In 1988 Bobby McFerrin released a song called “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Even now as I recall that song for this article, I have the desire to reach as fast as possible to change the radio station in my head!
I hated that song! Not only did I think it was super boring but even then I disliked the idea that you should just be happy as though this is a simple task or even a good idea.
I know, I know… you may very well want to just be happy and think doing so is a great idea! After all, that’s what we are taught. I see this type of message all the time on Facebook, just now on Pinterest, on billboards, in books, and basically everywhere. This crazy idea that you could and should just be happy is everywhere, and, sheesh, if you’re not, well then, something’s wrong with you!
Well, I disagree! If you aren’t feeling happy at the moment, so what! If you are feeling sad or angry or hurt, that’s just fine! You likely have a very good reason to feel that way… so feel it!
Even the lyrics of the song admit to what happens if you just “don’t worry, be happy.”
But don’t worry be happy
‘Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
So don’t worry, be happy
Don’t worry, be happy now
Shame on you for bringing everyone down! Right? That’s what the song teaches after all (as do all the sayings that promote this idea.) It’s no wonder that’s how you feel when you can’t just be happy….shame about not being happy and shame that you are causing others to suffer because of it.
So my rebuttal to this song and concept of “just be happy” is in this video. I know you want to feel happy. I do too. There isn’t anything weird about that. It’s the how to do it that might surprise you. Watch the video to learn more!