Pharrell Williams has made a hit with his song “Happy”. But this isn’t the first time that a song with the word “Happy” in the title has made it big! Remember Bobby McFerin? Whether or not you loved his 1988 song “Don’t Worry be Happy” chances are that right now, it’s stuck in your head. What about “Happy Together” by the Turtles, 1967? There you go- another one stuck! (UK readers note: this does not explain the shake n’ vac phenomenon- that is for another post)
What about everyone’s favourite, “Happy Birthday to You”- The birthday song? Doesn’t it make you happy just humming it? No? Well, what about Stevie Wonder’s version? My personal favourite is a version by Altered Images (1981).
But it’s not just the music: I think there is something about the word “happy” that makes us…. happy!I t may be the same science as forcing yourself to laugh when you’re sad. Your body reads the laugh signals and starts producing endorphins…genuinely elevating your mood! I think that when we say, “happy”…it makes us a little bit happy!
Here’s a test. (No, I’m not going to ask you to sing these songs all day! Some of you have co-workers who would probably be happy to throw you out the window after the fifth humming version of “don’t worry be happy”). Try to SAY the word ‘happy’ as much as you can today. Just work it into every conversation and every thought. Maybe even just say it under your breath once in a while… and see if your brain is any happier by suppertime!
Webby-business people, I challenge you to go a day without applying that over-used colon-and-bracket happy face, and instead pepper your emails and proposals with the word “happy”. Try including it in subject lines and tweets. My guess is your audience will warm to your ideas, and you will find success- and that will make you happy too.
Have a happy day everyone!