Music to Improve Your Mood

An instant, side-effect-free way to feel more upbeat or to calm down

Posted Apr 01, 2016

Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain
Source: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

Music has been said to soothe the savage beast and to uplift the soul.

So it's no surprise that music therapy is a treatment modality complete with an American Music Therapy Association.

As with all forms of psychotherapeutic intervention, solid data on efficacy is lacking but certainly, anecdotally, many clients and I feel that music can boost our mood or calm us down.

So, here I suggest an array of music that might be particularly effective at improving your mood.

Your own favorites probably should trump these, if only because my age and tastes put me out of sync with most people. But these may at least be worth a listen-- I've included a link to a YouTube video of each and selected a rendition of each that I believe is particularly worthy. Except fort the classical pieces, it's usually but not always the original recording.







9 to 5

Defying Gravity  (Especially listen from the 2:53 mark to the end.)

Build Me Up Buttercup

A Few Good Men. (The guitar solo that begins at the 1:46 mark is the finest solo I've ever heard.)

He's the Greatest

Armed Forces Medley


Autumn Leaves, sung by Frank Sinatra (My late mother's favorite song.)

Speigel im Spiegel (The most calming piece I've ever heard.)

Emmanuel played by Toots Thielemans who will be 94 this month on an instrument you wouldn't imagine could be so poignant: the harmonica.

Puff the Magic Dragon. Even the most practical among us are uplifted by a kindly fantasy.

Adagio (Samuel Barber) (The saddest piece I've ever heard.)

Mozart's Clarinet Concerto 2nd movement

Moonlight Sonata, 1st movement

Clair de Lune (Perhaps the most beautiful piece I've ever heard.)

Over the Rainbow sung so simply by the Hawaiian folk singer Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole.

Bach Air on a G String

I Believe

Sunrise Sunset (So touching, especially to an older person.)

Amazing Grace

Marty Nemko's newest book, his 9th, is The Best of Marty Nemko.