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64 Songs About Touching and Hugging

Celebrate the magic of being able to hug, touch, and hold hands with loved ones, friends, and others with pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about touching and hugging.

Celebrate the magic of being able to hug, touch, and hold hands with loved ones, friends, and others with pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about touching and hugging.

Touch Is Medicine for the Soul

One thing the pandemic taught us is how much we need one another's touch. People once greeted one another with an outstretched hand, instantly sizing up a stranger's handshake based upon the firmness of their grip. Without thinking, we hugged friends, loved ones, and sometimes even acquaintances hello and goodbye and used a gentle squeeze to convey congratulations and condolences. Teammates traded fist bumps, pats on the backs, and encouraging high fives.

But then the pandemic threw a cold, wet blanket on all of that warm, touchy-feely bonding. Fear of deathly contagion forced us to back away from one another as COVID-19 left an indelible mark on the way we socially interact. As a result, a lot of us were left starved for touch. Touch starvation (or "affection deprivation," "hug deprivation," or "skin hunger") is the extended longing for touch or physical contact from others. It is linked with feelings of loneliness, stress, difficulty sleeping, low relationship satisfaction, depression, and anxiety.

We may never return to being as touchy-feely as we were pre-pandemic, but I'm relieved that I can at least hug my parents and extended family. Touch is good for the soul as well as the body. A reassuring touch calms the nervous system, boosts dopamine levels (the pleasure neurotransmitter) as well as serotonin levels (the happiness neurotransmitter), reduces stress hormones, improves healing, decreases pain, and lowers both heart rate and blood pressure.

Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about touching, hugging, and holding hands, then hug someone you love today. It's good medicine for you both.

1. "Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’" by Journey

Maybe it's those tight pants, who knows, but no one can belt out classic emotional rock songs like Steve Perry. In the video, I was a little surprised by how much the Journey frontman channels his inner girly side with his long, flowing 1970s hair and that front-tied blouse. Hey, no judgment.

"Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin" was the band's first Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The lovelorn guy in this 1979 rock song exclaims to the woman who has left him for another man, "You make me weep and wanna die," and later confides, "You're tearin' me apart."

The poor fella can't get the visuals of them getting busy out of his mind. He sees his sweetheart physically involved with her new partner lovin', touchin', and squeezin', and it's mental torture for him. The only comfort available is realizing that she will soon be in the same brokenhearted boat that he is now.

2. "Holy" by Justin Bieber (featuring Chance the Rapper)

Some would say that 24 years old is awfully young to settle down, especially for a pop star. Justin Bieber surprised fans after a 10-year on-again/off-again romance with singer Selena Gomez when he suddenly tied the knot in 2018 with model/actress Hailey Baldwin in a courthouse wedding. They had been engaged for only two months.

In this 2021 religiously laced song, the Grammy Award-winning artist describes excitedly "runnin' to the altar like a track star" after having found the love of his life whose touch is pure and cleansing. She holds him in the night in a way that is forgiving, real, and holy. This is what forever feels like.

An evangelical Christian, Bieber freely admits in the song to being a sinner. As a teenager, the star faced legal problems and other controversies, including incidents of vandalism for throwing eggs at a neighbor's house, an illegal street race in a rented Lamborghini, and roughing up a paparazzi.

3. "Human Touch" by Bruce Springfield

In the musical chairs game of romantic pairing, if you can't find a partner to love, perhaps you can at least find one to canoodle with. The lonely man in this 1992 rock ditty makes a low-key proposition for tactile connection. He needs conversation and physical comfort, so he tries to persuade his intended partner that she isn't alone although she's suffering from heartache. C'mon, let's be of mutual assistance.

4. "Love Me Like You Do" by Ellie Goulding

Sultry is the name of the game in this 2015 electropop power ballad straight from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. Initial touches have left the song narrator yearning for more from her lover. She's having sexy shivers as she waits for him to touch her again. (Why wait? Ask for what you want, girl.) Her head is spinning, she's not thinking straight, and he has her stuttering.

5. "I Touch Myself" by Divinyls

Men aren't the only do-it-yourselfers. Smitten by a man who doesn't seem to return her attraction, the female narrator in this 1990 pop-rock song decides to take matters into her own hands. As she goes about the business of paddling the pink canoe, tickling the lily, diddling Miss Daisy (or whatever you call it), the DIY damsel fantasizes about her unrequited lover. She "oohs" and "ahs" with excitement.

With such a fun and oh-oh-oh so memorable song like this, it's too bad that the Australian group the Divinyls was just a one-hit-wonder in the US.

