upbeat emo songs
[Photos by: Jimmy Eat World/Oliver Halfin, The Used/Brian Cox, My Chemical Romance, Dashboard Confessional]

When you think of emo songs, you probably recall heart-wrenching tracks that you sing-scream all the words to. And you probably think of those tracks you turn to when you’re really going through it. 

But the genre isn’t just filled with breakup ballads and screw-the-world anthems. 

Read more: Gym Class Heroes’ “Cupid’s Chokehold” chorus came from an unusual place

If you think about it, there are plenty of emo songs that are actually pretty upbeat and have lyrics that encapsulate joy. To prove it, we decided to find 10 throwback emo songs from the 2000s that are actually happy and upbeat. You can check them out below. 

My Chemical Romance – “Famous Last Words” 

The last song on My Chemical Romance‘s The Black Parade leaves the listener with a sense of hope. There’s hope for the Patient’s storyline within the album and more when it comes to the band’s ability to persevere in general. It’s a track best played loudly to celebrate the possibilities of life. 

Lyrics: “I am not afraid to keep on living/I am not afraid to walk this world alone/Honey, if you stay, I’ll be forgiven/Nothing you can say can stop me going home”

Dashboard Confessional – “Hands Down” 

This Dashboard Confessional track is the emo love song that puts words to the overwhelming feeling of young love. The lyrics make you feel hopeful and excited about the possibilities of true love. But they keep it true to the genre by putting a dark spin on it. 

Lyrics: “The words are hushed, let’s not get busted/Just lay entwined here, undiscovered/Safe in here from all the stupid questions/’Hey, did you get some?’ Man, that is so dumb”

Good Charlotte – “The Anthem” 

Truly, this is one of the most upbeat-sounding emo tracks we could think of. It makes us want to get in the car, roll down the windows and turn up the volume. It’s all about rejecting the status quo and being yourself. Or as the song more succinctly puts it, it’s a loser anthem. If being a loser puts us in the company of Good Charlotte, count us in. 

Lyrics: “I don’t ever wanna be like you/I don’t wanna do the things you do/I’m never gonna to hear the words you say/And I don’t ever wanna, I don’t ever wanna be you” 

Cute Is What We Aim For – “The Curse Of Curves”

This isn’t exactly an uplifting track lyrically. But this Cute Is What We Aim For hit puts a mirror up to hookup culture without condemning it. And the vibe alone is enough to make you want to jump up and start dancing. 

Lyrics: “And she’s got the curse of curves/So with the combination of my gift with one-liners/And my way/My way with words/It seems I’m too hip to keep tight-lipped”

Saves The Day – “This Is Not An Exit”

If you’re looking for an uplifting emo track, look no further than this oldie but goodie by Saves The Day. The song is a reflection on letting go of the past and the importance of living life to the fullest. And every lyric is written like a line in a poem, in a striking way. 

Lyrics: “Just sail belly up to the clouds, the rocks scraping your back/To breathe in the air will be the only thing that you have/And your love will be warm nights with pockets of moonlight”

Jimmy Eat World – “The Middle”

If you were a scene kid in the 2000s, the first few seconds of this song will instantly transport you back to some of your happiest moments. Lyrically, Jimmy Eat World sing about proving yourself and following your dreams, even when other people doubt you. 

Lyrics: “Hey, you know they’re all the same/You know you’re doing better on your own/So don’t buy in/Live right now, yeah, just be yourself/It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough/For someone else”

The Used – “The Taste Of Ink”

This iconic The Used track is one of the biggest emo songs of all time, and lyrically, it’s pretty inspirational. It revolves around wanting to better your situation when you’re feeling trapped in one place, to become the best version of yourself.

Lyrics: “This could be my chance to break out/This could be my chance to say goodbye/At last, it’s finally over/Couldn’t take this town much longer/Being half-dead wasn’t what I planned to be/Now I’m ready to be free

Panic! At The Disco – “When The Day Met The Night”

This P!ATD track from Pretty. Odd. is the ultimate love song that you wish someone wrote about you. The lyrics describe the sun falling in love with the moon, and there’s so much vivid imagery that it’s hard not to smile when you hear it. 

Lyrics: “When the moon fell in love with the sun/All was golden in the sky/All was golden when the day met the night

Fall Out Boy – “Saturday 

Fall Out Boy encapsulated the feeling of anxious anticipation in the ultimate pump-up anthem for when you’re looking forward to something. It’s also one of FOB‘s favorite tracks that they almost always play live. We definitely can see why.

Lyrics: “When I say two more weeks, my foot is in the door, yeah/I can’t sleep in the wake of Saturday/Saturday, when these open doors were open-ended”

A Day To Remember – “Have Faith In Me”

The title of this A Day To Remember track is pretty self-explanatory, as it’s all about trusting someone and letting go of insecurities. It’s a love song about having a connection so deep, you’re willing to totally give yourself over to someone else. 

Lyrics: “I said I’d never let you go, and I never did/I said I’d never let you fall, and I always meant it/If you didn’t have this chance, then I never did/You’ll always find me right there, again”