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bookish1's avatar

Do you pick music based on your mood, or to change your mood?

Asked by bookish1 (13052 points ) July 5th, 2012

When you listen to music, do you tend to listen to music that matches how you already feel, or try to alter how you feel with music? Does it depend on the situation or your emotions to begin with? Do emotions have little or nothing to do with how you select which music to listen to?

My first inclination is to reach for music that matches my mood. Hence, listening to Primus and Soundgarden when I was feeling all twisted up yesterday. I also can alter my mood with music, sometimes. Afro Celt Sound System is just fantastic for that and has saved my hide a number of times.

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18 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

After a long day I love to unwind with some peaceful Norah Jones . There’s just something about how her music is put together that resonates with me.
In this case I suppose I’m using it to change my mood.

Sometimes I watch it just to admire the pure talent. Like Victor Wooten or Sungha Jung or Charlie Puth and Emily Luther

Sometimes it’s just because I have no idea why I like something.. like Karmin

Occasionally I suppose I listen to match my mood but I never really thought about it. There are all sorts of reasons to listen.

jonsblond's avatar

I’d say it’s based on my mood. I can’t think of a time when I was really angry and I thought it would be a great idea to listen to Sade. I’ve also never been in a mellow mood and thought it’d be the perfect time to listen to Korn.

So yeah, based on my mood it is.

blueiiznh's avatar

Yes and yes.
Music can and will change your mood.
One also tends to make selections based on the mood they are already in.

Vincent_Lloyd's avatar

For me personally I choose my music on how I feel when I listen, or I just find what sounds of interest at the moment. But it’s mainly on my mood, I try not to alter it as much as release what ever the feeling is. I bring that mainly to the anger that’s usually built up, the only way for me to alter it is for me to release it in a healthier way. But that’s mainly for anger. Anyways..Great question! :)

Bellatrix's avatar

Both. It depends on why I am listening. Sometimes I want the music to sooth my soul. To relax me.

Or if I feel down and want to wallow in it, I may choose music that lets me feel sorry for myself.

Other times I know I have a big day and am not terribly motivated so I put loud, happy music on to help get me in a more positive mood.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I usually pick my music based on my mood, the exception being before important events, where I try to listen to happy music to encourage myself to be positive and open. For me, happy music is the typical radio pop music.

Sometimes, though, I just feel like wallowing and then I bust out my iPod and listen to the emo music of my middle school years

JLeslie's avatar

Both. Mostly I go for up beat music. Runway type music. I almost never put on music to drown my sorrows in with lyrics that are depressing. For me the beat and rthym of a song is usually more important than the words. There are exceptions. Sometimes I am really in a mood to sing along, and I put on music to sing with, sometimes it is show tunes, but often it is pop/top 20 type stuff.

Paradox25's avatar

It depends on the type of mood itself, and the circumstances behind it. If I’m in a more up mood I try to listen to music that will compliment this. When I’m in a bad mood than I usually find myself listening to the same type of music that I’ll listen to when I’m in an upbeat mood, to try to boost my own mood that is. However, there are times when I’ll try to compliment my anger (and try to get it out of me) by listening to some type of metal or rock, rather than trying to boost my mood.

lifeflame's avatar

It does depend. For example, I might put on music to pump me up when I’m getting tired; or to wake me up in the morning. But sometimes I really just feel like I’m in the mood for something and I reach for it.

I had a friend who had bad depressions, and she made a tape that matched her dark mood, but the music would get progressively upbeat/happy to move her out of that place.

woodcutter's avatar

Because I’m lazy I keep the same CD in the player for months on end and just play it. Right now in the truck is a Tajano mix disc one of the Mexicans threw in the trash pile at a job last year. Can’t understand any of it but I know I like it. Maybe thats why. Mostly I use FM anyway.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t know. I suppose to match my mood. Most of the music I choose is music I am actually improvising at that second, which, I guess, has to reflect my mood. Later on, I may listen to recordings I made. The music that other people I like make tends to be close to the kind of music I make.

marinelife's avatar

Usually I pick music based on my mood, but it sometimes lifts my mood to listen to it.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I listen to music based more on the mood I’m in as opposed to trying to change that mood. One of my favorite genres of music is Jazz and I’ve found that above and beyond all other types of music I listen to, Jazz works the best for me when I’m looking to completely rest and relax.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Music (plus caffeine) can turn my mood around 180 degrees, though I tend to choose it according to my state of mind at the time. If I’m feeling particularly down I play some Dead Can Dance or Jan Garbarek and work my way up to Mike Oldfield. Given how we tend to not want to get out of the mood we’re in, it’s only logical most of the time we’d be choosing music that is in line with what we feel like at the time.

…and when I finally join that biker gang I’ve always wanted to join, I’ll switch to Status Quo.

Quite frankly I’m surprised the military isn’t interested in this yet.

Blondesjon's avatar

I don’t really match my music to my mood. I usually match it to what I am doing at the time.

As far as using to change my mood, well, that happens naturally all the time.

hearkat's avatar

My music choice depends on my mood and my motivation… do I want to immerse myself in and explore my mood, or do I want to purge it, or do I want to distract myself from it? Thankfully, I am far less moody nowadays, so I mostly listen to whatever is playing on www.xpn.org or Shuffle on my device. If a particular song pops into my head, I might seek itoutand listen to it, and follow where that leads.

prasad's avatar

Yes. I like to listen to Yanni and Kenny G.

Earthgirl's avatar

The main thing that influences what I want to listen to is my mood. The music I listen to does not influence my mood. I think I choose the music that complements the mood I am already in. I’ve noticed that when I listen to my ipod on random play and everything sounds good and I can go with the flow, it’s going to be a good day. Alternately, when nothing sounds right and I am constantly skipping over songs because they annoy me or I’m not in the mood to hear it, I am in a more tenuous, and stressful state.
It’s weird how I have moods when I do not have the patience to listen to classical music and have to have pop music. There are days when anything and everything sounds good. There are days when all I can listen to are sappy love songs and there are days when I need loud music like this and this and this and sometimes i get in sort of creepy carny moods and like these kinds of songs…and these
But even with all that said I can be uplifted by happy music in the worst of times. A couple happy favorites….this and this and this absolutely timeless…

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