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Remood Playlist

Like many people, under prolonged stress or adverse hormones I can slide into a depression, and it's hard to get back out. Even when I'm fully aware that I'm just experiencing a brain hiccup, the depression itself takes away all motivation to do anything substantive to feel better.

I've found a trick that works most of the time. Maybe it'll be useful to share.

I get very involved with music and I have an enormous library of songs. I've put together a playlist with a sequence of songs to gradually adjust my mood, and since I can shift slowly enough, as long as I'm enjoying what I'm listening to my emotions will generally go along with it. This doesn't always work, but probably 90% of the time.

So here's what the list looks like, with just a few sample songs (my actual playlists are usually much longer, even many hours long):

First set of songs feature pure misery and despair, so I have no trouble identifying.
["King of Pain" by The Police, "Bother" by Stone Sour]

Shift to angry songs. Not a big step in mood.
["Ugly" The Exies, "Thoughtless" by Korn]

Follow that with with defiant songs. Again, it's not a big change.
["Defy You" by The Offspring, "I Will Not Bow" by Breaking Benjamin, "Do you Call My Name" by Ra]

Once I've shifted entirely from angry to defiant (it's a spectrum) shift from defiant to aggressive/arrogant/confident songs.
["This is War" by 30 Seconds To Mars, "Noise" by Tokio Hotel, "Maybe" by Sick Puppies]

And clearly, once I'm all the way to arrogant and confident, it's not too hard to start slipping a little hope in there.
["Kill Your Heroes" by AWOLNATION, "Iridescent" by Linkin Park, "Long Forgotten Sons" by Rise Against]

Finally ease into some outright hopeful and happy songs.
["Hope" by Anything Box, "Unputdownable" by De/Vision, "Elevator" by House of Heroes]

I don't know if this concept is useful to anyone else, but I figured it couldn't hurt to share. If you're interested in a sequence like this and you don't know what songs to use, let me know what sort of music you prefer and I can probably come up with some examples.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 27th, 2011 09:37 am (UTC)
I instinctively did that when I was trying to get over a hopeless unrequited love, back, uh... decades ago. The playlist started with songs that expressed how I was feeling (no matter what I'll always love you and be here for you if you ever want me ("Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac, "Separate Ways" by Journey) through songs saying oh just leave me alone ("Hanging On" by the Supremes) to I'm gonna be just fine, thank you very much ("I'm Still Standing" by Elton John) and you're gonna get yours, Buster ("Solitaire" by Laura Branigan). It did help a little .... but I had other, self-indulgent playlists that would undo its good work.

I have a playlist now that I put on whenever I want to be left alone with my melancholy (not real depression, otherwise I doubt I'd be wanting to stay in it). I don't play it all that often precisely because it's likely to put me **in** that mood if I'm not.
Apr. 27th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
That's awesome! Well, maybe not the origin and the undoing part. :)

I have a writing playlist geared toward destruction and despair, because the WIP is pretty grim... but even the apocalypse songs I like tend to be kinda perky. If I got myself honestly depressed I wouldn't want to write anymore.
Apr. 27th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
This is a neat idea. I have a cheer-up playlist, but I don't have one graduated like yours. I should definitely try it. Thanks!
Apr. 27th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
Yay! I hope it's helpful. If nothing else, it is easy to try.
Apr. 27th, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
I've been doing something like this, and yes, it can work. (I can also bring myself down, if I'm not careful!)
Apr. 27th, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC)
Cool. And yeah, you're right about being careful. There are songs I have to keep out of general rotation. Even though I like them, if they play when I'm slightly vulnerable -- wham. Doom.
Apr. 27th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
This is brilliant! I need a playlist for my dog. He's depressed about all the bad weather we're having.
Apr. 27th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
Seriously. Poor dog! I was sick of winter in January, and now for spring we get this?? Argh.
Apr. 28th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
I like the concept, but I have the unfortunate tendency to wallow and cry. I've actually tried this out, with no effect (except for wallowing in the same mood for HOURS on end and skipping past songs I dislike! XD) The only way for _me_ to get out of a cycle is to break out of it and do something active, and music falls into the passive category in my case.
Apr. 28th, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
I can see that. My playlist fix is almost entirely a middle-of-the-night panacea. If it's daytime, if I can do anything, then I'll be fine. This is for when I'm helpless and paralyzed AND depressed. (Ouch.) It -- often along with some wine and a video game -- can often get me positive enough that I'll let myself sleep.

It only works if I've carefully crafted a playlist ahead of time. Trying to put something together when I'm already down is hopeless.

And what are you doing even allowing songs you dislike to approach your ears?? :D
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )