Hits from popular artists like Mac Miller and Dua Lipa are perfect for hitting the open road.

As the weather warms up, people may be in search of safe ways to go outside. With this upcoming summer being the first since the world’s strict pandemic lockdown, it’s important to get out and enjoy oneself while remaining safe. One easy and cheap way to get some fresh air is to pile into a car with close friends, roll the windows down, blast music and drive around.

The only things missing are a full gas tank, the perfect late-night drive and a singing-at-the-top-of-one’s-lungs playlist. Listed below are 10 songs to uplift one’s mood and fuel the start of the playlist — then, one can insert their personal favorites.

“The Spins” — Mac Miller

If there’s one song to include on this playlist, this is the one. It’s a feel-good song that takes the listener back to easier days. “The Spins” focuses on having fun and following one’s dreams, which are things people may need to be reminded of right now. If every person in the car is singing along, it’ll be an uplifting experience. 

“Golden” — Harry Styles

Categorized as an indie-pop and soft rock song, the energy is unmatched. It can easily bring a smile to anyone’s face. Styles’ career as a solo artist has been gaining traction for years, and any song on his recent “Fine Line” album would make an immaculate addition to the playlist.

“American Teen” — Khalid

This song was released on Khalid’s debut studio album “American Teen” in 2017. For anyone that was in high school when this song came out, it instantly takes the listener back to those carefree days. The song has a great beat and relatable lyrics — perfect for singing with friends. 

“Loving Is Easy” — Rex Orange County

Any song from Rex Orange County brings peaceful and easy-going vibes, but this single in particular has a contagious energy. The song focuses on love, but regardless of whether it’s relatable to an individual, it’s a great listen. 

“Levitating” — Dua Lipa

This song has taken the world by storm in the past few months, and people all over social media are asking, “What did they put in this song?” It seems no one’s able to stop listening. Featuring DaBaby, the two work together to create a high-energy, cheerful experience. No one will be able to keep themselves from dancing along when this is playing.

“Here’s To Never Growing Up” — Avril Lavigne

Taking it back about eight years, this is a nostalgic choice and a reminder to enjoy one’s youth. This song by Lavigne will make listeners sit back and realize that they’re in the “good old days” that one will refer back to in the years to come. 

“Electric Love” — BORNS

Falling under the alternative and indie genres, this song is all good vibes. The energy makes the listener feel as if they could take on anything in the world. It’s a perfect beach song as well: It almost makes one feel the ocean breeze and warmth through its relaxing beat and soothing lyrics. 

“Peaches” — Justin Bieber

This recent release on Bieber’s studio album, “Justice,” has a catchy chorus and an overall great feel. This song is the epitome of riding around in a car in warm weather with the windows down and a group of one’s best friends. In fact, a good portion of the music video for this song is exactly that. Everyone in the car will be waving their arms to the beat. 

“Wishful Thinking” — BENEE

BENEE is known for the groovy atmosphere her music creates. The majority of her songs would probably make a great addition to this playlist, but this song stands out. It has an extremely unique feel, as it’s sound is playful with it’s beats and differs from mainstream music. It’s perfect for warm weather and a carefree day. 

“Classic” — MKTO

Taking it back about eight years again, MKTO’s “Classic” is a crowd-favorite throwback. This song can lighten any mood, and it’s hard to sing along to without smiling. It’s a cheery song about MKTO’s take on self-love. 

Any of the above choices make a great start to a driving playlist, but there are hundreds more that are perfect for the occasion. Many existing playlists on Spotify and Apple Music also include songs that bring this carefree, world-conquering feel. 

One can take the suggestions above or curate a personalized playlist — either way. Dukes should get out and drive with friends while music blasts throughout the car for a pandemic-safe summer activity. 

Contact Lauren Kuhno at For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Instagram and Twitter @Breeze_Culture.