Music for Sad Days

This is only my second post specifically pertaining to Post A Week Challenge. I must confess, I was hoping the prompts would be a little more inspiring. Or, maybe I’m just not that easily inspired these days, but that is why I decided to give this challenge a try, you know? For example, one of the recent writing prompts was: How long do you think you could go without a shower? That didn’t inspire me.

This is a prompt from a couple of weeks ago that I somehow missed. It’s about music, and I love music. Incidentally, I did already have plans to write a post, or a series of posts, about music. Maybe this post will be the first of many.

Here it is:

When you’re feeling down, what music cheers you up?

Bonus: why do you think this music has that effect? What music do you prefer when you’re very happy?

Music Saves the Soul

Usually, when I’m depressed, I need to listen to what some people would likely label as “depressing music”. I don’t call it that. I think there’s a difference between sad or melancholy music and just plain depressing music.

An example of a depressing song for me, would be just about anything you pick from the country music genre. (You may have guessed, I’m  not a country music fan, but I do appreciate the oldies – Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”, for instance.)

A sad song example, might be Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”. The melody itself is sad, and the lyrics are heartbreaking. And let us never forget Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart”, which may just be the saddest song in the universe.

The first criteria for listening to music at any time, is that it has to be good. When feeling down, you might think that happy music would be a pick-me-up. But I like the fact that melancholy music lets you feel the mood you’re in. Happy music in sad times is like a prescription pain-killer that does nothing to treat the cause of your pain, only masks it with an artificial relief, sometimes doing more harm than good. Happy music doesn’t do anything to improve the state I’m in.

I’m reminded now of a delightful story my cousin once told me about being on a summer cruise. She was unable to enjoy it because, as it turns out, she’s one of the unluckies that experiences severe sea sickness. So there she was on this big-ass boat, puking her guts out, all the while being forced to listen to “It’s a Beautiful Life” by Ace of Base. Over and over. (Seems to me, “Cruel Summer” would have been much more appropriate!).

So, here’s a list of songs I like to listen to when feeling down, (or anytime will do!) but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Enjoy! But not too much. These are melancholy songs after all 😉

List of Melancholy Songs

1) Damien Rice – 9 Crimes

2) Ingrid Michaelson – Corner of Your Heart

3) Ray LaMontagne – I Still Care For You

4) Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

5) Iron & Wine – Flightless Bird

6) Elliott Smith – Everything Means Nothing To Me

7) Nick Drake – Black Eyed Dog

8) Radiohead – Exit Music for A Film

9) Oasis – Wonderwall

10) Azure Ray – November

11) Lykke Li – Tonight, and Possibility

Songs I listen to when I’m happy? Pretty much anything, but I am more likely to listen to music that I don’t listen to everyday, like Nina Simone or Ella Fitzgerald, or 80’s favourites, (anything by Michael Jackson). I also like songs with a happier feel. When I’m in a good mood, I like to celebrate it. Here are some of my favourites below. And if you’re the type that needs happy music for a pick-me-up, try my happy songs 🙂

List of Happ(ier) Songs

1) Nina Simone – I Put A Spell On You

2) Ella Fitzgerald – Summertime

3) Morcheeba – Be Yourself

4) Soup Dragon’s – I’m Free

5) Michael Jackson – Thriller

6) Tegan & Sara – Living Room

7) Jack Johnson – Better Together

8) Jem – Just a Ride

9) Young Folks – Peter Bjorn & John

10) UB40 – Red, Red Wine

11) Billy Idol – Mony Mony

What do you listen to when depressed or happy?


About sharonholly

writer, reader, music-lover, glamorous facilitator of literacy...
This entry was posted in Post A Week Challenge 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Music for Sad Days

  1. Pingback: Free the Muse with Music –Tip for Writer’s Block | sharonholly

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