6. "Love Somebody" by Maroon 5

The sure-footed guy in this 2013 dance-pop single is searching for love on the dance floor and believes he may have found who he was looking for. He zeroes in. The narrator's intense longing borders on desperation in the way he cries out, "I really wanna touch somebody" and "I really wanna love somebody." Desiring to pair off the rest of the night with one particular woman, he gives his intended partner an emotional appeal that makes it clear that this is more about lust than mere dancing and more about satisfying his own needs than hers.

7. "Love Touch" by Rod Stewart

The guy in this 1986 pop song is doing a poor job of apologizing for his romantic transgressions that destroyed his lady's trust. (I'm guessing he cheated.) Claiming that it doesn't matter who is right or wrong (yeah, right, only if you're the wrong one), the clod insults her with this remarkable un-apology:

"Cause I want to be good for you
I didn't mean to be bad
But darlin' I'm still the best
That you ever had
Just give me a chance
To let me show you how much
I want to give you my love touch
Love touch."

Although the single hit the Top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, Rod Stewart called it "one of the silliest songs I've ever recorded."

8. "Hold My Hand" by Jess Glynne

The woman in this danceable pop hit from 2015 earnestly searches for support from her significant other as she faces down her anxiety. She finds herself in a difficult situation and needs someone stronger to lean on. As such, the nervous Nellie asks him to hold her hand, help her get a grip, and stop her from falling.

9. "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" by Mel Carter

Oh, the exhilaration of first love! In Mel Carter's 1965 signature song, the narrator is facing his first romantic relationship, and he's casting aside sage advice to take it slow. The young lad throws caution to the wind, beseeching his sweetheart to hold him, thrill him, kiss him, and never let him go as he offers proclamations to her of eternal love and devotion.

10."Sometimes When We Touch" by Dan Hill

Love has a lot to do with timing, and you can't always get it right. This 1977 soft rock song is an emotionally raw love ballad that will resonate with you if you've ever been involved in a lopsided romance. Singer-songwriter Dan Hill wrote this hit about a woman he adored who was in love with another man. The song describes holding her and connecting with her soul on a human level, painfully knowing that he'll never truly have her heart.

11. "Hold My Hand" by Hootie & The Blowfish

Long before Darrius Rucker became a country music star, he was Hootie, frontman of rock band Hootie & The Blowfish. This upbeat 1994 ballad was their debut single. In it, the song narrator extends a hand for his friend to grasp in a powerful demonstration of unity and personal strength. Through touch, the man offers both forgiveness and acceptance. Maybe they cannot change the world, but together they can change their little piece of it.

12. "Like You'll Never See Me Again" by Alicia Keys

We never know when our number is going to be up, and we'll be called away permanently. Anything could happen. (A woman where I worked, for example, was actually hit and killed by the proverbial beer truck!)

This breathy 2007 R&B crossover hit features Alicia Keys imploring her partner to appreciate each moment they have together. That means touching her like it will be the last time, kissing her like he'll never get another chance, and holding her as if they'll never see each other again. While that seems a little emotionally exhausting and over-the-top to me, I think her general point was to make sure you show the people in your life how much you love them.

13. "Touch Me When We're Dancing" by Alabama

The touchy-feely narrator in this 1986 country chart-topper feels frisky and is gearing up to make some major moves on his honey. Preparing to take this relationship to the next step, he wants to slow dance with his lady friend, whisper in her ear, kiss her, and most of all feel her touch. He implores her:

"Come on, touch me when we're dancing
You know you've got that lovin' touch
Oh, touch me when we're dancing
I want to feel you when I'm fallin' in love."

The song was a cover of The Carpenters' 1981 pop hit, which was their last Billboard Top 40 Hot 100 song.

14. "Into You" by Ariana Grande

"A little less conversation, and
A little more touch my body
'Cause I'm so into you."

Take a chill pill, sister. The girl in this 2016 pop tune is about to overheat, as she is mesmerized by a love interest. Their obvious attraction is drawing everyone's attention, although she wants to keep it a secret. There's a surefire hookup on the horizon if they can throw some water on this thing long enough to take their business elsewhere.

15. "Take a Hand, Touch a Friend" by The Staple Singers

This 1973 soul/pop crossover ditty has a powerful and timeless message. It encourages the listener to reach out in friendship and touch another's hand so that one may unite to make the world a better place. After all, when one feels a hand in friendship, they also touch a heart. How will you reach out to others and touch them to make a difference?

16. "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M.

If you think this 1991 rock single is uncharacteristically bubbly for R.E.M., you'd be right. It's a widely misunderstood song. The song's hook is borrowed from Chinese government propaganda posters in the aftermath of the Tienanmen Square uprising wherein hundreds of student protesters died. Intended as a protest song, "Shiny Happy People" was misperceived by listeners as a light-hearted, happy tune. The irony of the line, "shiny happy people holding hands," went right over people's heads.

