Playlist: 10 Summer Songs to Brighten a Winter Day


With January upon us and lots of cold weather ahead, you might need to listen to songs that makes you think of summer to get you through the days. Here are some of my favorite songs that make me think of warmer weather. I’m Walking On Sunshineby Katrina & The Waves

An obvious choice? Yes. Cliché? Yes. Nonetheless this 1983 hit is a great song to help your mind drift to summer. It’s an upbeat song that has undeniable energy and it’s hard not to smile while listening. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be “walking on sunshine” when it’s less than 20 degrees outside?

“Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra

Another classic song. I guarantee you that watching this music video will put a smile on your face. This song is a beautiful blend of bright lyrics, colorful images, and rock and roll power chords. The result is simply addicting.

“Streetcorner Symphony” by Rob Thomas

“Streetcorner Symphony” is one of my favorite all-time songs. It was even my wake-up alarm on my phone for a while because I thought it was such a happy song to start my day. The lead guitar riffs, especially between verses, sound amazing and the song’s message of love and warmth easily bring me back to (and make me long for) summer days.

“Rather Be” by Clean Bandit (ft. Jess Glynne)

Unlike previous songs on this playlist, “Rather Be” isn’t explicitly about summer. Still, the energy of the chorus, most notably its powerful piano, always makes me think of warmer weather. Maybe it’s because when it’s summer “there’s no place I’d rather be.”

“Good Time” by Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen

Like “Rather Be,” there is something inexplicably summer about “Good Time.” The lyrics don’t mention the warmer weather, but the message evokes a carefree summer vibe that makes “Good Time” such a feel-good song.

“In Too Deep” by Sum 41

“In Too Deep” will always remind me of the movie American Pie 2, when it plays at the end during a summer party. This connection will forever join “In Too Deep” and my thoughts of summer, while the Sum 41 music video adds to the effect.

“She’s So High” by Tal Bachman

This song was a hit when it was released in 1999, but I had never heard of “She’s So High” until discovering it on a Pandora playlist called “Summer Hits of the ‘90s.” It’s another one of my favorite songs and I highly recommend checking out both “She’s So High” and that playlist as well.

“Geronimo” by Sheppard

The phrase “Geronimo” itself makes me think of jumping into a pool, lake, or ocean. Thus, it’s easy to associate this 2014 Sheppard song with my favorite season. There isn’t much variation in the lyrics of this song, but like many others on this playlist, the energy of “Geronimo” screams summer.

“Better Together” by Jack Johnson


I don’t think you can have a complete summer playlist without at least one Jack Johnson song. Johnson’s style of acoustic guitar and soothing lyrics surely differs from the upbeat songs that dominate this playlist, but his music is just as powerful. “Better Together” is the perfect song to sing around a campfire in summer and if you have not listened to Johnson before, his repertoire is well worth the listen.

“Drift Away” by Dobie Gray

Like Johnson, Gray departs from the typical vibe of other songs on this playlist. “Drift Away” was originally released by John Henry Kurtz in 1972 and remains popular today thanks to Uncle Kracker’s cover. However, it’s Gray’s equally popular cover that has become my personal favorite version of this song. If there’s a sure-fire way to dream of summer, it’s to “free your soul,” “get lost in rock and roll,” and “drift away.”

Keep these songs in mind when you’re trudging to class in what feels like sub-arctic weather, and they might brighten your day just enough!

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