Songs about good times are appreciated best when you’re feeling nostalgic, and it’s because music is one of the best ways to relive old memories. Even just hearing a song that was popular when you were in high school can take you back to the first time you heard it, the warm summer days at the beach and hanging out with your friends. Indeed, songs are good for reminding us of happy times.
This article lists songs about good times, from classic rock tunes to modern pop hits and everything in between.
Top Songs About Good Times
Here are some songs that will bring back some good old memories.
1. Good Time by Owl City, Carly Rae Jepsen
In this radio-friendly comeback hit, Carly Rae Jepsen of “Call Me Maybe” joins Owl City. “Good Time” was a commercial success around the world, charting at No. 1 in Canada, New Zealand, and South Korea and reaching No. 10 in 12 other countries. Because of the song’s success, it conclusively disproved both acts’ status as “one-hit wonders.”
Owl City’s Adam Young wrote the upbeat song in the early months of 2011 during summertime. According to MTV News, he intended to write a song that anyone from any walk of life could enjoy singing.
2. What A Time by Julia Michaels
“What a Time” is the sixth song from Julia Michaels’ first full-length studio album, Inner Monologue. On this slow pop song, Michaels collaborated with Niall Horan, where they sing lyrics mourning the end of a relationship.
They recount the ups and downs of a past romance in this beautifully nostalgic song. Even though things didn’t work out, they can look back gratefully on “what a time” they had together.
3. Good Days by SZA
“Good Days” is a song by American singer SZA, with Jacob Collier providing additional vocals. SZA sings of old love, soul searching, and carefree happiness in this nostalgic track. SZA wrote in a YouTube comment, “Good days is a reminder that we’re all struggling to find and feel a connection. To believe everyday has the tiniest possibility to be better than the last is what it’s all about. Possibility!”
A song about letting go of the past and present negativity and instead of looking forward to the future, “Good Days” went platinum in the United States, reaching No. 1 on Spotify. Additionally, it was her first solo song to peak in the Top 10. According to SZA, this is the song she needed to hear during the difficult COVID-19 pandemic.
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4. Good Old Days by Macklemore ft. Kesha
“Good Old Days” is a nostalgic song about appreciating where you are in life since you will look back and think these were the “good old days” in the future. The lyrics are backed by a gentle melody that will make you nostalgic for happier days and urge you to live in the moment.
In the verses, Macklemore describes a few life-defining situations that he fondly remembers and a few that he wishes had gone differently. He sings about how much he misses those with whom he shared good times. He talks about how fun it was and wishes he could go back there and enjoy that time again.
Though Macklemore does sing about mistakes he made along the way in his past, he realizes that the good outweighs the bad—thus making these “good old days” something worth remembering fondly.
5. Good Things by Dan + Shay
Dan + Shay debuted “Good Things” on July 16, 2021, in front of a live audience for the first time in almost a year. It was the title track from their eponymous full-length album. In an interview with Apple Music, Dan Smyers said, “‘Good Things’ was actually the first song that we ever wrote on Zoom, which is crazy to say… It brought us back to the old days of when we moved to Nashville, writing with just an acoustic guitar,” he added.
This song is the perfect introduction to this period of Dan + Shay, with its anthemic chorus over stirring sounds. The duo is hopeful on this track, moving on while wishing an ex well. Dan + Shay had fond memories of their relationship and regretted how it deteriorated after they said some hurtful things. The couple hopes that their former lover recalls their pleasant days together and thinks “good things” about them.
6. Midnight Memories by One Direction
The title track of One Direction’s third album, “Midnight Memories,” is an ode to the band’s life on the road. With booming choruses, strong guitar riffs, and defiant lyrics, the song shatters the typically calm nature of 1D tunes. Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson wrote “Midnight Memories” together with frequent collaborators John Ryan, Julian Bunetta, and Jamie Scott.
Bunetta told MTV News that the song personifies the band’s lifestyle. “It’s the title of the album and it just happens to fall in line with Up All Night, Take Me Home, it’s all references to in the evening,” he explained.
“And midnight memories are where most of the memories of this record were made. It was between midnight and 5 in the morning. We have so many memories of just being in the studio or being after a show or being in the back of the bus or going to one of the guys’ places and hanging and writing. Or [it’s also] just when you’re young and that’s when you kind of have all your experiences.”
One Direction made history when the album Midnight Memories debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making them the first band in US chart history to have their first three albums debut at the top.
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7. The Very First Night by Taylor Swift
Taylor recorded “The Very First Night” for her album RED (Taylor’s Version), a re-recording of her 2012 album RED. It is a sweet song about looking back on a past love shared. Although it’s about an old relationship, the tone is light, not sad or regretful.