"Shiny Happy People" has appeared on Forbes' 2021 "Worst Lyrics Of All Time" list and AOL's 2006 list of "111 Wussiest Songs of All Time." In addition, even lead singer and co-writer Michael Stipe has referred to it as one of the dumbest songs ever written despite its worldwide success.

17. "Hold Each Other" by A Great Big World (featuring Futuristic)

It wasn't that long ago that even artists who were out as LGBTQ would avoid singing about same-sex love. They would instead prefer to sidestep pronouns that specified their lover's gender. (Or alternatively, they would relent and sing about loving the opposite sex).

With a simple yet powerful pronoun change, A Great Big World subtly delivers emotional authenticity in this 2015 pop song. The Grammy Award-winning duo is comprised of both gay and straight singers. In the song, each explains that holding their lover brings them warmth and peace. The duo's overall message in this tune is that love is love.

18. "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" by Diana Ross

As if lifted directly from a greeting card, this 1970 soul single urges each of us to make the world a better place by reaching out and touching another person's hand. We can lighten one another's load by sharing our problems and offering words of kindness and encouragement. It all begins with the power of touch. Won't you reach out?

19. "Not Your Barbie Doll" by Ava Max

Albanian-American singer-songwriter Ava Max makes it clear in this 2018 female empowerment anthem that touching her requires consent. (And nope, you don't have it.) This girl with healthy boundaries is self-assured, possesses real thoughts and feelings, and is determined to her chart her own path.

"Not your Barbie girl, I'm livin' in my own world
I ain't plastic, call me classic
You can't touch me there, you can't touch my body
Unless I say so, ain't your Barbie, no."

20. "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith

Oh, dear, this dude is an emotional hot mess. The 2014 pop song is about an unlucky guy in love, relying too eagerly on a string of one-night stands. He finds himself again in bed the morning after a one-night stand feeling dejected, knowing this sexual tryst isn't going to turn into a relationship. In desperation, he asks his temporary partner to stay a little longer. How very sad and awkward!

"There is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words." - Ann Hood, American novelist

"There is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words." - Ann Hood, American novelist

Even More Songs About Touching and Hugging

Got a song suggestion for this touching and hugging playlist? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

SongArtist(s)Year Released

21. I Want to Hold Your Hand



22. Hold Her

For King & Country


23. Touch Me (I Want Your Body)

Samantha Fox


24. Faith

George Michael


25. Human Touch

Rick Springfield


26. Hold Me Now

Thompson Twins


27. Hold Me While You Wait

Lewis Capaldi


28. Do You Wanna Touch Me

Joan Jett


30. Back in My Arms Again

The Supremes


31. Touch

Little Mix


32. Touch My Body

Mariah Carey


33. You've Got the Touch



34. Touch

Little Mix


35. Take My Hand

Charli XCX


36. Touch Me

The Doors


37. Touch

Daft Punk (featuring Paul Williams)


38. Hold Me Touch Me Love Me

Ginette Claudette


39. Invisible Touch



40. Touch Me (All Night Long)

Cathy Dennis


41. Into Your Arms

Witt Lowry (featuring Ava Max)


42. Touch Me in the Morning

Diana Ross


43. Everytime We Touch



44. Physical

Olivia Newton-John


45. Touch It



46. How to Touch a Girl



47. Hold Me

Fleetwood Mac


48. Hand to Hold On To

John Cougar


49. Touch Too Much



50. Touch the Hand

Conway Twitty


51. B.O.B.

Macy Gray


52. Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

Rod Stewart


53 Dusk Till Dawn

Zayn (featuring Sia)


54. Hold Me

Savage Garden


55. When You Touch Me



56. Touch of My Hand

Britney Spears


57. If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)

The Bellamy Brothers


58. Eight Days a Week

The Beatles


59. Never Gonna Let You Go

Sérgio Mendes


60. Hold It Against Me

Britney Spears


61. Holding Her and Loving You

Earl Thomas Conley


62. Touch Me



63. Unchained Melody

The Righteous Brothers


64. The Magic Touch

The Platters


© 2021 FlourishAnyway


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 24, 2021:

Heidi - I had to play that one to jog my memory but recall it now. Thanks for the addition! Glad you are back!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on May 23, 2021:

Catching up. So I guess I could say I'm getting back in touch? ;)

Of course, I thought of the Journey track right away.

My add is a real oldie: The Magic Touch by The Platters. One of my fave tunes from the early rock era.

Have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 17, 2021:

Devika - I'm gratified that you enjoyed this playlist. Have a good week.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 17, 2021:

I love listening to music and did not give a thought about such songs. You enlightened me and I am so glad to have found out about more of these songs.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 15, 2021:

Ravi - I’m glad this was new and interesting for you. Thank you for stopping by.

