For some, it’s a spoonful of peanut butter, or binging TV shows while for others, it’s excessive online shopping for clothes they don’t need. However, there is a universal guilty pleasure that everybody shares, and that’s music. We all have a couple of songs that we love to listen to in private for various  reasons – whether it’s a flood of nostalgia, or just simply because it’s a banger. Some close their bedroom door or turn their Spotify to private, while others may put in headphones – whatever secret measure is taken, these are the songs that we hate to love.

I asked the MUSE team and readers to share their guilty pleasure songs, and why they make them so happy. Check out their responses below!


I secretly like to listen to the Spice Girls when nobody’s around. One time, I decided to play it at the gym because it’s a great pump-up tune. What I didn’t realize was that my headphones weren’t plugged in. I was confused why the people working out near me were giving me weird looks. – Nick, 3rd year Engineering

Some of my guy friends are really into rap music, but their all-time favourite tune is “Love Story” by Taylor Swift! Every pre, every car ride, or pretty much any situation ends up in “Love Story” being played. Also, once Stages did an EDM version of “Love Story.” All my guy friends found it and now play it non-stop. Elana, 4th year Arts

I love Disney music… “Part of Your World” from Ariel, “Go the Distance” from Hercules, “Circle of Life” from Lion King… all the classics. I grew up visiting Disney World often, so I like these songs because they are familiar. They make me happy because they bring back fond memories of my childhood! Since my family still goes on trips to Disney world to this day, it’s funny but also embarrassing since I’m 19 and my brother is 21 but we can sing all the lyrics to almost every Disney song there is. This happens too often when we’re in public and my entire family just starts singing along to princess songs. – Logan, 3rd year Arts/ Business

My guilty pleasure song is “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. I like listening to this song because it’s just so fun and makes me feel good. I usually belt it out after meals at camp with people to sing along with me. Nobody outside of my camp circle knows that I do this, except for my girlfriend who won’t stop chirping me about it. Back in town, I really only listen to it in the shower. – Jack, 3rd year Arts

My favourite song to listen to when nobody’s watching isLady Marmalade from the musical, Moulin Rouge. I love it because it makes me feel like a baddie! One time, it came on while I was with my boyfriend. He was so confused about what the song meant because the words make no sense at all. That’s what makes it so fun. – Julia, 3rd year Arts

My favourite song to listen to is “River by Leon Bridges. For my grade 12 yearbook we had to include our favourite song. I wanted to put this song down, but I felt like it would be weird because none of my friends listened to this type of music. Instead, I put down a basic song… – Olivia, 3rd year Con-Ed

I like a lot of Glee covers, like “Take Me or Leave Me,” “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Defying Gravity,” and “How Will I Know.” My non-glee guilty pleasures would be any song from Mamma Mia, as well as “Voulez-Vousby ABBA, “Light my Candle” from the musical, RENT, and “Always Remember Us That Way” from A Star is Born – musicals are a big weakness. I like these songs because they remind me of the memories I’ve created with my friends back at camp where we would listen to guilty pleasure music. We would get so into it while doing our jobs, that belting out the songs made time go by so quickly. Whenever I listen back to these songs at a different time, I always think about the people and the place. – Amy, 3rd year Con-Ed


I always listen to “Tim McGraw” by Taylor Swift when I’m getting ready in the morning. I was obsessed with this artist when I was ten! I went to three Taylor Swift concerts for her first three albums. I was with my family for all of these, so this song brings back the fond memories that come along with that. Emma, 3rd year Con-Ed


Honestly, “Mo Bamba” kind of slaps sometimes, and I love Pitbull’s “Time of Our Lives, “Crank That by Soulja Boy, and Blake Shelton’s bigger hits. I like these songs because of the nostalgia of it. I worked at a grocery store in high school for four years, and it played a lot of Blake’s music. I remember hearing lots of Pitbull during O-week when I was a Gael in second year, which was one of the most fun I’ve had in my years of uni. “Crank That” also just slaps. My housemates and I proudly classify ourselves as “alternative girls,” and our music taste strays away from a lot of mainstream music. However, this past year, my one housemate and I were sitting in my room studying with music playing from my phone and some Ariana Grande came on my playlist. This was embarrassing because I hadn’t admitted to my housemates that I liked pop music at times. Cassidy, 5th year Arts

The pleasures that society determines as normal and acceptable often influence our avoidance of the things we truly find joy in, especially if they’re frowned upon or seen as embarrassing. Sometimes we need to stop trying to be perfect and instead embrace the things we love, no matter how embarrassing they may be. Giving ourselves permission to enjoy or be passionate about what we love is an important part of self-compassion and is what makes life enjoyable. In other words, guilty pleasures are good for you, so go and do what makes you happy, and don’t feel guilty about doing so. Don’t apologize for what you love, embrace it! 



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