The iPod Mood-Lifter Experiment

What an inspired picture!  Photo credit by Janesdead; creative commons license

One of the quickest ways to lift a bad or negative mood is with music, but what happens if we expand on a mood-lifting song?  What happens if your music is uplifting for, say, 2 weeks or a month?

By uplifting, I don’t mean “praise music” necessarily,  or Pollyanna-Happy-Tunes.  I mean whatever music makes you feel good.  Maybe it’s not Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine,” that uber-upbeat song from the 80’s because that particular song was playing when your first boyfriend dumped you.  Maybe it’s headbanger music from the 80’s  or electronica or even moody Goth.  Maybe it’s tribal drumming or classical.  Whatever has that pure element of feel-good for you and you alone. Maybe these are heart-pumping songs that you work out to.  Maybe it’s a song that reminds you of how far you’ve come–Joan Jett’s old “I Hate Myself for Loving You” is one such song for me because it’s the anti-thesis of how I feel.

These do not include songs that have any hint of dredging up distasteful memories. For example, I was seeing a guy for a whole year before I found out he was lying about the FOUR women he was seeing, two of them very seriously.  I used to associate jazz with several male friends from college–good memories!–but now I associate all jazz with him, so…I’ve stopped listening to it.  In time, perhaps I’ll feel differently or maybe I’ll meet someone new who makes me delight in it again.

So here’s my proposal:

Let’s create a playlist on our iPods/iPhones/mp3 players of feel-good songs.  Upbeat, positive songs. Not songs that are based on neeeeeeeeeeding another person to make you happy but music that makes you grin or sing out or wiggle.  Pure bliss kinds of songs that no one else listening to would automatically know are feel-good songs because they are so personal to your own life’s soundtrack of good times. You may even move half the songs from your music library to your playlist if the fit the requirements.

Now, pick a period of time for nothing but this playlist.  Sure, let it shuffle, but if it’s a considerable list of great songs, try listening to only that playlist for at least 2 weeks.  None of the sad stuff or whiny tunes about lost love or cheating boyfriends or longing.   Feel good!  Keep adding songs if you want, but for just this little while, make sure that the music you take in is of a more positive caliber for you.

When you’re done with your 2 weeks (or longer), take stock of how you feel.  Look at what’s going on in your life.  Is your mood better overall?  Are better things happening for you?

Just to give an example of how varied these songs can be, here are a few from my Feel Good Playlist.  Note that I’m not including much of my beloved Goth, Celtic, or lyrical indie music on this particular list, and much of it is old stuff that still–after all this time–makes me feel up, up, up!

“Play That Funky Music” — Wild Cherry

“She’s So High” — Tal Bachman

“The Future Will Blow Your Mind” — Simon Stinger

“Cum On, Feel the Noise” — Quiet Riot

“A Life Uncommon” — Jewel

“I Sing the Body Electric” — Fame

“Zeina” — Petrol Bomb Samosa

“Spirit in the Sky” — Norman Greenbaum

“Does Your Mother Know that You’re Out?” — ABBA

“She Blinded Me with Science” — Thomas Dolby

“Bitch” — Meredith Brooks

“Closer to God” — Nine Inch Nails

“Hymn to Herne” — S.J. Tucker

“Superfreak” — Rick James

“Joyride” — Roxette

“Back in Black” — AD/DC

“Black Jack Davy” — Sharon Knight

“In the House of Stone and Light” — Martin Page

“Fat-Bottomed Girls” –Hayseed Dixie cover

“Sexy-Back” — Justin Timberlake

“Temperature” — Sean Paul

“Soul Meets Body”  — Death Cab for Cutie

“White Wedding” — Abney Park

“Dancing with Myself” — Billy Idol

“Living Dead Girl” — Rob Zombie

“Belladonna and Aconite” — Inkubus Sukkubus

“Move Along” — All American Rejects

“Hunka Burning Love” — From the Lilo and Stitch Soundtrack

“Big Girls Don’t Cry” — Fergie

“Like a Prayer” — the Tori Amos bootleg

“Pagan Girl” — Emerald Rose

“Aria” — Mediaeval Babes and Delirium

“Three Small Words”– Josie and the Pussycats