Here, Swift remembers the early days of a relationship that didn’t last, and she wishes she could travel back in time to relive that euphoric, love-struck experience. It’s a song that reminds you of all the good times you had with someone who is no longer in your life.
The original tracklisting for the RED album didn’t include the song. However, when Swift began re-recording her first six studio albums after a dispute over the ownership of the masters of her back catalog, she included “The Very First Night” as one of nine bonus songs in RED (Taylor’s Version) released in 2021.
8. Photograph by Ed Sheeran
Some songs are so beautiful they have the power to make all who listen feel something. Ed Sheeran’s 2015 hit “Photograph,” is one of these songs about good times. Sheeran wrote this song for his second studio album, x, and he collaborated with Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol. Here, the narrator sings about trying to preserve their love in a picture so that the romance’s beauty will remain with them forever.
The song’s lyrics depict a long-distance relationship and it includes vivid imagery of good times and memories. The singer recalls his girlfriend kissing him “under the lamppost, back on 6th street,” among other things. Sheeran’s personal long-distance relationship experience inspired these lyrics. While on tour, he dated Nina Nesbitt, a Scottish singer/songwriter, for over a year.
9. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” has a simple message about the end of a relationship. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote this song for an ex-girlfriend who moved to Ecuador while he was still having trouble writing about anything else.
In many ways, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” is Armstrong’s way of reminiscing about his time with his ex-girlfriend, even though he knows that she’s better off without him. In this sense, it is the ultimate example of moping around while being completely selfless at the same time.
This song also became one of Green Day’s most successful singles. It’s also become a mainstay of the band’s live performances, frequently played as the final song during concerts.
10. House of Memories by Panic! at the Disco
“House of Memories” is about a relationship “built on memories.” The relationship was powerful and lovely, but something went wrong, and it’s now ended. In the song, Brendon Urie doesn’t go into depth about the breakup. Instead, he concentrates on how difficult life is now that his former girlfriend is gone.
The chorus emphasizes the past: “Baby, we built this house / On memories.” Their lives were filled with happy recollections of time spent together. They were in love with each other and had a long history together. It was sturdy and felt long-lasting, so he labeled it a house.
Filled with melancholic and yearning lyrics, Panic! at the Disco’s “House of Memories” is a haunting song about good memories spent with a former lover.
11. Best Day of My Life by American Authors
If you haven’t heard of American Authors, now is the time to change that. The four-member band is a solid rock outfit with catchy melodies and positive messages. Their song “The Best Day of My Life” is a feel-good anthem that will bring up some good memories.
The band released the song in March 2014 and peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart. It’s featured on the band’s debut studio album, Oh, What a Life, which came out in March 2014.
Dave Rublin spoke in a podcast of Songfacts, where he disclosed that they were writing the song when the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting happened in 2012. They were motivated to write the song to make people smile and feel good, “because that’s something that was missing from rock and from songwriting, just something so simplistic that can be an earworm, that can carry people,” the singer explained.
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12. Photograph by Nickelback
Nickelback’s “Photograph” is a rock song from their fifth studio album, All the Right Reasons. The song’s lyrics follow the narrator as he reflects on memories and how much has changed as he has grown older. The lyrics are a recollection of real-life experiences and personal milestones that lead singer Chad Kroeger reflected on when he was writing the song.
When asked by CBC Radio to explain his songwriting process behind “Photograph”, Kroeger said, “It’s just nostalgia, growing up in a small town, and you can’t go back to your childhood. Saying goodbye to friends that you’ve drifted away from, where you grew up, where you went to school, who you hung out with and the dumb stuff you used to do as a kid, the first love — all of those things. Everyone has one or two of those memories that they are fond of, so this song is really just the bridge for all that.”
13. Memories by Weezer
Weezer’s “Memories” is the first single and the opening track from their 2010 album Hurley. The song was initially made available online to promote the comedy film Jackass 3D. The closing credits of the film also featured this nostalgic song. Its music video includes clips from the film Jackass 3D as well as videos of its cast members. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Rivers Cuomo revealed that several Jackass crew sang as backup vocals.
It’s the perfect song to go with the movie because, like Jackass, it’s about not taking life too seriously. Although it was released in 2010, this song still offers listeners a strong sense of nostalgia. It reminds you of how old you are and how much time has passed, making it one of the best nostalgic songs about good times.
