Music and Mood

In keeping with the theme of this site, here’s one of my “tricks” to fast happiness. Now, what I mean by this is not lifelong happiness achieved rapidly… here I’m talking about a technique I use to boost my mood quickly.

I’ve been a music lover since I was in grade school. I was forced, very much against my will, to watch the movie “Amadeus.” At the time, I had no idea it was a multiple Academy Award winning film. All I knew is that I wanted to watch a movie, and at eleven years old a period piece set in the 1700s wasn’t what I had in mind. I had no idea what I was in for. Begrudgingly I laid on the floor expecting to be bored out of my mind for two hours, what happened next was literally life-changing. When the caretakers burst through the doors in the opening scene to the first movement of Mozart’s Symphony Number 25 in G Minor, my eyes, ears, heart and soul awoke to what to me was the most amazing piece of music I’d ever hear in my short life. The next 180 minutes was an experience that was transformative. It awakened in me a love of music that has lasted my entire life. I had such an impact that the next day I was at the public library looking for anything Mozart I could find on cassette (wow that makes me feel old!).

The point of that story is, I learned how much of a direct effect music can have on my mood and my state of mind. Fast forward to today and one of the quickest and easiest mood enhancers at my disposal is my “Happy Jams” playlist on Spotify. It’s only a list of eight songs (one song being a remix of another song), but when I hit play on that list, turn the volume up a bit and hit the “random” icon, I’m immediately uplifted. It’s almost a Pavlovian response at this point because my subconscious knows a happy boost is on the way when the volume hits the right point!

Here’s my track list of my “Happy Jams” on Spotify:

  1. Lose Yourself to Dance – Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams
  2. Get Lucky – Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams
  3. Get Lucky, Daft Punk remix – Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams
  4. Happy, from “Despicable Me 2” – Pharrell Williams
  5. If You’re Out There – John Legend
  6. Green Light – John Legend, Andre 3000
  7. Hey Ya! – OutKast
  8. The Way You Move, Radio Mix – OutKast, Sleepy Brown

And there you have it, eight tracks that instantly boost my mood and put me in a better place… and it works every time, without fail. I immediately start grooving, singing along and doing a little chair dancing when that playlist fires up.

If you don’t have Spotify I’d highly recommend it. Just head over to to get started. Spotify, like Pandora, is free with a few ads interspersed here and there. And honestly, the ads aren’t too disruptive or annoying. Now there are visual ads, but clicking around them gets rid of them. Plus, Spotify has downloadable software for your desktop (Spotify works on both Mac and PC) that allows you to create playlists. You can set up hours of your favorite music.

Give it a shot. Pick 5-10 of your favorite songs that make you happy, smile, dance, sing, sway, whatever works.

My “Happy Jams” on Spotify

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