2020 has been a crazy year, to say the least. We’ve had to deal with everything from a global pandemic, to a shattered economy, to natural disasters in several states. While we know that 2021 isn’t that far away, and with it will come better times, it’s easy to get into a sad, anxious, and irritated rut. It’s only normal, and to be expected.
We need all the positivity we can get, and nothing heals quite like music. An upbeat, throwback jam can instantly shift our mood into one of happiness, nostalgia, and high energy. A great song can make us forget our troubles and just want to dance. And we need that right now. That’s why we put together this playlist of upbeat and nostalgic Latinx songs you know and love. Play one, or play them all–we’re sure they’ll make you smile and put you in a great mood!
“Get On Your Feet,” Gloria Estefan
You can always count on Gloria Estefan for an upbeat song that delivers a positive, si se puede message. “Get On Your Feet” inspires you to do just that, no matter what you’ve been through. It’s the perfect song to listen to in 2020, because although things seem bleak now, we have to do the work, and remain positive, so we can reap the benefits in 2021 and beyond!
“Vivir Mi Vida,” Marc Anthony
Another Latinx jam that makes positives out of negative’s is Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida.” It talks about choosing to laugh, dance, and enjoy life, even through the toughest times. It’s just what we need to hear right now, and we’ll dance along to the message!
“La Vida Es Un Carnaval,” Celia Cruz
Celia Cruz dropped mad knowledge in the song “La Vida Es Un Carnaval.” The recording reminds you to see life as something beautiful, instead of getting into the addiction of negative thinking, criticism, and ungratefulness. You can’t choose what’s happening, but you can choose how you react to it, and to see the positive in everything.
“Techno Cumbia,” Selena
Is it really an upbeat Latinx playlist if there isn’t any Selena in it? We think not! So we had to include the jam “Techno Cumbia.” It literally tells you to dance without stopping, with a rhythm that you can’t ignore. Throw it on, dance as part of your cardio, dance just because, and honor Selena all at the same time.
“Let’s Dance,” Chris Montez
During the 1960s, many songs were about just being happy and dancing. Nothing more, nothing less. A ’60s vintage tune that will have you twisting in the living room with glee is Chris Montez’s “Let’s Dance.” It’s one of the Chicano throwbacks everyone should definitely know about, so give it a listen.
“Come On, Let’s Go,” Ritchie Valens
Chicano rock wouldn’t exist without it’s father, Ritchie Valens. He gave a Latinx face, presence, and identity to the genre, repping back during the ’50s. A song that will give you a sense of pop music in the 1950s, give you orgullo Latino, and have you movin’ is “Come On, Let’s Go.”
“La Bamba,” Ritchie Valens
Richie Valens’ biggest hit is no doubt “La Bamba,” a song that everyone loves and instantly sings along to. It’s an upbeat jam that will have you smiling and yelling out the lyrics in 2020. And that’s exactly what we all need right now.
“Land of 1000 Dances,” Cannibal & The Headhunters
You’ve probably heard a version of “Land of 1000 Dances,” but you may not know it was recorded by Chicanos. The upbeat pop song is pure 1960s, and makes you want to jump around, be happy, and just let go. You will get this song stuck in your head, but it’s definitely a good thing.
“Livin’ La Vida Loca,” Ricky Martin
We can now say with certainty that we are, in fact, livin’ la vida loca. Times are crazy, but at least we have a theme song for it now, and it’s the ’90s Ricky Martin classic of the same name. It’s high energy, reminds us of the Latin Explosion of that decade, and makes for a great workout song. Turn it up, shake it up, and get yourself feeling great.
“La Negra Tiene Tumbao,” Celia Cruz
Now more than ever, we are giving all the props to our Afro-Latina sisters and their fabulousness. And no song shouts out the badassery of an Afro-Latina than Celia Cruz’s “La Negra Tiene Tumbao.” It’s also the jam to dance to, as are so many of Celia’s other songs. Celia has always taught us to be strong but be happy, to have fun and be grateful no matter what, and we need that message right here, right now.
“Let’s Get Loud,” Jennifer Lopez
J-Lo knows how to get la gente amped, and up and moving. “Let’s Get Loud” is a throwback classic that makes any space you’re in into a makeshift dance floor. It also has a positive message about living your life and not wasting it.
“Flashdance… What a Feeling,” Irene Cara
Did you know that the Oscar and Grammy-winning song, “Flashdance… What a Feeling” was co-written and sung by a Latina? Yes! Irene Cara, who also starred in Fame, and sang it’s title song, is Afro-Puerto Rican-Cuban. This song from the movie Flashdance will give you 1980s, you can do anything vibes, inspiring you to think bigger and better for 2021.
“Whenever, Wherever,” Shakira
Coronavirus has kept many people from their loved ones, but we can make fun of distance if the love is real. So says Shakira in her megahit “Whenever, Wherever.” Not only is the song’s theme lovey dovey and upbeat, but the beat makes you want to retry belly dancing a la Shakira.
“Oye Como Va,” Santana
Now it’s time to slow the tempo a bit. “Oye Como Va” is a classic, first presented to us by Tito Puente, and later given the 1970s treatment by Carlos Santana. It’s all about the rhythm and the amazing sound. You can dance to it, chill out to it, but either way, you’ll feel better for having heard the song again.
“A Dios Le Pido,” Juanes
Juanes’ “A Dios Le Pido” has a new meaning now that it’s 2020 and we are in the era of COVID-19. It speaks about love and happiness, but also asks God that if we have to die, let it be dying of love. That our moms stay here with us, and that we have just one more second to give to the one we have chosen to spend life with.