108 songs that’ll stop you from biting your cubicle-mate…or at least curb the urge!

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I have to admit something.

I’ve been an entrepreneur the better part of my life. Which has made the few times I’ve worked for someone else…interesting. Especially, my stint as a federal-government enforcement attorney. Try going from calling all the shots to having to bribe a guy named Fish to get new pens.

I like to be in control and when I’m ordered to do things in a way that doesn’t resonate with me, let’s say, it can cause a little stress.

Which can lead to an urgent need to blow off some steam…before you blow something up!

For me, music has always been a huge refuge. And, over the past 7 years, as the owner of a NYC yoga studio and a yoga teacher who emphasizes a “soundtrack,” I’ve had the luxury of getting paid to spend a big-chunk of my time finding some of the most transporting music on the planet.

The genre really doesn’t matter all that much…

It’s about the music’s ability to profoundly change your state-of-mind in a matter of minutes.

And, now, I’m sharing my list of the top 108 with you. Here they are…

108 Killer State-Changing Songs Or Musical Performances (in no particular order):

  1. Riviera Paradise | Stevie Ray Vaughan
  2. Gravity | John Mayer Trio
  3. Out Of My Mind | John Mayer Trio
  4. Walking In Memphis | Marc Cohn
  5. Have A Little Faith In Me | John Hiatt
  6. Hard Sun | Eddie Vedder
  7. My My, Hey Hey (out of the blue) | Neil Young
  8. Lightning Crashes (acoustic version) | Live
  9. While My Guitar Gently Weeps | Beatles
  10. Don’t Stop Believin’ | Journey
  11. Colorful | Rocco Deluca and the Burden
  12. Summertime | Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
  13. God Bless The Child (1956 version) | Billie Holiday
  14. Chan Chan | Buena Vista Social Club
  15. Cheek to Cheek | Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
  16. So What | Miles Davis
  17. At Last | Etta James
  18. Caramel | Suzanne Vega
  19. Take Five | Dave Brubeck
  20. Don’t Know Why | Norah Jones
  21. Embrace You (1954) | Sarah Vaughan & Clifford Brown
  22. This Masquerade | George Benson
  23. I Want Some Sugar In My Bowl | Nina Simone
  24. Skating | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  25. Take The Money & Run | Steve Miller Band
  26. Fly Like An Eagle | Les Paul & Steve Miller Version
  27. Sexual Healing | Marvin Gaye
  28. Let’s Get It On | Marvin Gaye
  29. What’s Going On | Marvin Gaye
  30. Bring Me To Life | Evanescence
  31. Avalon | Roxy Music
  32. Dante’s Prayer | Loreena McKennitt
  33. Waiting On The World To Change | John Mayer
  34. Serpentine Fire | Earth, Wind & Fire
  35. One | U2
  36. The Way It Is | Bruce Hornsby
  37. Higher Love | Steve Winwood
  38. Wonderful Tonight | Eric Clapton
  39. Suddently I See | KT Tunsall
  40. Thunder Road | Bruce Sprinsteen (Hammersmith Odeon)
  41. Jungleland | Bruce Springsteen (Live in NYC)
  42. The Boys Of Summer | Don Henley
  43. Who Are You | The Who
  44. Clocks | Coldplay
  45. Drops Of Jupiter | Train
  46. She Will Be Loved (acoustic) | Maroon 5
  47. Angel (Live at Lilith Fair) | Sarah McLaughlan & Emmylou Harris
  48. Home | Sheryl Crow
  49. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams | Green Day
  50. I’ll Cover You (reprise) | Rent
  51. Moments In Love | Art Of Noise (6:59 version)
  52. Blues At Sunrise | Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan
  53. Going To California | Led Zeppelin
  54. Hallelujah | Rufus Wainwright
  55. Little Wing | Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughan (both amazing)
  56. Forever Young | Alphaville
  57. Frontin’ | Jamie Cullum (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge)
  58. Feeling Alright | Joe Cocker
  59. One Love/People Get Ready | Bob Marley & The Wailers
  60. The Great Gig In The Sky | Pink Floyd
  61. Dream On (live) | Aerosmith
  62. Up On Cripple Creek | The Band
  63. Most Of The Time | Bob Dylan
  64. Dear Mr. Fantasy | Traffic
  65. Can’t Find My Way Home | Blind Faith version
  66. Orange Sky | Alexi Murdoch
  67. Move On | Jet
  68. Imagine | Keb Mo’
  69. Bennie And The Jets (live) | Elton John
  70. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down | Elton John
  71. Landslide (acoustic) | Fleetwood Mac
  72. Fall To Pieces | Velvet Revolver
  73. Nutshell (unplugged) | Alice In Chains
  74. Ramble On | Led Zeppelin
  75. Can’t You See | Marshal Tucker Band
  76. Alive | Pearl Jam
  77. Son Of A Preacher Man | Dusty Springfield
  78. Waiting On A Friend | Rolling Stones
  79. Alive & Kicking | Simple Minds
  80. Interstate Love Song | Stone Temple Pilots
  81. Take The Long Way Home | Supertramp
  82. Shout | Tears For Fears
  83. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic | Police
  84. Curbside Prophet | Jason Mraz
  85. Sweet Child O’ Mine | Guns N’ Roses
  86. Bohemian Rhapsody | Queen
  87. Tiny Dancer | Elton John
  88. You Can’t Always Get What You Want | Rolling Stones
  89. Sympathy For The Devil | Rolling Stones
  90. Bad | U2
  91. Walk On | U2
  92. Drift Away | Dobie Gray
  93. Flake | Jack Johnson
  94. Hurt | Johnny Cash
  95. All Along The Watchtower | Dave Matthews VH1 version
  96. Heaven (acoustic version) | Live
  97. Crazy | Seal
  98. Deep Water (acoustic) | Seal
  99. Svefn-G-Englar | Sigur Ros
  100. Return To Innocence | Enigma
  101. Oooh Child | Marvin Gaye
  102. The Sky Is Crying | Stevie Ray Vaughan with Albert & BB King
  103. Praise You | Fatboy Slim
  104. Three Little Birds | Bob Marley
  105. Don’t Worry, Be Happy | Bobby McFerrin
  106. Freedom 90 | George Michael
  107. Do You Feel Like We Do | Peter Frampton
  108. I Alone (unplugged) | Live

