The Ultimate Guilty Pleasure Playlist

We looked at Spotify playlist data to find out which songs, artists and genres appeared most often in playlists featuring the phrase ‘guilty pleasure’

  1. Wannabe
    Spice Girls
  2. I Want It That Way
    Backstreet Boys
  3. Toxic
    Britney Spears
  4. Party In The U.S.A.
    Miley Cyrus
  5. ...Baby One More Time
    Britney Spears
  6. Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey)
  7. Hips Don't Lie (feat. Wyclef Jean)
  8. Callaita
    Bad Bunny
  9. Oops!...I Did It Again
    Britney Spears
  10. DNA

Top Guilty Pleasure Artists

  1. BTS
  2. Britney Spears
  3. Miley Cyrus
  5. Bad Bunny
  6. One Direction
  7. Shakira
  8. Red Velvet
  9. EXO
  10. Spice Girls

Top Guilty Pleasure Genres

  1. K-Pop
  2. Dance Pop
  3. Latin
  4. Boy Band
  5. Pop

Listen to the full playlist

The anatomy of a 'guilty pleasure' song

BPM = 121

Beats Per Minute, the tempo of the song

Valence = 60

Score from 1-100. The higher the value, the more positive the music

Danceability = 70

Score from 1-100. The higher the value, the easier it is to dance to this song.

Energy = 75

Score from 1-100. The higher the value, the more energetic the music

Duration = 225s

The length of the song in seconds

Year = 2012

The average year that these songs came from


We used the Playlist Miner to find the most common songs in playlists titles containing “Guilty Pleasure” on 23rd of December 2019. For each playlist we identified the most common songs, ranking the top 100 guiltiest pleasures. We used these most common songs to determine the 10 most common artists and 5 most common genres for guilty pleasure playlists. We then used the Organise Your Music tool to find the BPM, valence, danceability, energy, duration and year for each track from the Spotify API. We took the average of these values to find the anatomy of  a typical “Guilty Pleasure” song.

Our data can be found here.

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