How Do You Use Music To Alter Your Mood?

One of the great aspects to music is the way it interacts with our emotions. Do you ever consciously use music to alter your mood?

There are many examples of music intensifying or changing how we feel. A morose soundtrack at a particularly poignant moment of a movie can bring us to tears. A song with a powerful beat can get us on the dance floor. At a rally, an inspirational song can make us feel like anything is possible.

However, these are all examples of how others might use music to make you feel the way they want you to feel. You can also do this yourself, and probably do, to some extent. When you feel angry, you might list to some heavy metal. You may have a workout mix that you listen to at the gym. Some classical music might be good music to study to. You may even have a particular set of songs that help you fall asleep at night.

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What does your favorite music say about you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Where does authority come from?’

To follow that idea to its logical conclusion, you could use music as a way of changing or modifying how you feel.

For example, if you are feeling depressed, you might listen to some depressing music to heighten that mood. Alternately, you might choose to upbeat music to try and chase away the blues.

Similarly, soothing music might calm anxious nerves. Or the reverse, with fast-paced music waking you up in the morning. If you are facing a long drive and are feeling drowsy, some dance music might help you stay awake.

Are there times you purposefully use music to make you feel a particular way? Or if you feel a certain way and you don’t want to, do you use music to alter your mood?

Related questions: Why does music evoke emotion? What is the right amount of emotion? What is necessary to change your mind? How much of our thoughts are our own?

2 thoughts on “How Do You Use Music To Alter Your Mood?”

  1. Like many people, I can suffer the Sunday Scaries, an imposing doom felt about the week ahead. (This, even though I love my job of justice work to keep renters stably housed in safe, decent, and affordable housing.) Like a smaller subset of this group that suffers from the Sunday Scaries, I also live with Anxiety as a mood disorder. Doom and fears can get amped up big time.

    I say I can suffer because I devote a couple of hours each Sunday evening, and sometimes part of the afternoon, solely to listening to music or watching live performances on YouTube. I do this to transport me to a better place or, in the best case scenario, pre-empt the Scaries altogether.

    Yesterday, I came across a line in Bono’s “Surrender: Forty Songs, One Story” that reads: “Music offers a language to a part of us we weren’t sure was there … our spirit, our essence, whatever it is, it’s beyond our mind and body, it’s the something other.” I like this quote for many reasons. Regarding the Sunday Scaries, it’s about transporting “beyond our mind and body” that strikes me. Music can take me beyond and out of the pain and fear I feel in my mind and body to a better and higher place. It erases the doom and Anxiety and prepares me for the justice work I hope to accomplish in the week ahead.

  2. Music 🎶 definitely can help me with my mood.
    It has helped me not feel alone with soft instrumentals in the background.
    If I need to get motivated to clean the house nothing is better than sing along Music from the 80s and 90s. Especially the Eagles and Peter Gabriel. Even though they were before then.
    When I’m angry or extremely frustrated a few rounds of “I don’t care anymore ” by Phil Collins does me wonders!

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