Published on October 01, 2018

Mood Music

older woman wearing headphone and dancing outsideMusic is a powerful influencer. Whether you need a kick in the pants, a good cry or a reason to get moving, being mindful about your playlist can work wonders.

Music has helped people communicate, concentrate, fall asleep and fall in love since the beginning of time. An emerging field of science, dubbed neuromusicology, explores how the brain and music interact with each other. In other words, researchers already know music affects people in different ways. They’re interested in the why and how. Current studies could have a big impact on treating people who have had a major heart event, stroke, brain injury or other serious health problem.

How does it work in everyday life? If you want to conquer a grueling workout or get a large task done quickly (like cleaning the house), you’re likely in beast mode. Pairing that mindset with fast-paced, high-energy music makes you move faster and work harder. (Bonus: When you move faster and work harder, you burn more calories.)

But, what if you’re down in the dumps? For some people, listening to music that reflects how they want to feel is the perfect blue mood buster, and they turn to a playlist of upbeat, happy tunes. Yet, others find comfort in matching their music to their current mood. In the words of Elton John, “Sad songs say so much.” After all, the occasional (short-lived) pity party can do a girl’s soul some good.

Whatever your mood, there are sure to be tunes to match it or help you fake it until you make it. You just have to find your groove and press play.

Staff Picks

If you’re looking to refresh your playlists, spin some of these staff-recommended tunes.

Beast Mode

  • Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
  • Feel Invincible - Skillet
  • Raise Your Glass - P!nk
  • Savior - Rise Against
  • Turn the Music Up - NF
  • UnStoppable - The DNC

Love Is in the Air

  • Let’s Get It On - Marvin Gaye
  • Perfect - Ed Sheeran
  • Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers, Coldplay

Get Stuff Done

  • Ain’t No Mountain High Enough - Michael McDonald
  • Chameleon - Herbie Hancock
  • Get the Party Started - P!nk
  • Glory - The Score
  • Leaving Las Vegas - Besnine
  • Tree Trunks - Late Night Radio
  • We Will Rock You - Queen

Sad, Sentimental or Nostalgic

  • Beam Me Up - P!nk
  • Bennie and the Jets - Elton John
  • Can’t Stop That Feeling - Justine Timberlake
  • Live Like You Were Dying - Tim McGraw
  • Hold My Hand - Hootie & The Blowfish
  • Mr. Tillman - Father John Misty
  • No Rain- Blind Melon
  • Not That Different-Collin Raye
  • Pop - *NSYNC
  • Stay With Me - Sam Smith


  • Brimful of Asha - Cornershop
  • Don’t Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
  • Feel it Still - Portugal. The Man
  • Happy - Bruno Mars
  • Hey Ya! - Outkast
  • La Macarena - Los Del Rio
  • Paradise Waiting - Vacationer
  • Mood Boosting

  • It Happens - Sugarland
  • Someone Like You - Adelle
  • Inspirational

  • Hallelujah - Pentatonix
  • Finally Moving - Pretty Lights
  • So What - P!nk
  • Watching the Storm - U137