So…there you have it! Why 108?

Because it’s a hugely important number in nearly every mystical, spiritual, state-changing philosophy and tradition in the world.

But, let’s not stop here.

There were actually a ton of other more “foofy” tunes I excluded (don’t wanna freak anyone out).

Jump in and share you own favorite state-changing tunes in the comments below. You know, the ones that, no matter what mood you’re in, immediately make you smile…the ones that’ll save your colleagues, life-partners and the occasional grocery bagger from getting to feel the wrath of your insta-snap dark-side.

What’d I miss? Bring it on…

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40 responses

40 responses to “108 songs that’ll stop you from biting your cubicle-mate…or at least curb the urge!”

  1. My most recent pick-me-up is “The Humans are Dead” by Flight of the Conchords.


    It always puts a smile on my face.

  2. “Walking In Memphis | Marc Cohn” is one of my favorite songs ever. “True Companion”, off the same album, is also really amazing.

  3. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Hayden – Hey brother! Yeah, I just smile every time I hear the first few bars.

  4. Kelly says:

    The one hit wonder by Len “Steal My Sunshine” is super happy.


    Whenever I’m bummed out I watch the Apache video and it makes me smile ever time!!

  5. #9. i am listening to that right now, weird.
    #28. my wedding song.

    could help notice the lack of hip hop, so blackalicious – make you feel that way and anything off de la soul – 3 feet and rising.

  6. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Kelly – Totally forgot about LEN! Thanks!

    @ Michael B – That IS weird, it’s not like the Beatles’ While my guitar gently weeps is so popular. Gotta love having Marvin Gaye as your wedding song, too. My walking down the aisle song was #51 Moments in love by Art of Noise…totally freaked out all the grandparents!

