EQ on My iPod–Optimism

What songs make you feel good about the future and exercise your emotional intelligence (EQ)?

In the EQ-i model, Optimism refers to your ability and tendency to look at the brighter side of life and to maintain a positive attitude even in the face of adversity. Optimism gives us hope and faith while it enables us to see the future as a positive, inviting place.

My Optimism Playlist is varied—some of its songs bask in the glow of the future’s bright light while others urge an embrace of faith and hope to survive a world full of toil and pain. Optimism comes in many forms. Click the album graphic to hear the song.

emotional intelligence trainingBlue Skies, Willie Nelson

This classic by Irving Berlin has been giving people nice thoughts about the future for almost 100 years. My favorite version is by another music legend, Willie Nelson. “Blue skies smiling at me. Nothing but blue skies do I see. Blue birds singing a song. Nothing but blue skies from now on.”


emotional intelligence trainingBright Side of the Road, Van Morrison

The brilliant career of Van Morrison has given us a steady stream of great music about pain, insanity, despair and spiritual questing. An optimistic gem nestled within this body of work is this upbeat song from 1979.



emotional intelligence trainingI Can See Clearly Now, Johnny Nash

Number 1 hit, 1972. “It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny day.”




emotional intelligence trainingBeautiful Day, U2

Like fellow Irishman Van Morrison, U2 take a pretty unflinching and gritty view of life and the future. This terrific song, however, urges us not to ignore life’s struggles and pain, but while enduring them, remember to notice and embrace life’s joys. “It’s a beautiful day—don’t let it get away.”


emotional intelligence trainingHope of Deliverance, Paul McCartney

In this great song from the early 1990’s, Sir Paul brings his distinctive sound to hope, faith and optimism. “We live in hope of deliverance from the darkness that surrounds us.”



emotional intelligence trainingLand of Hope and Dreams, Bruce Springsteen

This late-career classic from the Boss is less about the brightness of tomorrow than it is the faith in the grace and redemption that await us all. Itself a loving homage to Curtis Mayfield’s spiritually optimistic “People Get Ready”, Springsteen has never been better than this.


emotional intelligence trainingLooking Forward, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

A beautiful Neil Young song with tight Crosby, Stills and Nash harmonies—four old friends looking at the future with nothing but love and peace on the horizon.



emotional intelligence trainingOptimistic, The Sounds of Blackness

Great song—a funky, groovy plea to be positive and embrace the future.


What’s on your EQ iPod?

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. David Mikne says:

    Hile, great music choices! Music is such a deep part of my life. I always feel very hopeful listening to My Morning Jacket. Give “Wordless Chorus” a try! Great track.

  2. David Milne says:

    As a solid ENFP, this is right up my alley. Music speaks to just about every emotion I’m going through.
    A STJ would go nuts on this….shouldn’t this be a “top 10”?? LOL
    Here’s my list of my “Top 5” optimistic tracks!:

    1. Roxy Music “More than This”- I could be in the worst mood and this track always brings me back. Roxy Music were part of 70s glam movement in the UK. The chorus and the arrangement of the song along Bryan Ferry’s promise that there’s nothing “more than this” makes us all hopeful.


    2. Bob Marley and the Wailers “Jammin'” – Turn this up in the car and I promise everything’s gonna be alright. Jah Mon!!


    3. Electric Light Orchestra “Don’t Bring Me Down” – nuff said. Don’t air drum and drive!


    4. Fleetwood Mac “You Make Loving Fun” – yes, Stevie Nicks we believe in miracles when you see this song!


    5. Prefab Sprout “Sweet Gospel Music” – No, not a religious song but inspirational just the same. PS was a fantastic Scottish group who achieved a level of pop fame in the 80s. Vocalist/lyricist, Paddy McAlloon developed a health condition that rendered him blind. This record was years in the making and reflects Paddy’s renewed sense of purpose. I’m inspired!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *