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I Ask: What Music Do You Listen To When You Want To Feel Better? Plus A Late Enough Playlist By You

Not too long ago, I ask what y’all listen to when you are down. I’ve been holding on to music a lot lately. The Green Day Pandora channel has saved me from tears on more afternoons than I can count.

For awhile, I wanted to compile all the great songs and bands y’all sent me before we find more. (I know that I’m missing a few; it’s not personal.)

The Down Enough playlist for when you want to stay in bed:

David Byrne
Dave Matthews’ Some Devil album
Natalie Merchant
Sarah Mclachlan
Robbie Williams’ Escapology album
Fighting Tempation Soundtrack
PJ Harvey’s album Rid of Me
George Strait
George Jones
The Cure
David Gray
Eddie Vedder
Norah Jones
Ben Folds Five
Blues Traveler
Elton John
Florence and the Machine
Death Cab for Cutie
Alanis Morrissette’s album Jagged Little Pill
Pink Floyd
The Smiths
Neko Case
The Verve’s album Urban Hymns
Johnny Cash
Hank Williams Sr.
Pearl Jam’s album Black
Damien Rice

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac or Dixie Chicks
Down (Candlelight Remix) by Jay Sean
Breathe Me by Sia
Hometown Glory by Adele
Turning Tables by Adele
Family Affair by Abra Moore
Let It Rain by Amanda Marshall
Latika’s Theme from Slumdog Millionaire
Don’T by Jesse Ruben
Falling by Keri Noble
I Got You by Leona Lewis
Breathe Again by Sara Bareilles
The Light by Sara Bareilles
Gravity by Sara Bareilles
One Moment More by Mindy Smith
Koyal (Songbird) by Nitin Sawhney
I Will Not Take My Love Away by Matt Wertz
Burnin’ Bridges by Jessie James
You Lost Me by Christina Aguilera
Begin to Cry by Christopher Jak
Permanent by David Cook
On a Night Like This by Dave Barnes
Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson
You Make it Real by James Morrison
Cry by Kelly Clarkson
Papercut by Apollo Drive
Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath
Easier to Lie by Aqualung
Safe by Natalie Grant
Imagine by Taio Cruz
Wonderwall by Ryan Adams
Losing Your Memory by Ryan Adams
Who You Are by Jessie J
Shipwreck from the Satisfaction (Original Soundtrack)
Fly by Celine Dion
Wah-Wah (Piano Solo) from Wah-Wah Original Soundtrack
Family Tree by Ben Kweller
Come Downstairs and Say Hello by Guster
Mad World by Gary Jules
Evaporated by Ben Folds
Amazing Grace
In My Life by The Beatles
Zombie by The Cranberries
Light Eternal by John Michael Talbot

Because some of you jumped the gun last time, I already have a few feel better songs. Y’all are too nice to leave me down right? Or maybe because you’re psychic and knew that’s what I’d ask next? Freaky!

Get Up Enough playlist for when you want (need?) to get up and out of the dark:

Adam Ant
Stray Cats
Spin Doctors
Jimmy Buffet
David Byrne (he’s the only one on both lists)
Dolly Parton’s album Better Day
Across the Universe Soundtrack

La Vida es un Carnaval by Celia Cruz
Baby Got Back by Richard Cheese
Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
Something to Believe In by Parachute

And of course, Josh Groban singing Kayne West tweets (thanks Amy)
Click here for the video (funny but not G-rated)

We need some more get out of bed music though. I like bouncy music with a touch of anger or self-deprecation. Pop punk tends to work wonders for me, but as always, I’m open brilliant suggestions.

So I ask: What do you listen to when you want to feel better?

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

17 thoughts to “I Ask: What Music Do You Listen To When You Want To Feel Better? Plus A Late Enough Playlist By You”

  1. I love this! Several years ago, when battling my own darkness, I made a CD for my car called the “Sunshine Mix”. It was primarily for my commute to and from work, but helped brighten my mood by allowing me to listen to all of my most favorite “Happy Dance Songs”, haha! I can’t remember all of what was on it. All Fired Up by Pat Benatar. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd. 3×5 by John Mayer. Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind. Dancing Nancies by Dave Matthews Band (the Live at Red Rocks version).

    That’s all I can remember. I’ll come back if I come up with more. I haven’t listened to it in ages, but maybe this is just the prompt I need.

    Later in my life, when I was working as a counselor, I would tell clients about my Sunshine Mix and recommend they make their own. Music has a curative element, for sure. Even if it is to break up the clouds for just a long enough moment to provide respite, and hope.

  2. My favorite music is Down Enough music. I love your list! I have no idea why, but to me, a great song should make you cry.

  3. -The Eve6 album “Horrorscope”- it’s one of my must-have road trip CDs, so it cheers me up and makes me think of lots of different memories.
    -The album “A Place in the Sun” by Lit.
    -The soundtrack to RENT- my college friends and I used to sing along to it. (Skip the depressing songs and go with the fun ones. No day but todaaaaay!)
    -Anything by They Might Be Giants, because some of their stuff is so ridiculous it just can’t help but make me smile.
    -Do you ever listen to Andrew Bird? He’s amazing- I think most of his songs lean more toward the Down Enough playlist though.
    -Old school Madonna. Actually, any ’80s pop.
    -Bowling for Soup
    -Spice Girls!
    (Are you sorry you asked yet?)

  4. I tend to go a bit cheesy when I want to feel better…
    I will whip out The Dead Milkman and sing “Punk Rock Girl” at the top of my lungs. I am not sure if the upbeat beat or just that it reminds me of a simpler time, but it makes me smile every time.
    I also like to listen to Donovan. He sang back in the 60’s and is most known for Mellow Yellow and Atlantis… but when I am feeling bad I like his song “I love my shirt.” Seriously, if I cannot feel happy after hearing him sing about loving his wardrobe then I don’t know what will pull me out of any funk I am in.
    Finally, I second the “Across the Universe” Soundtrack. I also think the movie is great.

  5. I listen to the entire Christina Aguilera Stripped album (listening right now, in fact). It totally celebrates being who you are as you are – loving yourself and there is so much strength and passion in her voice.

  6. My taste in music varies. When I need a good pick-me-up I listen to anything 80’s, Green Day, AC/DC, Garth Brooks, Katy Perry, and yes, Nickleback. Basically anything I can turn up and sing loudly to.

  7. If you like pop punk, you should definitely check out Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They are a punk cover band and it is difficult to for me to listen to them without dancing/headbanging….I think the neighbors worry when I’m listening to them when I go for my walks. 🙂

  8. Lewis Taylor – The Lost Album (it’s a brilliant album to listen to anytime)
    Will Hoge – Carousel (this will actually cause you to dance out of bed)

  9. how did i forget the violent femmes?! maybe i didn’t…but i think i did. i can’t possibly feel bad with “blister in the sun” on. it reminds me, in the very best possible way, of being 15 and drunk and happy as hell.

    and david byrne belongs on pretty much every list. except a list of crappy music.

  10. In addition to my Indigo Girls “Closer to Fine” suggestion I will add Wilson Phillips “Hold On”. Put it on and try not to sing along, it’s impossible!

  11. Here are some bands that make me feel better. Or at least want to get out of bed….these bands also make me want to run and/or dance.

    Talking Heads
    The Beastie Boys
    Beck (Depending on the album you could put this on the other list)
    Girl Talk
    No Doubt
    A Tribe Called Quest

    And it’s hard to be sad when Wu-Tang’s on.

  12. This, I’ve got! I have an entire iTunes playlist labeled Bad Day. Here are some wonderful angry yet upbeat ones, as per your request:
    “Bad Day” by REM (additional benefit of Bush bashing)
    “I Hate Everyone” by Get Set Go
    “If You Want Me To Stay” by Sly & the Family Stone
    “I Don’t Want to Hear It” by Minor Threat (old school punk)
    “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns & Roses (Ah, Axl Rose, misspent genius)
    “Pressure Drop” by the Specials (LOVE!)
    “Powerless” by Nelly Furtado
    “Feeling Alright” by Joe Cocker
    &, to cheer you up, “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley

    Or, if it’s easier, I could just lend you my ipod the next time I run into you at Romp & Roll. Would that be creepy?

  13. Barbie Girl-Aqua
    Ace of Base
    I’m Walking on Sunshine
    Funhouse- Pink
    If You Wanna be my Lover- SpiceGirls
    Ice, Ice Baby- Vanilla Ice
    Can’t Touch This- MC Hammer
    Tub Thumping-Chubbawumba
    Bust a Move – YoungMC

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