By Glenn Hickling

Cheerful tunes can actually make you healthier, both mentally and physically. So here’s 100 songs that could help get you in the groove, and keep you cool and creative when you need it most.

In Want to Be More Creative? Here’s what music to avoid at all costs, we made a scientific case for making a personal playlist of songs and using it to dial up your creative mindset on demand. But if those songs are happy songs, you can reduce stress and do your body a few favours too.

Twenty-three separate studies – covering 1,500 people – have concluded that music can reduce anxiety, heart rate, even blood pressure. One University of Missouri study into music and mood found that: “People were successful at raising their positive mood as long as the music they listened to was happy and upbeat”.

Of course, music is very subjective and personal. One person’s happy song is another’s pass-the-sick-bucket cheese fest. Personally for working, I love disco – and its musical mother ship, funk.

Why disco works for me

Disco runs at 120bpm, the pace of your heartbeat on a confident strut. Upbeat and sonically interesting, it’s essentially a live orchestra making dance music. Most of these songs in my personal playlist were huge hits before I was born – but somehow I know them inside out.

It’s not just me. They are familiar to millions. Do you know them too?

If so, all of those different instruments and hooks means loads of little dopamine boosts in your brain’s pleasure centres – which means focus, concentration and a little shoulder shuffling and whistling while you work. And if you’ve never heard them before, you’re in for treat…

Check out the YouTube playlist or enjoy the sounds via this Spotify playlist.

My funky disco personal productivity playlist

  • Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band – A Fifth Of Beethoven
  • Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up
  • Chic – Dance Dance Dance
  • KC and the Sunshine Band – Shake, Shake, Shake
  • Shirley & Co – Shame Shame Shame
  • The Jackson 5 – Shake Your Body Down To The Ground
  • Cheryl Lynn – Got To Be Real
  • Earth, Wind & Fire – September
  • Fatback Band – (Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop
  • KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s the Way I Like It
  • Sister Sledge – He’s the Greatest Dancer
  • Boney M – Daddy Cool
  • Odyssey – Use It Up And Wear It Out
  • Mcfadden and Whitehead – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now
  • Gibson Brothers – Cuba
  • Thelma Houston – Don’t Leave Me This Way
  • Stevie Wonder – I Wish
  • Kool and The Gang – Ladies Night
  • Jackson 5- Blame it on the Boogie
  • Loose Joints – Is It All Over My Face
  • Rose Royce – Car Wash
  • Sugar Hill Gang – Rappers Delight
  • Curtis Mayfield – Superfly
  • Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman
  • Chic – Everybody Dance
  • Anita Ward – Ring My Bell
  • Donna Summer – Bad Girls
  • Sylvester – You Make Me Feel Mighty Real
  • James Brown – Superbad
  • Barry White – It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me
  • Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody
  • The Gap Band – Oops Upside Your Head
  • Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music
  • Heatwave – Boogie Nights
  • Dan Hartman – Instant Replay
  • Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough
  • Average White Band – Pick Up The Pieces
  • Third World – Now That We Found Love
  • KC And The Sunshine Band – I’m Your Boogie Man
  • Rick James – Super Freak
  • LaBelle – Lady Marmalade
  • KC and the Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight
  • Stevie Wonder – Superstition
  • Baccara – Yes Sir, I Can Boogie
  • K.C. and The Sunshine Band – Boogie Shoes
  • Diana Ross – Upside down
  • Kool And The Gang – Jungle Boogie
  • Hues Corporation – Rock The Boat
  • Chic – Soup For One
  • Diana Ross – My Old Piano
  • Chic – My Forbidden Lover
  • Funkadelic – One Nation Under A Groove
  • Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
  • Earth, Wind & Fire – Boogie Wonderland
  • David Bowie – Let’s Dance
  • Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up
  • Sister Sledge – Lost In Music
  • George Benson – Give Me The Night
  • The Real Thing – You To Me Are Everything
  • Candido – Jingo
  • Kelly Marie – Feels Like I’m in Love
  • Jimmy Bo Horne – Spank
  • Peaches & Herb – Shake Your Groove Thing
  • Van McCoy – The Hustle
  • Indeep – Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
  • Hot Chocolate – Everyone’s a Winner
  • Mary Jane Girls – All Night Long
  • Candi Stanton-Young Hearts Run Free
  • The Emotions – Best of my Love
  • The O’Jays – Love Train
  • Amii Stewart – Knock On Wood
  • Gloria Gaynor – Never Can Say Goodbye
  • Blondie – Heart Of Glass
  • Doobie Brothers – Long Train Running
  • Chic – Good Times
  • Jimmy Bo Horne – Dance Across the Floor
  • MFSB featuring The Three Degrees – TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)
  • The Salsoul Orchestra “Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)”
  • Andrea True Connection – More, More, More
  • Sister Sledge – Thinking Of You
  • Boney M – Rasputin
  • Womack & Womack – Teardrops
  • Lipps Inc – Funky Town
  • Class Action – Weekend (Larry Levan Remix)
  • Fox – S-S-S-Single Bed
  • Stevie Wonder – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing
  • CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers – Like A Virgin (live)
  • Sly & The Family Stone – Everyday People
  • Patrice Rushen – Forget Me Nots
  • Teddy Pendergrass – You Can’t Hide From Yourself
  • James Brown – I Feel Good
  • Bill Withers – Lovely Day
  • Parliament – Give up the Funk
  • Roy Ayers – Running Away
  • Chic – Le Freak
  • Donna Summer – I Feel Love
  • Ian Dury and The Blockheads – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
  • Odyssey – Native New Yorker (Disco Mix)
  • Crusaders feat. Randy Crawford – Street Life
  • Stevie Wonder- Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours
  • As I said, musical taste is a very personal thing. I just thought it would be nice to show you what I work to now. For the last couple of years I’ve thought I did my best work in silence, but disco saved me from writer’s block recently and now I’m totally addicted!

    I’d love to hear about your own productivity playlists / favourite genres for working to… let us know in the comments below.

    Read more here:: 100 awesome happy songs for a sparkling creative mood