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on May 15, 2021:

I learned something new here. Except "Holy" and "Human touch" the other songs are quite new to me and I am going to spend some time in the weekend listening to them. Thanks for sharing this amazing collection Flourish.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Jo - It's a beautiful song, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by. I hope you and your family are doing well. Have a wonderful weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Chitrangada - I'll be glad when this is behind us and we can express affection interpersonally without risk of COVID-19 transmission. Take care of yourself and those you love.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Brenda - Thank you for your kind comment. I grow frustrated at losing articles in the feed too. Have a wonderful weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Bill - I'm not keen on returning to the restaurants, etc. until vaccination rates improve, but I sure love hugging my family, even the prickly ones. They're the ones who need it the most, I think.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Linda - I'm happy that you enjoyed this. I was concerned that it had too many oldies considering my audience demographics. I really loved some of the songs and have been singing them to Mr. Flourish.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Bill - At one point during the worst part of the pandemic, my mother was so desperate for a hug that we had her put a sheet over her head and entire body and then with masks on we took turns hugged her through the sheet so we would not breathe on her. It was odd, but nobody was vaccinated yet and she was desperate for a hug and so were we.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on May 14, 2021:

What a timely article. Just when we are being told we can stop wearing masks and loosen up with social distancing. And that song, "Sometimes When We Touch" can still send me reeling.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 14, 2021:

Great selection of songs about touching and hugging. I enjoyed going through your well compiled list. And, I just wish those personal touches are back soon, post this pandemic. It’s so important to express love and affection, and that can’t be done without personal touch and hugs.

Thank you for sharing another wonderful article.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 14, 2021:

I read this then it disappeared in the feed.

I found it finally again.

Those days of touching...i don't think we realized just how much we do. Just a simple touch or hand shake when we greet people.

We've all caught ourselves starting to reach out & then remembering the virus abd stopping.

You have compiled a great list of songs.

I can't remember the names of all of tgem and I'm not gonna risk losing it in the feed again.

But the Beatles, Rod Stewart, etc.

I loved that first one and how you write personal comments on each one.

Great job.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on May 14, 2021:

Great list, Flourish. And very timely as we start to return to some sense of normalcy. I think the one thing people miss the most from this pandemic is the ability to hug a family member or friend. The trips to restaurants, shopping, travel, etc we can do without, but that human contact is so needed.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on May 14, 2021:

Flourish, I'm a hugger and this pandemic has been really rough. What a great list, with enough oldies, I'll be humming most of the day

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 14, 2021:

Hooray! I finally got the #1 song on the list!!!! lol

You "touched" upon a key point about the pandemic. That's what I miss most this past year, hugging people and shaking hands. Such a small thing but oh so important for we human beings.

Back to normal soon? I sure hope so!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Constant - Thank you for reading. I am glad you visited.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Dora - Thank you for stopping by and for the kind and encouraging words. Have a wonderful weekend.


I love music and this article is actually targeted to me and other music fans. Awesome

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 14, 2021:

Flourish, there are many interesting stories surrounding these songs. They help us understand why we miss the touches and the hugs. Great theme, great songs, great singers. Thanks!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Pamela - Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Have a wonderful weekend and hug your family and those you feel safe touching.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 14, 2021:

I sure wish we could get back to what we consider normal, hugging and shaking hands. This is a wonderful group of songs. As usual, there were a few that were new to me, but I enjoyed this group of good songs.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Devika - You are very kind. I appreciate your readership. Have a wonderful weekend.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Umesh - Thank you for the encouragement and kind words. Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Peggy - I've got both of those Journey and Hootie and the Blowfish songs on loop in my mind! I'm not sure when this will ever return to pre-pandemic normal if at all. I'm a generally huggy person, but the pandemic has taught me how germy people are with their droplets and dirty hands etc. I may modify my own habits permanently of shaking hands I don't know.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 14, 2021:

Linda - Hopefully as we continue to heal from the pandemic we can begin to touch our friends and loved ones without fear of contagion. Thanks for commenting and have a great weekend!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 14, 2021:

Touching and hugging songs just so amazing! Your list of songs are perfect for any day.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on May 13, 2021:

Exhaustive and beautiful compilation. Useful and one can use them for humming alone or even sing in a low voice while working. Great work.

Anyway, keep writing and flourish!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 13, 2021:

I hope someday, post-pandemic, we can get back to touching and hugging as was normal in the past. It is important. Many of the songs you featured are excellent ones. Right now, I have the Beatles song resonating in my head.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 13, 2021:

You’ve chosen a great theme for this article. Touch can be wonderful medicine for the soul, as you say. Thanks for the reminder and for sharing the music, Flourish.