Does happiness have a sound? And, if so, what does it actually sound like?
That is the question the United Nations is asking as it launches its latest campaign – #HappySoundsLike – an appeal for the global citizenry “to nominate a song that brings a smile to your face” ahead of this year’s International Day of Happiness, observed annually on 20 March.
Spearheading the effort, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video contribution urges viewers around the world to ‘Be happy!’ in the UN’s six official languages and join the Organization’s call for people to demonstrate their solidarity with those “facing tough challenges.”
“On this day we are using the universal language of music to show solidarity with the millions of people around the world suffering from poverty, human rights abuses, humanitarian crises and the effects of environmental degradation and climate change,” he stated in a news release.
The campaign, made possible with the support of global music streaming service MixRadio, seeks to seize the power of music and “inspire hope for a better tomorrow” as it encourages people to suggest songs that best represent the feeling of happiness.
Mr. Ban nominated his Messenger of Peace Stevie Wonder's song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to the playlist, adding that to him #happysoundslike a new climate deal and agreed set of sustainable development goals, both on the agenda of world leaders for later this year.
Celebrity advocates including Charlize Theron, Lang Lang, Michael Douglas, Angelique Kidjo, along with internationally-acclaimed artists such as James Blunt, Idris Elba, David Guetta, John Legend, Cody Simpson and Pharrell Williams, will also contribute to create the world’s happiest playlist, which will be launched on 20 March.
Jyrki Rosenberg, Head of MixRadio, said the music service is privileged to support the UN for this campaign. “We hope the general public follow in the steps of the array of global stars and share the track that makes them happiest.”
In April 2012, the UN held a high-level meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” at the initiative of Bhutan, a country which recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product (GDP).
This year will mark the third observance of the International Day of Happiness, which recognizes the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in people’s lives and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.