We know that psychology plays a major role in our daily lives, and in no sphere is this more evident than in popular music. Songs about being "crazy" to having "emotion" or just wanting not to "worry," but "be happy" show up regularly in Top 40 charts, Broadway musicals, and movie soundtracks. As a playlist collector, mainly to spice up my psychology courses, I thought I would share these suggestions so that you can create your own mixes when you're in a musical mood.
Here's the Top 40, organized by playlist:
Playlist #1, "Crazy"
- "Crazy" Patsy Cline
- "Crazy" Seal
- "Crazy" Gnarls Barkley
- "You Drive me Crazy" Britney Spears
- "Crazy for You" by Madonna
- "She Drives me Crazy" The Fine Young Cannibals
Playlist #2 "The Brain and Mind"
- "If You Could Read My Mind" Gordon Lightfoot
- "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time?" The Delphonics/Stylistics
- "Windmills of Your Mind" Sting
- "You Were Always on My Mind" Willie Nelson
- "Brain Damage" Pink Floyd
- "Let Me Blow Your Mind" Gwen Stefani featuring Eve
- "If I Only Had a Brain" Wizard of Oz
- "Crash Course in Brain Surgery" Metallica
Playlist #3: Sensation and Perception
- "If You Could Only See" Tonic
- "I See Right Through You" Alanis Morisette
- "Doctor My Eyes" Jackson Browne
- "I Can See Clearly Now" UB 40
- "Hot Stuff" Donna Summer
- "It's Life Illusions I Recall" Joni Mitchell
- "Haven't Got Time for the Pain" Carly Simon
- "Everybody Hurts" R.E.M.
- "Hear Me" Kelly Clarkson
- "Listen" Beyonce
Playlist #4: Pavlov
- "I Can Hear the Bells" Hairspray Original Cast
- "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Baha Men
- "Brian Wilson" Barenaked Ladies
- "Ring My Bell" Anita Ward
Playlist #5: Personality
- "Split Personality" Pink
- "Cult of Personality" Living Color
- "You're So Vain" Carly SImon
- "Personality" Lloyd Price
Playlist #6: Motivation
- "Any Way You Want It" Journey
- "I Want You" Beatles
- "What a Girl Wants" Christina Aguilera
- "Wannabe" Spice Girls
Playlist #7: Emotion
- "Emotion" Samantha Sang
- "Crying" Roy Orbison
- "I Gotta Feeling" Black Eyed Peas
- "More than a Feeling" Boston
Psychology clearly features in the music of our lives, expressing our emotions and even the way we become classically conditioned. Also, clearly, there is much I've left out. Check back at a later date for more Top 40 hits from areas such as development ("Born this Way"), cognition ("Thinking Over") and social psychology ("Conformity"). Also, check out Psychology's Best Movies for more psychological entertainment.
Feel free to add suggestions in Comments below, or on my Facebook page. Also, when you play your music, be sure you keep the volume at a reasonable level. In the meantime, hope you don't feel "Unwell," and be sure to enjoy "Living La Vida Loca!"
Follow me on Twitter @swhitbo for daily updates on psychology, health, and aging and please check out my website, www.searchforfulfillment.com where you can get additional information, self-tests, and links.
Copyright Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., 2011