless collection.

Based in Birmingham, Alabama, The Brook & The Bluff is an American indie-folk band celebrated for their harmonious fusion of folk, indie, and soul elements. If you find yourself enjoying these different genres, TB&TB bring the perfect blend. Their second album, “First Place,” released in 2019, captures the essence of naivety, youth, and love. The album features standout tracks such as “Halfway Up,” “Everything is Just a Mess,” and “Shelby,” showcasing the band’s unique ability to intertwine vulnerability with upbeat and catchy melodies in their compositions. In addition to the melodic strengths of the band, their unique and in-depth lyrical essence creates a powerful and moving story within this album and their other releases. I got the opportunity to see this band live and the can attest to the band member’s harmonious and uplifting energy through their music and friendship with one another.

Mac Ayres, an American singer, songwriter, and producer known for his soulful and R&B-influenced music, has gained worldwide popularity for his smooth vocals, heartfelt lyrics, and distinctive blend of Neo-soul and modern R&B elements. After his initial attention towards his debut album “Drive Slow” in 2017, he has continued to grow his fan base through the myriad of released albums. With many hidden gems, that may not be Ayres’ top streaming songs, his “Juicebox” album, consists of 16-tracks of uptempo soulful grooves, released right in time for the summertime. If you are looking for an authentic blend of vocals and sound, Mac Ayres is definitely worth a listen!

Lorde’s distinctive sound within her album “Pure Heroine,” released in 2013, is celebrated for its thoughtful lyrics and the way it resonated with a broad audience, establishing Lorde as a formidable talent in the music industry. Her immersion of electropop, indie pop, and alternative music creates a sound that is both fresh and unique within this album. Listening to Lorde’s first album truly sparked her distinct sound and gave listeners the perfect album to sing along to with the windows down.

Halle Park

Rutgers '26

Hello everyone! My name is Halle, I go by she/her/hers pronouns, and I am a current sophomore, anticipating to graduate in 2026. I am majoring in Human Resources Management and hope to minor in Business Administration. I enjoy meeting new friends and forming new connections, and I think HER campus at Rutgers is the perfect place.