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Need some tunes? Here are 20 cool road trip songs to make any journey awesome

2019-04-17 11:00

Leigh-Ann Londt

top songs

Image: iStock

Who hasn’t sung "Mamaaaa, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh…" at the top of their lungs while driving? Any fragment of Bohemian Rhapsody is good for letting it all out, releasing stress and happy motoring.

Now, according to a survey conducted by SEAT , we know we aren’t alone when we sing at the wheel; 90% of drivers admit that listening to music in the car gives them a feeling of happiness. In fact, the great majority of them (84%) always or very often listen to their favorite songs while driving, as shown by a survey by SEAT  done on a simple of 2,000 drivers between the ages of 18 and 84. 

These findings are backed by research published in Nature magazine which shows that listening to music releases dopamine, the happiness hormone. Furthermore, enjoyment increases when listening to a song we especially like. 

Even though there is no accounting for individual music tastes, the participants in the survey also listed their favourite genres, with pop and rock coming out on top. 64% claim that listening to different kinds of songs changes their mood.

Any fragment of Queen’s smash hit is a clear example of the effect that music has on drivers. Based on the answers from the SEAT survey participants, Bohemian Rhapsody, recorded in 1975, is at the top of the list of the 20 best songs to listen to while driving. 

What's your favourite road trip song and why? Email us

Watch: Aint no mountain

There are a lot of must-haves in the top 10 positions. The second most popular song is another hit from the 70s, Dancing Queen, by Abba, followed by Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer and other 80s hits like Walking on Sunshine or Eye of the Tiger. I Gotta Feeling: The only two current performers that made it into the top ten are Pharrell, with Happy, and Black Eyed Peas, with I Gotta Feeling.

There are a lot of modern songs beginning in 11th place, such as This Is Me, from the film The Greatest Showman, or Roar, by Katy Perry. Songs 11 to 20 on the list also include the oldest hit, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1966), and the only one from the 90s, Wonderwall, by Oasis.  … and five aspects that make them a hit song (according to Pablo Cano, musician, producer and composer of more than 500 tracks) Rhythm. 2/4 or 4/4 beats are easy to identify and dance to; they are as familiar as our own heartbeat. 


Major keys (C major, D major…) bring a sense of “vitality and joy”. Furthermore, the idea that less is more also applies to music: “Many hit songs only have 3 or 4 chords”. 


It must be logical so that people listening can anticipate which part is coming up depending on the style of the song. Lyrics. They are generally uncomplicated, “so that anyone can understand the message and identify with it”. The goal is to generate empathy. Chorus. “It has to have a simple melody that is easy to sing”. It is what the listener is going to remember, so making it repetitive is very important.

Read more on:    road trip  |  music

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