Amid the seemingly endless stream of tragic headlines and whiplash politics, the world can sometimes feel a bit too heavy. But fret not, your pop star faves have a back catalog ripe for musical relief. From Katy Perry to Kesha, here are eight go-to albums to keep you from spiraling down a hole of misery.



  • 1

    Carly Rae Jepsen, E·MO·TION

    From the sing-your-heart-out hook of "I Really Like You" to the bubblegum swing of "LA Hallucinations," Carly Rae Jepsen's E·MO·TION boasts 15 tracks of warm, mood-boosting pop. It's the kind of record that reminds you of that idealized stretch between high school and college, when summer crushes were life's biggest worry and the world felt big and bursting with possibility.

  • 2

    Bruno Mars, 24K Magic

    Bruno Mars24K Magic is an irresistibly spirited throwback to '90s-era R&B, melding nostalgic power ballads with groove-oriented bops. It's near-impossible to reach album's end without yearning for the dance floor.

  • 3

    Katy Perry, Teenage Dream

    Led by "Firework," the musical equivalent of a motivational speech, Katy Perry's Teenage Dream is chock-full of uplifting, hook-packed pop.

  • 4

    Kesha, Animal

    Kesha's 2010 debut is a fun-saturated ode to whiskey-fueled romance and reckless youth. It functions like a good cocktail, providing a welcome, kick-your-heels-up reprieve from everyday strain.

  • 5

    Robyn, Body Talk

    On Body Talk, Robyn turns bared-faced emotion into euphoric dance pop catharsis. It doesn't shy away from hardship, it kicks it to the curb.

  • 6

    Little Mix, Get Weird

    The third album from these woefully underrated British imports is stacked with the kind of kinetic, '80s-indebted earworms that make for optimal escapism.

  • 7

    Natasha Bedingfield, Pocketful of Sunshine

    This forgotten late-aught effort is as lustrous as its name suggests, stretching soulful, sun-streaked gems into inoffensive easy listening.

  • 8

    Cyndi Lauper, She's So Unusual

    Why settle for '80s-inspired chart hits when you could go straight to the source? Cyndi Lauper's 1983 breakout is a pure and unabashed time-warp stuffed with timeless classics.