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Jeruba's avatar

Music for a bad mood: go with it, or counter it?

Asked by Jeruba (50690points) January 29th, 2016

When you’re feeling gloomy, do you want to listen to music that

(a) reflects your mood—sounds as glum as you are, or worse?
(b) opposes your mood—sounds all cheery and upbeat, cheers you up?
(c) is neutral—has no special mood to it, or doesn’t express a strong feeling?
(d) is none of the above—mood is irrelevant? You like what you like, no matter how you’re feeling.

This isn’t about specific musical selections. It’s about whether you want to hear music that sounds the way you feel or music that expresses the opposite emotion.

And what about when you’re feeling great? Do you love a sad, sad song?

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10 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

For me, music is the perfect counter to a bad mood. It always does the trick. And the wife shares the same propensity. And there’s no predicting which piece of music will fill the bill. Anything from bluegrass to Haydn piano trios. I think music rolls around in all of our heads more than we realize.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It depends on why I’m in that mood. If I’ve just had a bad experience and feel the need to wallow in sadness for a while, I’ll listen to sad music. On other occasions when I feel down I might play uplifting music to try to counter my mood. However, if I’m feeling happy it’s highly unlikely that I’ll play something dismal and depressing. I’m much more likely to choose something happy and joyous. My mood definitely influences my music choice, and at times, I do use music to try to alter my mood.

Soubresaut's avatar

It’s less a mood of song, as it is specific songs that put me in a better mood. Generally, though, the cheerier the song (if it doesn’t have some sort of melancholy undertone), the more disconnected I’ll feel from it. The main four go-tos (at least for now)—
– Foster the People’s ”Miss You
– Coldplay’s ”Postcards from Far Away
– Modest Mouse’s ”A Life of Artic Sounds
– The Talking Heads’s ”A Road to Nowhere

Seek's avatar

Depends on the mood. I like angry music when I’m angry, but I can’t listen to sad music when I’m sad.

cazzie's avatar

There are songs that put me in a bad mood and a few that make me cry. There is a Christmas song that never fails to make me start wailing. But I agree, depends on if I am trying to get myself out of my thoughts or if I want to wallow.

Seek's avatar

^ Tim Minchin’s White Wine in the Sun is the best Christmas song ever. Gets me every time.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have always felt music is a great way to sort out emotions. If I need just a little push to get the emotions out the right tune usually does the trick. I never try to counter it I always go with it, good or bad mood. Getting it out has always been better for me than trying to counter and bottle it up.

cazzie's avatar

Thanks, @Seek. Make that two Xmas songs. *sniff

marinelife's avatar

I have found that when I am sad or down, nothing brings me up like the blues!

cazzie's avatar

Here is the Christmas song that makes me cry. I dare you to watch…

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