How to Use Music to Shift Your Mood

Music and Mood_Nicole Justine Cavanaugh_2013

“Music is what feelings sound like.” I heard this on the radio the other day and it really resonated with me.

When I am feeling happy, I listen to joyful, peppy music. When I am feeling low, I listen to melancholic music.

It’s like I want the world around me to reflect how I am feeling inside.

Sometimes, I use music to shift my mood – consciously. You can do this, too. Here’s how:

1.  Make playlists based on your emotions. In my iTunes sidebar, I have created playlists such as “pensive” and “inspirational” and “pumped up.” You can create your own playlists and name them anything you like, perhaps “peppy” or “loving” or “motivated.” When you are in a specific mood, you can use these lists to deepen that emotion.

2. Meet yourself where you are first. When I am feeling super depressed, the last thing I want to hear is peppy music. It feels jarring and doesn’t validate what is going on for me. So, I play a sad song to validate where I am at. Then, I can gently shift into the mood I wish to be in. In your playlists, consider creating “from” and “to” emotions, such as “from sad to happy” and start with a sad song, a slightly happier song, etc. until you get to the happy songs.

3. Have your playlists handy. However you listen to music – at home, in your car, or on the go – have your playlists set up so they are with you wherever you are. Music is an effective tool to use to shift your mood, but only if you actually use it!

Our outer and inner worlds affect and impact one another. When we consciously use one to shift the other, we are more in control of our responses and less subject to fall prey to our emotional or mental states which may not be serving us well in the moment. Using music to consciously shift your emotional state is a fun and effective way to redirect your energy towards a life filled with joy, love, and happiness – if you so choose.

Please share this blog with others! As always, you are invited to share you thoughts and feelings below.