  7. Mark Blair says:

    Along these lines, I love to scramble up my brainwaves with:

    The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkel
    Money – Pink Floyd
    Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
    Bad, Bad Leroy Brown – Jim Croce
    California Dreamin’ – Mamas and the Papas
    Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers

    and (perhaps strangely)…

    Puff the Magic Dragon – Peter, Paul and Mary

    You’ve given me a darn good idea for my next iTunes playlist, that’s for sure!

  8. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Mark – Wow…Puff eh?! Yeah, I tried to figure out how to set this up as a public playlist on iTunes, to no avail.

    If anyone else knows how to do this, please chime in!

  9. Leo says:

    Anything by Radiohead, Snow Patrol, Bob Marley, John Lennon. 🙂

  10. Jim says:

    Your list has many of my all time favorite songs – wonderfully chosen! To add? Yes, it’s a Christmas song, but “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” by the Carpenters helps me relax, any time of year. So I like Christmas!

  11. Jim says:

    Just thought of almost everything played in “Sleepless in Seattle” – great stuff.

  12. Jim says:

    “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”! So I like Christmas!

  13. Kris says:

    Great list! I’d have to add Appollo 440’s “Stop the Rock” or The Bodyrocker’s “I Like the Way” for whenever you really need to wake up and get moving. Whenever I hear either of those songs, I can barely supress the urge to dance around the room.

    I also noticed Loreena McKennitt’s “Dante’s Prayer” on your list. That song was played at a memorial service I went to a few years ago and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room by the time the song ended. Her music is amazing. It transports you to a completely different time and place.

  14. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Leo – Yeah, with you on the Radiohead, my friend!

    @ Jim – I actually snuck in a serious Christmas song in their. Skating | Vince Guaraldi Trio is actually off of the…Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, which also happens to be a fabulous jazz CD.

    @ Kris – Will have to check out Appollo 440, never listened. Thanks for sharing them! And, yes Loreena McKennitt really takes you away.

  15. Sharon says:

    Barry Manilow….where’s Barry?

  16. Christopher says:

    There are so many. Music moves the masses!

    Here are some I listen to often:
    Allegretto by Bond
    Frozen by Dalain
    Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk
    Feel the Beat by DaRude
    Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
    Scat Man by Scatman John
    Just about anything by Moby

    Thanks for the list. I am always looking for music to motivate.

  17. Jez says:

    Ben folds rocking the suburbs.
    Michael franti – soulshine.
    Two songs that make you glad to be here and now.

  18. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Sharon – Mmmmm, Barry! As long as you’re talking Barry, we should probably throw in some Barry White, too.

    @ Christopher – Hmm, the only one I know on that list is Moby, looks like I have listening to do this weekend, thanks for sharing!

    @ Jez – Yeah, gotta love, Ben folds and Michael Franti, nice addition!

  19. 99 Red Balloons – Goldfinger version
    Has a very rally-the-troops vibe

    Time To Say Goodbye – Andrea Bocelli
    I love this song so much my husband offered to take vocal lessons to sing it to me at our wedding reception.

    Tiny Teddy – The Headstones
    Because it uses the phrase, “Some say they’ve seen him running smokes on Lake Ontario.”

    Cherry Pie – Warrant
    Just because, y’all.

  20. Mike Smith says:

    These are my personal favorites from the list

    Don’t Stop Believin’ | Journey
    Boulevard Of Broken Dreams | Green Day
    One Love/People Get Ready | Bob Marley & The Wailers
    The Great Gig In The Sky | Pink Floyd
    Dream On (live) | Aerosmith
    Three Little Birds | Bob Marley


  21. Clint says:

    Have to say for me…I like a good Bob Dylan “Story of the Hurricane” or a “Steal my kisses” Ben Harper. Both work for me. I just like ’em.

  22. Beth says:

    I happened upon this site going from link to link and I agree- I have a few songs to add to my iPod now. One song that always puts me in a giddy mood, despite the fact it was overplayed is “Hey Ya”-Outkast.

  23. Stephanie says:

    from their CD Four, Blues Traveler:
    Just Wait
    The Mountains Win Again
    Look Around

    And Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World

  24. Sharon says:

    I LOVE Barry White! Go Barry!