14. Good Time by Alan Jackson
“Good Time” was another No. 1 country hit for Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson. Jackson released it as the second single from his eponymous album in 2008. This up-tempo song speaks of a man who is desperate for a “good time.” He is wary of working all week and just wants to have fun on a Friday night – when all the conditions are right.
“I cashed my check, cleaned my truck, put on my hat, forgot about work, “Jackson sings. He picked up his girl across town and is now on his way to a place where he will undoubtedly have a good time.
A well-known songwriter and singer of country songs, Alan Jackson, is known for his other classic hits like “Freight Train”, “Chattahoochee” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”.
15. These Are the Days by 10,000 Maniacs
At first listen, “These Are the Days” sounds like a perfect summer song with its acoustic strums and beautiful melody. This song from 10,000 Maniacs was released as the lead single from their 1992 album, Our Time in Eden.
With its lyrics such as “You’ll know it’s true, that you, that you are blessed and lucky / It’s true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you,” the song evokes a sense of hope and optimism. It can be interpreted as fully loving life and having the freedom to follow your heart and anticipate the best in every circumstance.
Indeed, you may already be experiencing the good times that you’ll remember in the future. Just like Merchant sings, “Hear the signs and know they’re speaking to you.”
16. Remember the Time by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson released “Remeber the Time” as the second single from his album, Dangerous. It’s about remembering the time when you first fell in love with someone. This lighthearted song fused with the new jack swing was written and composed by Jackson, Teddy Riley, and Bernard Belle.
The song was a commercial hit, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles and Mainstream Top 40 charts. The Recording Industry Association of America has also given it a Platinum certification (RIAA).
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17. Good Times by Chic
While disco died a painful death in the early 1980s, a few of its best songs live on. “Good Times” is one of them, which Chic released in 1979 for their third album, Risqué. When “Good Times” came out, the United States was emerging from a recession, and this song became a happy memory of the roller-disco era. After Nixon and Vietnam and the economic downturn, good times truly seemed to be on the horizon.
Bernard Edward’s bass line in “Good Times” was a significant influence on hip-hop. Many rap artists sampled it in their songs, including Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on The Wheels of Steel,” LL Cool J’s “Rock the Bells”, and Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force’s “Planet Rock.” This influential song ranked 68th on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
18. Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen
“Glory Days” is a song written and performed by Bruce Springsteen who released it as the fifth single from his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A. In this song filled with nostalgia, Springsteen looks back to the “glory days” and those of people he knew in high school.
In the opening verse, Springsteen talks of a serendipitous encounter with an old friend who was a star baseball player in high school. This man was Joe DePugh, and the meeting took place, which is why some of the lyrics are deemed autobiographical.
This song is a classic that has stood the test of time. No matter how old you are, this song will bring back memories of high school, or just those times when life was a lot simpler. It’s the perfect song about good times and youth, making you desire for things to just be what it was before.
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19. Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams
“Summer of ‘69” was released by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams in 1985. It was a slow-build hit, rising to the top of the U.S. charts in October of that year and eventually selling millions of copies worldwide.
The song reflected the summer of 1969 when Adams was playing in his first band and dating his first girlfriend. Although he had no idea what to expect when he got into the studio, he recorded this rock anthem that many believed made him an international superstar.
20. In My Life by The Beatles
This song was written mainly by John Lennon and was first born out of a nostalgic set of memories about his hometown. He had such an emotional reaction to the memories that he felt compelled to write them down. Having finished the lyrics, he struggled to make a proper melody for it. Paul McCartney helped in writing the tune.
Lennon himself said that “In My Life” was one of his favorite songs ever written by the Beatles and has been praised for its beautiful harmonies and melodies. Lennon described the song as his “first real major piece of work.”
21. Summer Nights by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
The song “Summer Nights” is a hit from the musical Grease. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John recorded it for the big-screen adaptation of the musical, and it was released as a single in 1978.
Looking back, “Summer Nights” was the ultimate summer love song. It encapsulates all the youthful excitement felt during those sweltering months. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John will have you singing along while they give you a little background on their whirlwind romance from the previous summer. The lyrics are simple and sweet, reminiscent of every young couple’s first love.
Whether it’s a particularly joyous time in your life or a moment of heartbreak and grief, there’s nothing like the power of music to take you back to that place. A song can conjure memories of an old boyfriend or girlfriend, a concert you attended with friends, or even just a day when the sun was shining so bright it almost hurt your eyes.
Indeed, many great songs tell stories of these amazing times and beautiful memories. Not only do they show us what a fun time these artists have themselves, but these songs also inspire us to create our memories. We hope you enjoyed this list of 21 songs about good times.