I have been thinking a lot about how much music can change my mood, sometimes, to some extent, it can dictate how a day can go. When feeling low, if I allow myself to get caught up in the music of a particular speed or drone – I know it’s bound to keep me in a lull, it’s sometimes really hard to get out of it. With my taste varying so much, personally I think it’s important for me to keep a set of songs to hand as a means of arresting my attention and even making me feel OK. I’ve decided to create a playlist, specifically tailored towards making me feel good.

I’ve been carefully considering what I associate with certain songs. For instance, one of my favourite songs of all time (probably) is the Cannibal Holocaust theme by Ritz Ortolani. The association with the film may not be so responsible for good feelings, nor would it be particularly helpful to watch it when feeling anxious (!), but the piece of music alone beautiful. Making playlists in the past has changed what I now associate with the song, I added it to a for a road-trip through the South of France for my brother’s wedding, so now can associate it with very happy memories.

Making and playing music can be really great form of therapy also, as is the process of cataloging music and creating playlists. I experience catharsis from playing music or listening to a song that makes me feel something, it can help me sleep, help me wake up, help me focus. Making playlists for other’s is also something I find great pleasure in – below is my most recent positive playlist! It’s probably just a circulation of songs that end up on most of the playlists I make but I’m usually quite careful that I don’t over-listen, so have to circulate new and old…….

Broadcast – Pendulum
Charles Bellonzi & Robert Viger – Structures 3
Os Mutantes – A Minha Menina
Fists – Solvent
Joanna Gruesome – Sugarcrush
Virginia Wing – Donna’s Gift
The Wharves – Left Right Centre
Sheer Mag – Travelin On
Brilliant Colours – Mythic
Cold Pumas – Fog Cutter
Wand – Fire On The Mountain
The Guests – Pripega 
Ritz Ortolani – Cannibal Holocaust
Todd Rundgren – International Feel
Pussy Cat – Dans Ce Monde Fou 
John Holt – Ali Baba
Beat Happening – Hot Chocolate Boy
YRRS – Sandy Hands
Mission of Burma – That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate
Cass McCombs – Dreams-Come-True-Girl (featuring Karen Black)
Cowtown – Castle Greyscale
Molly Nilsson – City of Atlantis
Dead Kennedies – Moon Over Marin
Pissed Jeans – Still got you (Ice Cream)
Yo La Tengo – Sugarcube
Feature – Psalms
Microphones – The Moon
Saif Mode – Tree House
OMD – New Stone Age
Animal Collective – Brother Sport
Sievehead – Energy
Comet Gain – Love Without Lies
Chorus Reverendus – Incohérence Des Rêves De Rencontre
White Fence – Anger Who Keeps You Under
Captain Beefheart – Abba Zabba
Electrelane – To The East
Sleater Kinney – You’re No Rock & Roll Fun
Night Flowers – Embers
Arthur Russell – Time Away
Devo – The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise
The dB’s – Black and White

I also have other playlists to hand for particularly bad periods of panic and anxiety, but unfortunately these moments arise when it may not be easy for me to access my music. Also, understandably, the prospect of sitting down and playing music just doesn’t occur to me mid panic. Its hard to be sensible, and when the period is over I tend to forget what has happened, or not like to think or talk about it. Perhaps I should start listening to these playlists as a preventative measure rather than a remedy – as it’s to hard to tell when these feelings will come on or to sense a trigger – I really cannot imagine it occurring when I’m listening to any of the previous…

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