  25. Blama Lujza says:

    Lake of Tears – Nathalie and the Fireflies (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnfLAEYJq7w)

    Nightwish – Sleeping Sun (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmDWvGKLzBE)

  26. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Naomi – Boccelli’s Time to say goodbye literally makes me cry. nice call!

    @ Mike Smith – thanks for the props!

    @ Clint – yeah, Ben Harper’s got some great chill tunes, too!

    @ Beth – I was going to put Hey Ya on and totally forgot, thanks for the reminder!

    @ Ellesse – wow, another 40, great! (man, this is gonna cost me!)

    @ Stephanie – I’ll take pretty much anything from Louis Armstrong

    @ Sharon – Hmmm, since we’re on the Barry thing, how about…Barry Gibb? heeheehee! 😉

    @ Blama – Never hear either, will definitely check them out, thanks for adding them in!

  27. Aaron says:

    All good songs but here are the two I listen to whenever I need to calm down.

    1. Flying in a Blue Dream-Joe Satriani
    2. Lotus Feet-Steve Vai

    Those songs can always calm me down no matter how crazy life gets.

  28. Clay says:

    Have to agree with Leo on Bob Marley; anything reggae actually, wonderful for cleaning house and decluttering. Also, western swing, Bob Wills, Alseep at the Wheel. But for work, I am increasingly using Yo Yo Ma’s Vivaldi’s Cello.

  29. Anthea says:

    Great idea!

    My list of such tracks:

    Germany to Germany – Ratatat
    Porcelain – Moby
    1979 – Smashing Pumpkins
    Behind the Sun 0 Red Hot Chili Peppers

    I could go on but those are good happy gems 🙂

  30. Jarkko says:

    You have some great songs on the list.

    There are two songs from Switchfoot that keep me going: Meant To Live, and Burn Out Bright. They both share the message that we got to take the most out of our lives (“You were meant to live for so much more…” / “Before I die, I want to burn out bright”). So, when I listen to the songs, I keep thinking about the day I will get out and work on my own.

    And funnily enough, that actually helps get through the day – not that my days were bad… but still 🙂

  31. kristen says:

    “africa”- toto

    i hear the drums echoing tonight… i’m smiling just thinking about it.

  32. Lisa says:

    oh my God. I am soooo excited about this list. I am SUCH A DUNCE when it comes to music. I mean, seriously! Stuck back in the 70’s and 80s. Two days ago I was thinking of writing my 18-year old niece and asking her to send me a list of what she is listening to these days!!! But then I felt like a total idiot (and old!) and now i find this post. THANK YOU!!!! I am going to download all these songs on my iPod. This list is a total gift. Thank you.

  33. Kasey says:

    Santeria- Sublime

  34. Oysterman says:

    Riviera Paradise is the rightful first place song!!!


  35. Josephine says:

    Gee, unfortunately, I saw this posting rather late. (I’m new to the Life Remix blogs.)

    Always, anything by The Eagles.

    As for Manilow. Mandy is a must.

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  37. Kelly says:


    Thanks for linking back to this great post! Musically we have a lot in common. Actually kinda scary how many I was singing a bit from, then reading the next one, singing a bit from that…

    State-changing tunes:

    Supersonic by Oasis is one of my favorites. Actually most of their music will change your state in some way.

    I agree with Josephine, anything by the Eagles, but if you’re looking to forget the rat race, how about Already Gone.

    Also: The Chain, Fleetwood Mac; Roadhouse Blues, The Doors; Singin’ in the Rain, Gene Kelly; Get Happy, Judy Garland; Beast of Burden, Rolling Stones; Downstairs at Danny’s All-Star Joint, Rickie Lee Jones; That Don’t Impress Me Much, Shania Twain; & depending on how altered you want the mood—how about The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys.

    Better a late comment than never?



  38. That’s awesome that you included Simple Minds, one of my all time favorite uplifting songs in “Dont You Forget About Me”!

  39. Ian says:

    Gosh, this list is terrible. Most of the songs on here are why I hate going to work every day. 85% of these songs are awful and 15% are amazing.