Music for Mood Swings

When you’re feeling beat up by the world and you’re not sure if you should press on or give up, what music do you throw on? Is it something uplifting and inspiring, like a pop or reggae, or do you throw on the emo and wallow in self pity?

I’ve found that predicting what kind of music I will throw on just depends on the day and whether I’m in a depression (can be cyclical or spontaneous). I can still feel happy or at least content while depressed and sad when I’m not depressed. So I must distinguish between at least 4 states: depressed/happy, depressed/sad, undepressed/happy, and undepressed/sad.

If I’m depressed and sad, that’s when the emo type of music comes out and I go deeper into the rabbit hole. This is when the tears flow and suicidal tendencies peek their nasty head out. Out comes The Cure, The Fray, and pretty much every other band with a “The” in the title. Oh, and some Band of Horses, though I also listen to them a lot, anyway. When I’m depressed and happy, I usually bust out the happy music, maybe because it might help snap me out of my funk. This is when I listen to copious amounts of reggae and electro-pop (e.g. Cut Copy, MGMT, etc.).

If I am NOT depressed (I should really find a word for this and am open to suggestions) and sad, here comes the country and 90’s alt rock. Bring on Darrius Rucker or Hootie and the Blowfish. The former is really just an acoustic version of Hootie, let’s face it. The 90’s had some really great music for your down times. You’ve got your Toad the Wet Sprocket, Cranberries, Sister Hazel, Gin Blossoms, and all the like. I think this state is the one I spend the most time in. It’s really just an instance of nostalgia. When I’m undepressed and “happy”, I bust out the punk and metal. I’m sure that sounds bizarre to you, but if I’m listening to that, I’m getting stuff done and motivated. Maybe it’s the fast tempo, I don’t know. Also, I’m a punk at heart and an idealist. From that standpoint, it makes more sense.

My music taste is probably way too broad to be covered by only four states and such generalizations, but it’s just something I wanted to put thought into, since music is such a powerful part of my life. It deserves some attention and is kind of fascinating.

I would love to know what kind of you listen to when you’re in certain moods, or even just recommendations. I see blogs as a living conversation, ever-evolving.


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