Music to facilitate mood

I’ve not really spoken much about music on here yet, which is strange because it is a huge part of my life. I remember my first gig clearly, I was around 14/15 and went to London to see Linkin Park.

They were the first band that helped me escape the pop bubble I’d been comfortably living in beforehand (because let’s face it, Spice Girls and Christina Aguilera were life).

Listening to them was the first time I realised the power music can have. It helped me tap into my emotions and as cringe-y as it may be to say ‘Nu metal’ was my introduction to music, damn did it have an effect on me.

I realised I didn’t have to look like everyone else. I didn’t have to dress like everyone else, I could break the mould. It was OK to be different.



Since then my musical taste has grown and changed with me (don’t get me wrong though, I still love me some nu metal). Now I would say my taste is… eclectic. From acoustic indie-folk and straight up rock to hip hop and R ‘n’ B.

There was even a phase when I thought I wanted to be a music journalist. I would write album reviews, cover gigs and interview bands. It was great, but I didn’t have the stamina for it, so I changed gear to fashion, then finally found my way to where I am today.

But of course, my love of music never left. I still regularly get moved to tears by music – the last time being at a Devin Townsend gig.

Recently I was feeling a bit blurgh after work so I blasted my ‘happy’ playlist in the car on the way home. I sang along, at the top of my lungs, and felt… fucking amazing.

How to tap into the power of music

I had a think about the different ways I use music when it comes to facilitating mood and came up with a few scenarios that could be worth trying…

On journeys, to hype you up

Whether you’re driving somewhere, getting the train or walking, there’s some space on your journeys to get hyped for whatever it is you’re on your way to do. I’ve become so used to listening to podcasts on my commute, I forgot how nice it is to just blast some music, really bloody loudly.

Get a playlist together with songs that make you feel badass or do a little dance in your seat. If you’re dreading work, an event or even a family gathering (hey, we’ve all been there) listen to your playlist and let the good vibes spread from your ears all the way through your heart and down to your toes.


– Haemin Sunim (thank you Katherine for sending over!)

Whenever you need a little lift

Sometimes we feel down for no real reason. We just feel a little flat and need something to help pick us back up. For me, a quick dance around the kitchen to uplifting music sorts me right out. Create a playlist, or use the hyped up one you made for the last scenario, and listen to it whenever you need to coax out an inner smile.

After work to signal rest time

If you struggle to wind down after the working day, incorporating some relaxing songs can really help set the tone. When I get home I generally potter around the flat, give it a little tidy, put dishes away etc. and listening to my ‘chill’ playlist helps me settle down mentally after work.

I’ve also experimented with playing calming music during yoga (the classes I follow online don’t use music) and it is just so, so lovely. Try it in the bath and before you go to sleep, anything to help soothe you a little.

Anytime you need a damn good cry

Crying is healthy and good guys – we release stress hormones when we cry, hence why we feel so much better after. I cry pretty rarely (unless I’m due on my period, then I’ll cry at literally anything) so sometimes I feel I need a little help. I can bottle up emotions sometimes and listening to some epic, feels-inducing music helps me process my emotions and let it all out.

Feels playlist

Some mood playlists

With these scenarios in mind, I thought it could be fun to put together a few playlists on Spotify! Here are three playlists to get you going.

Give me a lift (when you need to be picked up)

Time to relax (when you need to switch off)

Feels (when you need to unblock some emotion)

I’ve been listening to the ‘Feels’ playlist as I’ve written this and am feeling pretty charged up right now, there is some serious power behind these songs. Sometimes all I want to do is spend a day on my bed with my headphones in, getting moved by music.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this and please let me know what you think of the playlists if you give them a listen! What music moves you?

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A guide to using music to facilitate mood.

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